United Arab Emirates (UAE) law requires all non-national (except GCC nationals) students to obtain a ‘Student Entry Permit’, followed by a ‘Student Residence Visa’ for the duration of their studies. Students will get a student residence visa which will be valid for 12 months and renewable each year for students who enroll at a full-time programme at a University.
The process normally takes between 15 - 20 working days. The Universities usually require all students on Student Residence Visa to have medical insurance for the duration of their study. A copy of the insurance documents must be submitted with the application. Alternatively, students may purchase the University’s medical insurance at an additional cost.
Most of the time, Universities themselves charge the cost to the students to get the Student Residence Visa which could be anywhere in the region of 1,000 to 5,000 AED which is a Emirati Dirham.
Types of student visa
Family-Sponsored: Students attending an educational institution may be permitted to make their UAE visa application based on the sponsorship of their parents. This option is available to full-time students. But there is some age limit: For sons it is under the age of 18, and for daughters, any age if unmarried. They would need to apply for a B1/B2 visa unless they plan to apply for their own student visa.
Educator-sponsored: Full time students seeking admission into higher education are sponsored visa through their education institutions. It can be noted that the educational institutes provide this kind of visa for students enrolling themselves for full-time courses. If you are studying for a shorter period of time (60 days) you must apply for a short-term student visa, although this can be renewed as needed.
· University letter requesting residence permits (Letter of mediation)
· 2 recent passport photographs
· 2 copies of the passport (validity minimum 6 months)
· Acceptance letter from the University
· 2 Copies of educational degrees; university/college/high school etc (attested by the Foreign Ministry)
· 1 Letter of confirmation from the sponsor of the studies & copy
· 2 copies of the Bank statements
· Contact details in UAE (if available)
· Completed medical insurance documentation
· Copy of Visa fees receipt for the current year.
Students must obtain the Student Visa before entering the country if they are travelling from outside the UAE. Once all documentation has been submitted, the University will issue a ‘Student Entry Permit’ to gain entry into the UAE and this will be available for you to collect at your designated arrival airport. The ‘Entry Permit’ is valid for sixty days commencing from date of issue.
On arrival in Dubai, students must visit the relevant University’s Visa Office and hand over the following documentation within 2 days of arrival:
· Original Passport
· Original Entry Permit
Prior to the approval of a ‘Student Residence Visa’, the UAE Government requires students to take medical and biometric testing. This will be arranged shortly after your arrival in the UAE. If in the unlikely case that you are medically unfit, your University will be informed and arrangements will be put in place to immediately repatriate you back to your original country.
Approximately 15 working days following the medical and biometric testing, your passport will be returned from Immigration with your Student Visa. Following this, you will receive your Emirates ID card which is a mandatory identity card for all residences living in the UAE.
Cancellation of a student visa:
Students, once they are done with their studies, need to cancel their Student Residence Visa after completing/leaving programme of study and before leaving the UAE. The process will take approximately 10 – 15 working days. Failure to do this may result in the University contacting UAE Government Service Office and informing them that the student has absconded. To cancel the Student Visa, students must submit their original passport and original Emirates ID card, 15 days prior to expiry or leaving/completing programme of study.