How to apply for a UAE visa online? Brief guideline

The United Arab Emirates continues to open itself up to the world, not least through the constant improvement of its immigration services. One of the ways they do that is through electronic visa applications. There are several ways to get an Emirati/Dubai visa online, and we'll cover each of them in detail in our instructions.

UAE visa online

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Who is eligible to apply for a UAE visa online?

Citizens of some countries need no pre-arranged (applied for before arrival) visa to visit the UAE, but some need them ready before their flight.

For those who need to apply for a pre-arranged visa, you may apply for them online, such as through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security (ICP), the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), Dubai Now, or in the case of tourist visas, through UAE-based airlines such as the Emirates and Etihad, or authorized hotels.

Applications for a UAE resident visa are also processed electronically.

How to get a UAE visa at ICP?

The biggest "one-stop shop" for immigration and travel matters is the ICP, and it’s no surprise they handle visa applications as well.

To apply through ICP:

  1. Visit their official website;
  2. Open the "E-Channel services" tab, then "Public services";
  3. Choose the type of visa you need;
  4. Fill out the application form and submit documents as required;
  5. Submit and pay.

How to apply for a UAE visa at GDRFA?

If you’re going to Dubai and need a tourist, residence, or employment visa, then GDRFA is also an option where you can apply. To apply through this platform:

  1. Visit the GDRFA website;
  2. Open the "Services" tab;
  3. Choose New Visa Services, Entry Permits, or Residency Services based on the type of visa you need;
  4. Fill out the application and upload the required documents;
  5. Submit and pay.

How to get a UAE visa via airline? Airlines providing UAE visa services

For certain types of visas, such as transit visas or tourist visas, some UAE-based airlines provide visa application services. According to the official government website, these airlines are:

Each airline has its own procedures for visa applications, so contact the customer service or sales division (as applicable) of the airline you will fly with to apply for a visa through them.

Digital UAE visa photo requirements

To apply for a UAE visa online, you will need to submit a digital photo that fulfills the following requirements:

Here is an example:

UAE visa photo

Get a UAE visa photo online!

The Emirati government has made bureaucratic processes more streamlined and efficient, making applications for UAE visas easier. However, there’s a way to make the process more of a breeze, especially regarding the application photos. You can trust this task to the professionals.

Visafoto can adjust your photo to fulfill all the UAE visa photo application photo requirements. Simply take a picture of yourself with any background but good lighting by following all posing and dress code guidelines. Then, upload it to our tool below.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Upload photo & Continue


Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here, and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.

Оriginal photo

You will get a digital photo like this one:

Example photo for UAE visa online application

Documents required for UAE visa application

Here are the documents you need to apply for a UAE visa:

The complete list of documents depends on your country of origin, the type of visa requested and the application method.

UAE tourist visa fees

The fees depend on the visa type:

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