How Dubai is Transforming Its Visa System?

Visa transformations are opening up pathways for Dubai to be a hub of exceptional talent. The Emirate has done a good job ditching its old impression of a summer vacation destination. Its many visa reforms and updated procedures have made Dubai a multi-purpose destination. This article covers some of Dubai’s most popular and revolutionary visa reforms like Dubai Express Visa, and Golden visa, while answering questions like “how to apply for an express visa?”, “What is a Golden visa?” and more.

1. What are Fast Track Dubai Tourist Visas 

The Dubai Express visa is a visa that can be obtained in as little as one day. An express visa, also known as an express entry, permits a person to visit Dubai for a limited time. Short-term (14, 30 days) and long-term (90 days) visas are available. Anyone needing a fast visa can receive one in 4 to 8 hours.

Is it Possible to Get a Dubai Express Visa in 1 Day?

The term “express visa” refers to obtaining a visa in the shortest amount of time feasible with the least number of documents. To put it another way, you’re avoiding the tedious paperwork and long lines at the immigration office.

Dubai Express Visa Overview:

  • Visas can be completed on any day of the week, including the weekends Friday and Saturday.
  • Based on application type, an Express Visa for Dubai will be available for 30 or 90 days of residence.
  • Traveller is allowed to enter Dubai soon after the visa copy is issued in the system.
  • Although kid’s visas may take a bit longer to process, adults can get their visas in 4 to 24 hours.

What is the difference between a Dubai Express Visa and a regular visa?

Do you know what type of visa you’ll need to enter the UAE? There are numerous types of visas necessary for entry into the UAE, based on several parameters such as nationality, purpose of visit, and length of stay.

  • Dubai Express Visa: If you need a quick UAE visa and don’t have a lot of time to wait, you should get a Dubai visa in one day. The processing time for a Tatkal visa in Dubai is only 4 to 24 hours, which equates to one day with all necessary paperwork. (Dubai immigration does not provide a specific time range.)
  • Dubai Regular Visa: This is the type of visa that is obtained on a regular basis, and the application process takes longer. Processing time is usually 3-5 days.

2. New Generation Dubai Residence Visa Type from Pasting to Emirates ID 

The UAE has decided to transform their residency visa system from a stamp/sticker on the passport to a newer version of Emirates ID. Your Emirates ID will soon be used as a residency document in the United Arab Emirates. As officials increase services supplied to residents in the country, residence visas will no longer be stamped on passports beginning next week.

The measure basically cuts the number of steps required to get or renew residency documents in half. This allows for the renewal of both a residence visa and an Emirates ID in one application, rather than two separate processes as it was previously. So far, here is everything we know.

What is a Residence Visa Sticker?

When an expat enters the UAE with an entry permit or a visit visa, he or she is provided with a residency permit. 

As per the UAE government website, applicants for a residence visa must be 18 years or older and pass a medical exam to demonstrate that they are medically fit. They must also pass a security check and apply for an Emirates ID card from the Federal Authority for Identity and Nationality.

The resident visa sticker is issued on an individual’s passport at the completion of this process.

Will the residency stickers continue to be available?

The stamps would only be available through the authority’s smart application, according to Major-General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, acting director-general for Foreigners Affairs and Ports. This will aid in the transition from the usage of residence stamps to the use of the Emirates ID.

3. Golden Visa System

The Golden Visa system primarily grants long-term residency (5 to 10 years) for the following categories:  

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs 
  • Exceptionally talented individuals such as researchers, medical experts, and those in the scientific and knowledge industries, and 
  • Outstanding students

The main benefit of the visa will be security, as the UAE government has made it clear that they are committed to offering foreigners, investors, and practically anyone wishing to make the UAE their homeland with an extra cause to feel safe about their future by granting the Golden Visa.

How Does One Apply for the Visa?

Those interested in applying for the Golden Visa can do so through the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship — ICA (the eChannel for residence and citizenship) website or the ministry’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). ICA solely has online channels, but GDRFA has both online and offline outlets.

Applicants must provide the necessary documentation and be willing to relocate to the UAE in order to pursue their business endeavours.

Who Are Eligible to Apply?

Applicants for the 10-year visa must have a minimum of AED 10 million in public investment, either an investment fund or a firm. But, a minimum of 60% of the investment amount must not be in the type of real estate, and the contributed amount must not be loaned, or investors must assume full ownership in the case of assets.

Additionally, the investor must be able to keep the money for at least three years. This 10-year visa can be extended to include business partners if each partner pays a total of AED 10 million. The holder’s spouse and kids and one executive director and one consultant are all eligible for the long-term visa.

Individuals with specialized talent, in addition to entrepreneurs, are eligible to apply for the visa. Doctors, researchers, scientists, investors, and artists are among them. Following accreditation by their respective departments and areas, these individuals may be awarded a 10-year visa, which will also include their partners and kids.

The requirements for the 5-year visa are virtually the same for investors, with the exception that the amount of investment necessary is set at AED 5 million.

In the UAE, exceptional high school and university students can apply for a 5-year resident visa. Students who graduate with a GPA of 3.75 or above from selected universities and high school students who place first in the country (a minimum grade of 95%). Additionally, expats and foreigners interested in establishing a business in the UAE can apply for permanent residency (5 years) under the Golden Business Visa scheme.

Golden visas are granted to the following in accordance with Cabinet Resolution No. 56 of 2018 on the Organization of Residence Permits for Investors, Entrepreneurs, and Professional Talent.

  • Investors
  • Innovators or business owners
  • Specialist talents and researchers in a variety of scientific and academic domains
  • Students that are brilliant and have the potential to be successful in science 

The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security offers eServices connected to golden visas. Applying and checking the status of your Golden Visa is made easy via an online platform.


The following conditions must be met before a Golden Visa can be issued:

  • Scientists who have the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence or are authorized by the Emirates Scientists Council.
  • The Ministry of Culture and Youth must authorize cultural and artistic individuals.
  • Innovators or creators must secure a valuable patent, which benefits the UAE economy. The Ministry of Economy must approve patents.
  • Patents or scientific studies published in a peer-reviewed publication are required to prove exceptional abilities.
  • Executives must be the proprietors of a well-known, globally recognized company or have a high level of academic accomplishment and rank.
  • At least two of the following conditions must be met by doctors and specialists:
  • a doctoral degree from one of the global highest 500 universities (refer to ICA for information)
  • a certificate of recognition or honour in the applicant’s area of work
  • a significant contribution to major scientific study in the area of service or industry
  • articles or scientific books published in prestigious magazines on the subject of work
  • participation in a field-related organization
  • a Ph. D., as well as ten years of professional expertise in his sector
  • expertise in areas where the UAE places high importance.

Author Bio

ROBEENA BROWN: Travel blogger & destination expert living in UAE and works for local tourism companies like Arabiers. If you have been looking forward to touring Dubai, getting a visa, extending stays and exploring the city you can follow her on social media.

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