Parents of residents can now be brought to the United Arab Emirates on a visit visa without the need to pay the extra (refundable) security deposit normally required by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai.
This can be financially beneficial for those on a tight budget, and there are UAE travel agencies that will assist with bringing out parents for visits for lower prices.
The travel agency is able to do this by essentially becoming the ‘sponsor’ for your parents for the purpose of a visa visit, preventing individuals from having to pay for the security deposit requested by the GDRFA’s Amer services.
The required deposit for individuals applying to get a visit visa via the GDRFA is as much as Dh1,020 for parents, siblings or children.
For other relations, such as grandparents, aunts, nephews, half-siblings, grandchildren, uncles and nieces, the fee rises to Dh2,020.
Individuals no longer have to pay this deposit when the travel agency sponsors your parents.
The travel agency will also complete all the required paperwork to bring parents to the UAE via a legitimate travel agency, meaning less paperwork for individuals.
Individuals will still have to provide a number of documents to arrange the visit, including:
- Copies of the first, final and visa pages of the passport belonging to the guarantor
- A copy of the first and final pages of the passport belonging to each visitor
- A copy of your personal Emirates ID
- A passport-sized photo of each visitor, taken in front of a white backdrop
If you are married to the visitor, this needs to be noted in your passport.
The passport of each visitor should be valid for at least another six months.
An extra cash deposit of as much as Dh5,500 may be necessary for some (non-family visa) visitors.
A 14-day tourist visa costs Dh292 for each person.
A single-entry visit visa lasting 30 days costs Dh305 per individual.
A single-entry visit visa lasting 90 days costs Dh749 for each person.
A multiple-entry tourist visa of 30 days duration costs Dh950, while one lasting 90 days costs Dh2150.
An express tourist visa lasting 30 days costs Dh450, while one lasting 90 days costs Dh950.
Visa applications can take between three and five working days for processing after the application has been accepted, and in some instances may take even longer.
The fee for the visa application is non-refundable, even in the event that the application is actually rejected.
If you do not want to go through a travel agency for any reason, you can still apply for a visit visa for family members on your own either online or via the GDRFA’s Amer services.
Anyone who is planning to visit the UAE should also remember to take out travel insurance.
Travel insurance is a way of safeguarding your finances against unexpected events that can take place while travelling, such as the theft of personal items and flights being delayed or cancelled.