If you are travelling internationally to or from India or any other countries, it is obvious to have a flight layover in UAE, especially in DXB and the passengers are supposed to have a Dubai Transit Visa. Being one of the busiest airports in the world, Dubai International Airport serves as the hub where most people catch their connecting flights to other destinations.
Here comes the question. Do I really need a transit visa? Yes, because of these connecting flights if you are staying in the country for more than 8 hours as part of airport transit, you must require a transit visa.
There are of two types: 48 hour and 96 hour. The passengers must apply for them in advance of their journey via the UAE-based airlines like Emirates Airlines. Both have different fee structure. The 48-hour is free of charges while for the 96-hour the price has increased and costs around AED50.
So the international tourist spot, UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other emirates maintains as the home for many travellers around the world and having a transit permit is necessary for the flight layover. Commonly, known as the Dubai transit visa, they are officially called the UAE Transit Visa and are valid throughout the UAE.
Types of Transit visa
This is also an e-visa available mainly of two types including 48-hours and 96 hours. Both are single-entry visas which cannot be extended or renewed. It is necessary if the passengers are staying in the country for more than 8 hours and are planning to leave the airport.
This must be applied, processed and approved before arriving UAE. From the moment the passenger enter the airport, these visas are active for their respective time period. The passengers must leave the country after the allotted time.
The two types are the following:
- Dubai 48-hour transit visa
The 48-hour is available through the UAE-based airlines. This is free of cost and is necessary for all the passengers who are transiting via the UAE airports. The eligible candidates can only stay for 48-hours from the date of arrival. It cannot be extended or renewed. If you have a 48-hour, it cannot be further extended to 96-hours. All the eligible passengers need to apply for the transit prior to their travel.
- Dubai 96-hour transit visa
The 96-hour is issued for a fee of AED 50 and is necessary for all the passengers who are staying in UAE airports as part of transit. To get it, the candidates must apply in advance with the help of any UAE-based airlines. The passengers are supposed to stay only for 96-hours once they entered the airport. If they stay for longer, there will be fines or legal problems.
Documents required for UAE transit visa
To apply, the candidates must upload some essential documents as well as carry certain documents to the airport. This includes:
- Valid Passport ( 3-months validity for 48-hours and 6-months validity for 96-hours)
- Scanned colour copy of the first and last page of the original passport
- Passport-size photo with a white background
- Proof of hotel reservation if you are staying for 24 hours or more
- An onward flight ticket to the next destination
- Third country visa copy
How to apply for a Dubai transit visa?
This will not be issued by the UAE embassy to the ordinary passport holders. Usually it is obtained only through your respective UAE-based airlines. Other than that, you can contact certain authentic travel agencies so that they could assist you in the process.
It is necessary that you must book them before your travel. Apart from other types of visas, you cannot apply for this on your own.
To start the procedure, the applicant needs to select the type of visa required. Later they need to fill in the application available either at the respective airlines or travel agencies. Then they must submit or upload all the mentioned documents as per the authority on the respective online portals. After that there is a payment need to be done. You can then submit the application.
Once the application is submitted, you will receive the e-visa on your registered email id which needs to be printed. If needed, you are supposed to send this to the flight operator who is booking your flight.
For example, if you are travelling through Emirates airlines, all you need is to submit all the required documents and application to the airlines. They will later process the application form and issue the relevant document.
Dubai offers an opportunity to the visitors to stay in the country for 90 days continuously with the latest 5-year Multiple Entry tourist visa. The eligible candidates can now apply through the GDRFA portal and enjoy the facilities of the UAE.
How to get Dubai Transit Visa through Travel agencies?
For the convenience of people, this permit can be booked via authentic and approved travel agencies. Not everyone will be able to connect with the UAE-based airlines. So they can submit their application through the travel agencies. There are many agencies that help in issuing the visa. Some of them include Disha Global Tours, Musafir, Akbar travels, VFS Global, Kundu travels and etc.
To get them, you need to fill in the application form and submit the scanned copies of all the relevant documents via the agency. After that, there is a payment included for the service. Once you complete the procedure, the travel agency will assist in the issuance.
While booking through agencies, people are supposed to provide additional documents such as return ticket, pan card (India), birth certificate (if minor) and etc. for the authenticity of the procedure. Similarly, the processing fees will be different (increase) compared to that of the airlines. Both the 48 and 96 hours have charges.
How to check Dubai Transit visa application status?
It is possible to check the status of your application using the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) website. Following are the steps:
- Visit GDRFA website
- Enter your visa application number
- Enter the transaction number/reference number.
- Enter the Payment date
- Tick on “I’m not robot” box
- Click on Submit
On the screen the status of the application form is displayed. While submitting the application, make sure to get the application number and reference number so that you can track the application status.
