Dubai: If you are stopping over in the UAE during a long-haul flight, you might want to step out of the airport to explore the country. Whether you are arriving at Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah or Ras Al Khaimah, an easy way to do so would be to apply for a transit visa.
It is important to note that transit visas are only provided through UAE-based airlines and must be processed and approved before entering the UAE.
If you are looking to apply for one, here is a detailed look at how you can do so.
Do you need a transit visa?
It is first advisable to check if you even need a transit visa. Citizens of GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries and almost 50 other countries are eligible for a visa on arrival, according to UAE’s official government portal – u.ae.
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai provides the following list of countries whose citizens can get a visa on arrival in the UAE:
10. Czech Republic
17. Hong Kong
31. New Zealand
37. San Marino
41. South Korea
45. The Vatican
46. United Kingdom
47. United States of America
Additionally, Indian citizens that are holders of:
• A visit visa issued by the USA or
• A green card issued by the USA or
• A residence visa issued by the UK or
• A residence visa issued by the European Union
Can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 14 days provided that the visa or the green card from the list mentioned above is valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in the UAE.
Types of transit visas for the UAE
If you do not fall under any of the categories above, you will need to apply for a transit visa.
There two types of transit visas are:
• Transit visas for 48 hours
• Transit visas for 96 hours
Transit visas for 48 hours
As per u.ae - transit visas for 48 hours are issued free of charge to passengers transiting through the UAE’s airports. You need to apply for the visa in advance through a UAE-based airline. This visa is not extendable, or renewable. The validity of the visa is 48 hours from entry into the UAE, and you must leave the UAE within 48 hours from arrival.
Transit visas for 96 hours
If you want to have a slightly more extended stay in the UAE, a transit visa for 96 hours is issued for a fee of Dh50 to passengers transiting through the UAE’s airports.
Similar to the 48-hour transit visa, you need to apply for the visa in advance through a UAE-based airline. This visa is not extendable, or renewable. The validity of the visa is 96 hours from entry into the UAE, and you must leave the UAE within 96 hours from arrival.
Required documents for a transit visa:
To get a transit visa, you must have:
• A passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three months.
• A passport size photograph against a white background.
• An onward ticket booking to a third destination, other than the one you are coming from.
How to apply for a transit visa
As mentioned above, transit visas are issued through UAE-based airlines. However, the process can be completed online. To apply for your transit visa, follow these steps:
1. Complete your ticket bookings.
2. Visit the airline’s website and select your ticket booking.
3. You will receive the option for ‘Apply for transit visa’. You need to ensure that you are applying for a transit visa with the same airline that you are flying, as itineraries that include flights from other carriers will not be accepted. Also, the itinerary into and out of the UAE airport should be on one ticket (PNR), with the stay in the UAE being within the visa duration.
4. Once you have made the payment for your transit visa, it will be issued by the airlines.
If your trip has been arranged through a travel agency, the agency can also help you get the visa, but all visas are routed through the airline.
According to u.ae, a departure fee of Dh30 is levied on each passenger passing through the UAE’s airports.