Dubai: Planning a quick stopover in the UAE? Millions of passengers fly through the UAE’s airports, transiting at one of the four international airports in the country. But, if you wish to get more out of your stopover, you may want to apply for a transit visa, which allows you to exit the airport and enjoy the many tourist attractions in the UAE.
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai took to its social media channels to inform passengers of how they can apply for a 96-hour transit visa – or an entry permit – when they arrive in the UAE.
To be able to get a transit visa issued at the immigration counter, you would need to present the following:
• Original passport
• An airline ticket showing the continuation of your journey, where the connecting flight should not be less than eight hours after you land in the UAE and not exceeding 96 hours and the destination of arrival and departure are not similar.
• Present a valid hotel reservation in UAE.
This type of a visa is preferred by passengers having business meetings or taking a stopover en route to their next destination.
To apply for a transit visa, follow these steps:
• Visiting the airline company.
• Submit a request to issue a 96-hour entry permit with the airline’s service officer.
• If the request is approved, you will receive an approval of the request.
• Approach the passport officer at the immigration counter and complete the procedure.
Who needs a transit visa?
As per the UAE government’s official website – u.ae – if you are not one of the nationalities that are eligible for visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE, then you need a transit visa.
Who can apply for your transit visa?
UAE based-airlines you are travelling through can arrange your transit visa prior to your journey. If your trip is through a travel agency, the agency can also help you get the visa, but all visas are routed through the airline.
According to Shafiq Muhammad, Public Relations Officer with Muhaisnah Documents Clearing Services in Dubai, added that if passengers book a ticket with a travel agency, the agency, too, can apply for their transit visa.
"This type of Transit Visa is a non-extendable single entry visa, valid for 30 days from the date of issue and the duration of stay is upto 96 hours (four days) from the time of entry. Transit passengers stopping at Dubai International Airport for a minimum of eight hours are eligible for a 96-hour Transit Visa," he said.
"This type of a visa is preferred by passengers having business meetings or taking a stopover en route to their next destination.," he added.
Transit visas for 96 hours
Transit visas for 96 hours are issued against a fee of Dh50 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, nor 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.
Keeping in mind the COVID-19 related travel guidelines, you will need to ensure that you take the necessary PCR tests, in time to meet the requirements of your final destination.
When you arrive at Dubai International Airport, you may need to take another COVID‑19 PCR test on arrival. If you take a test at the airport, you must remain in your hotel or residence until you receive the test result, as per the website of Emirates airlines.
Also, as you would be staying in the UAE for 72 hours, you may need to take a re-test in the UAE, to meet the COVID-19 travel requirements of your final destination. PCR tests are offered across the UAE by testing centres operated by health authorities and private healthcare providers. You will be required to provide your passport as well as a mobile number and the results would be sent to you via a text message, with a link to the complete report.