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difference between entry permit and residence visa

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Dubai has a population of 2.5 million and is the hub of business activities in the Middle East. It welcomes one-third of the expatriate population in the UAE. A Dubai residence visa is issued to those individuals intending to stay for more than 180 days; whereas an entry permit is issued if an individual intends to reside for less than 180 days.

What is a residence visa?

A Dubai residence visa is a type of UAE visa which is issued to expatriates or other foreign nationals who wish to stay in Dubai for a longer period. It is issued with a valid passport and it can be obtained after the expiry of the visa stamped in your passport. A Dubai residence visa can be obtained for one year, two years, or three years. Dubai residency visa holders can stay in the nation for a maximum of 180 days per year. The Dubai residence visa is issued to expatriates who are working in Dubai and wish to continue living there. It has a one-year validity period and can be extended once.

Dubai residence visa holders are permitted to live and work in the UAE. The holder may also apply for a family reunification visa to bring his/her spouse, children, and parents over to live with him/her in the UAE.

What is an entry permit?

An entry permit is a visa issued to travelers who wish to enter the UAE for tourism, medical treatment, business, or trade purposes. The entrance permits are valid for 30 days after being issued. The holder of this visa can stay in the UAE for up to 30 days and may leave/return as many times as he/she wishes within this period.

How many types of residence visas are allowed in Dubai?

Dubai resident visa allows you to stay in the UAE for an extended amount of time.

There are two types of residence visas:

Residence visa: 

This visa allows you to stay in Dubai for a while and it can also be renewed. This visa is only valid for one year.

Furthermore, if your residence visa expires, you must leave the country within 30 days if you want to extend your visa. If you don't exit within 30 days, then you will be considered "overstaying" and may face deportation.

Residence permit: 

This type of visa is only issued to people who have obtained residency through investment or marriage. It has a five-year validity period and cannot be renewed or extended.


How many types of entry permits are allowed in Dubai?

In Dubai, entry permits are valid for one year and can be renewed for another year.

There are three types of Dubai entry permits:

Residence visa: 

This is the most common type of entry permit that allows you to stay in the UAE for more than 90 days. The visa holder is allowed to work, study and sponsor family members. A resident visa can be renewed every two years.

Visitor visa: 

This type of visa is issued to people who want to visit the UAE but do not want to stay long-term or live there permanently. It has a two-month maximum validity duration and cannot be extended.

Transit visa: 

This type of visa allows people who are passing through Dubai en route to another country, provided they have an onward ticket or proof that they will leave within 24 hours after arrival at Dubai airport.

What are the steps involved in getting a resident visa?

The Dubai residence visa is a permit that allows the holder to stay in the emirate for up to 2 years. It can be renewed for another year, subject to certain restrictions.

To apply for a Dubai residence visa, you need to submit a few important documents, such as;

  • Valid passport at least six months before the expiry date.
  • A valid employment contract or company registration certificate.
  • A completed application for a residence visa.
  • A copy of your permanent resident card.


What steps must be taken to get an entry permit?

The Dubai entry permit allows a visitor to enter the country for a limited time (usually 30 days) and is issued on arrival at the airport or seaport in Dubai.

To apply for an entry permit, you need to submit a few important documents, such as;

  • You must have a valid passport from your native country.
  • A passport with a validity term of at least six months.
  • A completed visa application form.
  • A marriage license.
  • Your sponsor's letter.
  • Two passport-sized photographs.
  • The Sponsor's contact information.
  • A duplicate of the sponsor's passport.

What is the difference between an entry permit and a residence visa in Dubai?

An entry permit is issued to a non-citizen who wants to enter Dubai or other emirates. The permit may allow him/her to stay in the country for a specific period, or it can be issued for a single entry only. A residence visa is issued to a non-citizen who wants to stay in Dubai long-term. This can be done through a work permit, family reunification, or investor visa.

Dubai Entry Permit:

Dubai Entry Permit is a temporary visa. It allows all individuals to enter Dubai for tourism purposes. 

The entry permit is valid for 30 days in Dubai.

Dubai residence visa:

The Dubai residence visa is issued to non-UAE nationals who wish to live and work in the UAE as residents. You can apply for this visa if you have an employer willing to sponsor your application or if you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay in Dubai.


The Dubai Entry Permit is usually issued for one month. There are no legal implications of it for tors who seek employment. The Dubai Entry permits are only available to individuals who are not citizens of any of the 6 GCC countries, i.e. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. 

However, if you are a citizen of a GCC country, you do not need an entry permit to visit the UAE and are eligible for a UAE residency visa. Entry permits are issued for a specific period and residents must exit and re-enter the UAE for their entry permit to remain valid. Dubai residence visas can be applied for by citizens or residents of any country and must be reapplied for when one's residency is due to expire or before entering the UAE again if the visa has expired. Residence visas cannot be extended beyond an expiry date that is entered when applying for the visa, but entry permits can be extended provided that the holder does not exit Dubai during this time.

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