Similarly using the GDRFA website, any eligible candidates can now apply for UAE Golden Visa and can enjoy the benefits of the country.
Cost of Transit Visa
The cost of 48-hour and 96-hour has been changed recently. The 48-hour is free of cost as earlier. Meanwhile, for 96 hours, the amount has been increased to AED50. There are no refunds.
However, there are no other additional fees charged by any authority be it federal, local or private. A departure fee of AED30 is imposed on all passengers. All these fees have to be paid through credit cards only.
If you are applying through travel agencies, there is an increase in the amount of fees. Here both the 48-hour and 96-hour transit permit has charges. Each passenger who is transiting is charged with this amount through the UAE airports.
Dubai Transit Visa Validity
The Validity is for 12 days from the date of issuance. The duration of stay of each depends on the type of visa.
In the case of 48-hour, the validity is for 12 days and the passenger can only stay in the country for exactly 48 hours on the arrival. At the same time for 96-hour, you can stay in the country for 96 hours after the landing and the validity is same as 48-hour, i.e. 12 days.
The passengers are not allowed to stay once the transit visa is expired. Because both the 48-hours and 96-hours cannot be renewed or extended further. Therefore staying even after the expiry can result in imposing huge fines or criminal offense or even in deportation.
Apart from Dubai transit visa, there is a 30-day visa extension for tourist or visit visa holders in UAE through the GDRFA and ICP portals.
UAE transit visa processing time
Usually, it takes around 3-5 working days for the issuance. But it may vary depending on the country, airline, the application method and many other factors.
Who are exempted from UAE transit visa?
People who are from any of the GCC countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia do not need any permits if they want to enter Dubai or any other emirates in UAE. They do not require any type of permits or sponsors to enter in the UAE.
Similarly countries which are eligible for a UAE Visa on Arrival (VoA) like USA, Australia, Canada and etc. are also exempted.
There are many nationalities that are eligible for a visa-free entry to the UAE including China, Belgium, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway and Switzerland and so on.
In the case of an Indian passport holder who has a USA visit visa or U S green card or UK resident or EU resident are also free from this. People from Mexico can enter the UAE freely for up to 180 days.
Meanwhile there are few countries who are not allowed to apply. The citizens of the following countries: Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Niger, and Yemen cannot apply.
What to do after you arrive at airport for Transit?
Once you land in Dubai, the first thing to do is to go through the immigration procedure. Later you need to show your transit visa, passport copies and the flight ticket of your next destination. Then you can head to the next gate where you can either wait or go for sightseeing. But make sure to arrive on time of your flight.
Airlines for booking Transit Visa
The passengers who are transiting in UAE need to apply mainly through the UAE-based airlines to get this permit. The airlines will arranges and issue them. Please note that this type of permit is only required if your flight for the next destination (layover) is more than 8 hours and you are planning to leave the airport. The following airlines are used for the booking:
- Air Arabia
- Emirates Airline
- Etihad Airline
- Fly Dubai
How to transit in Dubai International Airport?
The DXB is one of the most prominent hubs where a lot of connection-flights are available to different destinations. There are 3 terminals that help in a smooth transit. Passengers who are with Emirates flights, be it arrival or departure can do all their procedures from the Terminal 3.
Meanwhile those who are travelling with different airlines can complete all their procedures from terminal 1 & 2 as per the circumstances. Different airlines mean if you are making the connection between two different flights at the DXB.
The passengers also get to experience a number of services during the layover. They can refresh and relax. At the terminal 3 of DXB, there is Dubai International Hotel offering accommodation, food and other necessities to the passengers. There is Sleep ’n Fly lounges and Dubai Connect made for the easiness of the passengers who are staying in Dubai.
How to get Abu Dhabi Transit Visa?
Passengers who are transiting through Abu Dhabi’s airports for more than 8 hours and are intending to leave the airport, then they must have a transit visa. There is 48-hour and 96-hour transit available and people must apply for them in advance through the airlines located in Abu Dhabi or any UAE-based airlines. They are also non-extendable. The application procedure and documents are also same as the Dubai transit permit.
UAE or Dubai transit visa is necessary for anyone who is staying at DXB for more than 8 hours. Passengers can apply for 48 and 96 hours and it must be applied prior to the journey. Mostly, these are applied and processed through the UAE-based airlines.
With a list of required documents, the eligible applicant can apply. Once you applied, it is necessary to contact the airline who will further process the application. With this, you can explore different cities or meet friends and family. Keep in mind that during this permit, the passengers are not allowed to work but you can attend meeting or conferences. So in a way Dubai transit visa is helpful.