Immigration Law FAQs



Every country has its own regulation when it comes to controlling the flow of travelers or foreigners entering and exiting their territory. In the UAE, the presence of passport and visa is important and necessary.

The Federal Law No. 6 of 1973, amended by the Federal Law No. 13 of 1996, which is the Immigration Law, has everything that you need to know when it comes to entering the country for vacation, residency, and a lot more.

Following are the types of visa you can apply for when entering the UAE:

  • Tourist visa
  • Visit visa
  • Multiple entry visa
  • Residence visa
  • 96-hour transit visa
  • 14-transit visa
  • 60-day renewable visa

If you are found guilty of overstaying and exceeding the 30 day grace period in the UAE, then you are in breach.

Anyone who overstayed in the United Arab Emirates will be fined, face travel, labour or immigration bans, be issued with a deportation order from the court, and could potentially be imprisoned for up to three months.


Yes, there are countries that don’t need to present visa when their citizens enter or visit the UAE premises. Aside from the GCC countries, places like Andorra, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, People’s Republic of China, San Marino, United Kingdom, Vatican City, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and the United States of America are also exempted.

What citizens in these countries can do - is to get permits at the airport and pay a fee of AED 100. The permit will allow them to stay in the UAE for 60 days, which can be extended to another 30 days.

Take note that you will pay additional AED 500 if you decided to extend your trip.

I have a connecting flight in the UAE, and I wish to see and roam around the country while waiting for my scheduled flight.


Yes, it is important for a foreigner to get a transit visa, especially in the UAE. You need to obtain a 96-hour transit visa, which you can use to go outside the airport and experience the UAE environment.

In the Article 7 of the Immigration Law, immigration authorities in the airport of any member emirate in the UAE, can allow foreigners to have the 96-hour transit visa if they have the following requirements:

  • The visitor must have a ticket that validates the continuation of this trip.
  • He or she should leave the UAE grounds within 96 hours from the time of getting the visa.
  • The foreigner must have a travel permit or a passport, which is valid for entry in the UAE and the country of destination.

These rules have been mandated by the Ministry of Interior.


There’s no problem obtaining a travel/visit visa in the UAE as long as you have the right documents. Once you get a visa, then you can enjoy your stay in the UAE.

According to the Article 12 of the UAE Immigration Law, you can get a visa for different purposes, one of which is if you want to travel the country. However, you must exit the country once you reach the expiry date of your visa. Violators of this will be fined AED 100 per day. You also need to pay an additional AED 100 to process airport documentation.

But before you do all of this, make sure to pass or get through the immigration of your country’s airport. Immigration personnel have the right to detain or allow you to travel outside the country.

I want to go to the UAE to visit the country and at the same time, find a job.


Looking for a job is not an issue, however it is illegal if you find a job and started working with a visit visa.

As per the Article 11 of the Immigration Law in the United Arab Emirates, foreigners who only obtain a visit or tourist visa are not allowed to work in the country. They must apply for a working visa or their employer should process it for them. If deemed guilty, you and you’re employer will be fined and you may be deported.

In order to prevent this from happening, you can apply for a short-term visit visa. It will provide you 30 free days to not only visit the UAE, but also find a job during your stay.

I’ve been married to my UAE national husband for more than 15 years. I want to apply for a citizenship in the UAE, but I’m afraid that my application will not be accepted, considering that my husband and I don’t have children.


You are eligible to apply for a UAE nationality through the virtue of law, citizenship, or naturalization.

Under the Federal Law No. 17 of 1972 on Nationality and Passports, since you are married to a UAE national and have already stayed in the UAE for 10 years, you may be granted nationality by citizenship. And even though you don’t have a child with your UAE national husband, you can still manage to apply for the citizenship.

Submit an application to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs or more commonly known as GDRFA.

I work in the UAE for only two months and left because there was a death in the family. I’ve been out of the country for more than eight months now. My employers knew my decision to leave, but I was informed by my relatives that I need to go back and cancel my employment visa properly to avoid complication in the future if I decide to go back or re-enter the UAE.


