Passengers wait in line at the Dubai International Terminal 3. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News Archive

Transit visas for the UAE are not hard to get but the regulations and requirements are specific enough to require that you plan well in advance in case you want to get out of the airport. While most UAE Airports have enough to keep you occupied for upwards of 24 hours - enjoying a day out in the city might be worth while. 

Read: The UAE transit guide 

Who can get a transit visa and how?

Destination: If you travel through Dubai for example and have an approved ticket to a destination other than your place of flight origin. For example, Cochin (India) to Dubai (UAE) to Amsterdam (Netherlands).

Time between flights: The next departure time from the UAE should be at least eight hours after the time of arrival at the airport.

Advance arrangements: If you are a citizen of a visa-free country approved by the government, you can get a visa on arrival for 14, 30 or 90 days depending on your nationality and other parameters. If your country isn’t on this list, only airlines can get this visa issued.

Which visa to get?

Visa on arrival

If you’re an Indian citizen with a valid United States visa, you can get a visit visa on arrival (instead of transit) valid for 14-days. You could also get visas on arrival if you’re from one of these countries approved by the UAE government.

However, approval for these requests for visa on arrival are subject to individual parameters including final destinations, period and place of stay and purpose of visit. The fees for visa on arrivall may also differ.

Pre-planned transit visa:

  1. In case you don’t fall under any ‘visa on arrival’ category, you can get the transit visa only through the airline that you’re travelling with.
  2. In this case, you may be required to also have a hotel reservation confirmation with you.
  3. If your trip is through a travel agency, the agency could also help you get the visa, but all visas are routed through the airline.
  4. Pre-plan the visit and get a visa issued before the date of travel, also remembering that this visa is only valid for use for 14 days from date of issue.
  5. Once you enter the country, the visa gives you 96 hours to roam about freely before reporting for your flight out.
  6. You will have to submit colour passport copies, two photographs and the visa fee of Dh100 to get the visa.

Disclaimer: This is only a guide. Gulf News is not responsible for any changes or amendments to these provisions for transit visas.