Dubai: Families that are visiting the UAE can benefit from the family group tourist visa service offered by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA-D).
On November 1, Gulf News reported that the family group visa application allows parents and their children to apply for visas as a group, through authorised travel agencies.
If you are planning to visit the UAE with your family, here is all you need to know about this visa option.
How to apply
Reaching out to a travel agency is extremely easy, as most agencies in the UAE allow you to send the documents online, through email or Whatsapp.
“All you require is the clear passport copy and passport-sized photographs. You can send these to a travel agency and they can apply for your family’s visa as a group, and it will be collectively approved,” Joseph Lancy Dsouza, general manager at Dubai-based Arabian Nights Travel and Tourism told Gulf News.
He added that this option is more convenient and economical for families, as children under the age of 18 are not charged the visa fee. However, the travel agency may charge a service fee for the visa processing.
[Tourist agencies] can apply for your family’s visa as a group, and it will be collectively approved.
How much does the visa cost?
Travel agencies who spoke with Gulf News said that the cost for adults in the group application – as well as the service charge for children – may vary depending on the applicant’s nationality. For example, the cost for adult members of an Indian family are approximately Dh300 to Dh350 per person.
While children do not have to pay any visa fees, the processing charges for each child’s application may be between Dh80 to Dh100.
The processing costs can vary from one agency to another, so it is advisable to speak to them in advance to enquire about their charges.
Myrna Quindoyos, admin officer at Dubai-based East and West Travels LLC, said that there are only two main documents that are mandatory for applicants:
1. Clear passport copy
2. Passport-sized photograph
However, in some cases you may also be asked to provide the following documents:
1. Birth certificate of children
2. Marriage certificate
3. National ID
4. Bank statement
5. Hotel reservation
6. Return ticket
“If you are from a country where the parents’ name is mentioned on the passport, you do not need to provide a birth certificate. But in case the children’s passport does not have the father’s or mother’s name, you need to provide the birth certificate. This may also be required if the parents are of two different nationalities. In such cases, you may also need to provide a marriage certificate,” she added.
Nationals of some countries and applicants in certain age groups may also be asked to provide their National ID or bank statement.
In case the children’s passport does not have the father’s or mother’s name, you need to provide the birth certificate.
What is the duration of the visa?
According to GDRFA-D, travel agencies can now apply for short-term tourist visas, with a duration of 30 to 60 days, which can be extended to a maximum of 120 days, if necessary.
How long will it take to get the approval?
According to Dsouza, the application may take up to three to four days to get approved, but often times the visa is issued much sooner.