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What is the Difference Between entry permit and a residence visa in the UAE

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UAE entry permit as the name refers is just the document that provides entry. Whereas, UAE residency visas are not only used for entry but also for staying inside the country. An entry permit for ex-pats willing to live in UAE is the legal official document that helps them to enter the country. After entering, with a UAE entry permit, ex-pats can only stay inside the country for a short duration. The residency visa is ex-pat inside UAE after the individual has already entered with a UAE entry permit. UAE residency visa and entry permit both have to be sponsored by a relevant person in UAE.


UAE Entry Permit And UAE Residency Visa

Issuance: The UAE entry permit is processed and issued to the foreign nationals by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security. The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs is responsible for a residency visa and another immigration visa in UAE.

UAE Entry Permit Types

Like there is a tourist visa in UAE for 14 to 90 days stay validity. There is different kind of UAE entry permits according to the reason and purpose.

  • Entry permit for employment to enter UAE.
  • Entry permit for the mission to enter UAE.
  • Entry permit for tourism or visit to enter UAE.
  • Entry permit for attending meetings/ conferences in UAE.
  • Entry permit for medical treatment in UAE.
  • Entry permit for visiting relatives/family in UAE.

Any individual who has been invited by their family member, organization, etc can apply for a UAE entry permit. For acquiring an entry permit, the applicant has to be invited by the sponsor. An applicant who is sponsoring a UAE entry permit can be:

  • Freind
  • Relative
  • Family
  • Employer
  • Host
  • Business or company
  • Hotel
  • Emirates-based airline


UAE entry permit charge and residency visa fee

The fee for obtaining a UAE entry permit is AED 500 (it can vary). The extension charge for entry permit extension is AED 600. Stayin in UAE after the entry permit validity is over is illegal. The overstay charge for ex-pat living in UAE with an entry permit is AED 100/ day. The UAE residency visa fee depends and varies according to the type and purpose. 

UAE entry permit validity and Residency visa validity

Foreign nationals can only enter UAE within the validity date of the entry permit. It must be used to enter through one of the UAE international airports, border, or seaport. The validity of the UAE entry permit is just two months. The validity of a UAE residency visa is generally valid for one, two, or three years. The UAE residency visa validity can be more dependent on the purpose and type of residence visa. The UAE entry permit is non-extendable if it is already expired. Whereas, UAE residency visa is extended and can be renewed after the end of the validity. Within the two months validity of the entry permit, foreign nationals should apply for a UAE residency visa.

Renewal:  Due to the new entry permit rules in 2018. UAE entry permit can also be extended for 30 days. UAE Residency visa can be renewed for one, two, or three years according to the visa type.

UAE Residency Visa Types

UAE offers many different types of residence visas according to the purpose of stay which can be work, study, retirement, etc.

  • Investment visa UAE- This is a type of residency visa that provides long-term residency to foreign nationals. There is no need for sponsors for individuals qualifying the investment visa requirements.
  • UAE family visa- Any eligible foreign national staying in UAE can invite or sponsor family members, spouses, or children.
  • UAE work visa- Expatriates can get a work visa in UAE who have a proper job in UAE.
  • UAE student visa- students from all over the globe seeking international studies in UAE.
  • Retirement visa- For retirees, it stays valid for five years.



UAE entry permit is issued when foreign nationals haven't applied for residency visas yet. Or if the individual wants to go to UAE for work, business, tourism, etc for less time. An individual planning to get a UAE Residency visa after reaching Emirates. Then they can also get an entry permit to carry out residence visa procedure in UAE. The residency visa in UAE is obtained by an eligible ex-pat for a longer stay. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

To get Abu Dhabi Residency visa, the document required are:

  1. National valid passport
  2. Residence visa application
  3. Photograph
  4. Your sponsor passport and Emirates ID
  5. Medical fitness certificate and test result
  6. Insurance
  7. Employees should submit employer contracts, offer letters, company trade licenses, etc for getting a work permit in UAE.

The UAE entry permit for transit purposes is four days for transit. The entry permit in UAE for employment is 2 months.

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