Yes. It is a primary rule to cancel your employment visa before you leave the UAE. But since you’ve already left and you’ve been out of the country for more than six months now, you don’t need to go back here and process the employment visa cancellation.

If you were out of the country for more than six months, your employment/residency visa would have been cancelled automatically. In other words, you don’t have to travel back in the UAE just to process the cancellation because it’s already been done.

Now, since you weren’t able to process the employment termination procedure of your visa cancellation, your employer must report the incident. Once the report has been processed, you will be banned from entering the UAE.


When you enter the United Arab Emirates with false visa, permit, and even documents, you will definitely face a very bad situation.

According to Article 34 on Penalty and Punishments, the offender will be imprisoned for up to three years. You will also pay a total amount of AED 10,000, depending on your violation. Aside from that, you will also be subject to deportation from the UAE.


Yes, you most certainly can.

The Article 329 and 330 of the Federal Civil Procedures states that you have the right to issue a travel ban against a person who owes you money if you believe that he or she will flee the country and not pay the debt.

You must submit a written application for the travel ban that includes the reason for making it, and the exact amount of the debt.


Aside from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation or more commonly known as MOHRE, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs or GDRFA also looks after the corporate immigration law in the United Arab Emirates.

MOHRE is a government authority that focuses on labor law and employment in the UAE. On the other hand, the GDRFA is the one who works with all things immigration law. One cannot function without the other that’s why both government authorities are important.


Yes. It is for your own safety as well.

In the Article 15 or the Immigration Law in the UAE, visitors or foreigners must always bring their passports all the time during their stay in the country. Because it is needed every time authorities or even policemen requested to see it physically.

This act is not intended to harm you, but to make sure you’re safe and to prevent malicious activities as well.


The UAE law states that business visitors should not “engage in work” when visiting the country.

Upon arrival, you can only go to specific activities such as attending business seminars, meetings, conferences, and exhibition shows. You can also conduct a presentation to potential clients in the UAE.

However, if you really want to provide services in the UAE while on a business visitor visa, then you should apply for an appropriate work authorization.


Go to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.

Article 16 of the UAE Federal Immigration Law states that employers who hire a foreigner must contact the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship about it. You must submit a declaration form within 48 hours of the date on which the foreigner starts his or her employment in your company.


Not just the GDRFA, even the MOHRE can visit your company without announcing it. They can do this, especially to foreign companies situated or established in the UAE free zone areas.

According to these two UAE government authorities, the purpose of their inspection is to make sure that their rules and regulations are met by the foreign companies and businesses.


According to the Article 4 of the Federal Law No. 6 of 1973 about Concerning Immigration and Residence, everyone including the captain of a vessel, needs to present his or her passport or a manifest.

In that manifest, the names of the crew must be indicated. The authorities will then check the crew’s passports in order to prevent any problem.


No, there is only one immigration visa for foreign people working in the UAE – that is the employment visa.

However, authorities in the United Arab Emirates have decided to extend for up to 10 years, the immigration visa validity of those foreigners working in the UAE as inventors, doctors, scientists, and other highly skilled people.

I’ve been deported from the UAE last 2015, and I want to go back for work.


The answer is no.

Once you’ve been deported and blacklisted from the immigration, you cannot return to the UAE.

However, in the Article 28 of the Federal Law No. 6 of 1973 on Immigration Law, a deported foreigner may get a chance to go back or return to the UAE if the Minister of Interior has issued the foreigner a special permission to return.


If a foreigner enters the United Arab Emirates with a visit visa, he or she is prohibited to get a residence license.

But all of that can change, if the foreigner has a valid and serious reason. As per the Article 18 of the Immigration Law, the validity of that foreigner’s residence license should not exceed the necessary period of its purpose. And in Article 19, the foreigner is going to be subject to the provisions.

Now, if the license or permit has been revoked or expired, he or she must leave the UAE immediately.


In order for the foreigner to settle the paper works and documentations of his investments and interests, he or she must submit or present a trusteeship. Once it is accepted, the foreigner will be granted a grace period to fix all of his or her business deals.

According to the Article 27 of the Immigration Law, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship is the one that will determine how long the foreigner can stay to settle the interests.

It is mentioned that the time frame should not exceed to three months.