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You need a student visa if you want to study in UAE. However, before that, there are some steps that you are to take which are very necessary towards the approval.
Studying in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could be an experience that you are going to cherish for a very long time. It is a small country but has a sound educational system that has made it a top choice for students from around the world.
Abu Dhabi, one of the 7 emirates is such a wonderful place! It is the capital city and also the biggest among all the emirates, covering three-fourths of the country’s land. But that is not all, it is also the heart of the UAE as it contributes about a third of the country’s total GDP.
Then we also have Dubai which is no doubt the biggest name often found on the lips of many. A very important place for the country and also the most populous. It is no wonder why this place always attracts visitors as well as foreign students as it presents a lot of opportunities one can benefit from.
Back to the main topic, how to obtain a student visa meant for studies in DUBAI or UAE in general. Here we go!
1 Do I need a Student Visa to Study in UAE?
All students from EU and non-EU countries will need to obtain the country’s issued Student Visa to study in UAE. But if you are a citizen of any of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, you will not need a study visa. The GCC countries are 6, namely Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.
2 Requirements for UAE Student Visa
- Applicants who need the UAE study visa must be foreign nationals and not from GCC countries.
- The applicants must have received an unconditional offer or official admission letter for a full-time program from an accredited UAE-based university.
- A visa processing fee.
- It is also necessary to have enough money to cover your studies, living expenses, and other essential needs is really important.
3 What is the cost of the UAE and DUBAI Visa application?
The application for a UAE student visa will cost AED 3,000.
Applicants should also understand that the fee is non-refundable. What this means is that even if you are denied a study visa, you can’t ask for a refund.
4 Documents needed for a UAE Student Visa
The following documents must be provided by eligible students who want to get a study visa to study in any college or university in UAE including Dubai:
- At least 2 passport-sized pictures.
- An official admission letter specifically from the university in UAE.
- Medical fitness test.
- A copy of the receipt of payment for your visa application.
- Proof of accommodation.
- A visa sponsor (this could be either the university itself or a family member who’s a resident).
- Approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai.
5 How do I get a Student Visa for the UAE?
The procedure for obtaining a study visa for UAE is different from what is applicable in most countries. You should understand that the process could also differ from one emirate to another and from one university to another but this is the most common one:
1. Starting the process – Entry Permit
What you will first receive is an Entry Permit but the student visa will come later which will be handled by the school. The UAE Student Visa is no different from a residency permit and we might as well treat it as the same. Right here, the focus is on the Entry Permit.
The entry permit will give you the right to enter UAE. This should be ready within 5 to 7 business days after successful application.
Your sponsors or hosts can apply for an entry permit through one of the following ways:
1. GDRFA website
Your sponsor/host can apply online by visiting the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – GDRFA website. They can also apply on another of their website online that offers you an option to switch to English version.
2. Enter Permit application mobile apps
The following apps also provide another option to register. All they just need is to download the app onto their smartphones and launch it to get started.
- GDRFA Dubai apps – Android and IOS (Apple)
- UAEICP (Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship) eChannels – Android and IOS (Apple)
3. Applying in person
Your sponsor or host will also be able to apply in person. They can choose to process this through one of the authorized typing centers of the GDRFA in each Emirate or by using one of the Amer centers located in Dubai.
2. Applying for the UAE Student Visa
It is usually the university that provides visa sponsorship services for international students on a full-time program. In other words, the school runs the process for you after you receive an official confirmation from the school that you have been accepted.
After entering the country, there is nothing much to do. It is your school that will handle the application for your UAE Student Visa (Otherwise known as a Residence Permit) directly at the GDRFA office in the emirate where you plan to reside.
If your application is approved, The GDRFA will provide you with a residence permit and Emirate ID. The permit will allow foreign students to study and live in the country for a period of 12 months, and it is renewable every year to cover the entire duration of your program.
Understand that your relative who is a resident in UAE can also be your visa sponsor but it is advisable to leave it to the University or the college.
6 Can I work with a UAE Student Visa?
International students are allowed to take a paid job in Dubai or any part of the UAE but they will need to obtain a work permit which is only provided after you have received the student visa/residency permit.
During academic sessions, students are allowed to engage in work for up to 15 hours per week or 60 hours per month. This will also extend to 40 hours per week during vacation and summer holidays.