IMPORTANT: I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to visit Pinay Traveller and read this post. But all the facts/information I know or am aware of regarding this topic are already here. Please READ and UNDERSTAND what I’ve written. I will NOT answer questions whose answers can already be found on this page. You can also go through the comments thread to see if your questions have already been asked and/or answered. Please take note that this was posted two years ago so things may be different now. It’s always best to consult a reputable travel agent or the UAE consulate itself. Thank you! 🙂
I just came from a very hectic work-related travel to Israel and Jordan. It was quite grueling as it required my team and I to work for at least 10 hours a day for more than a week. I will tell you about it over the next few days. But for now, I will talk about how I stayed behind in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to spend time with my sister who lives in Sharjah.
First, the Visa.
Applying for a Dubai visa seemed easy enough. Since I was entering the UAE through Dubai, I had to get a (Dubai) Visa. Ony nationals from the following countries are given visas on arrival: citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, British citizens, and those from Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Vatican, Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, as well as those from the United States of America and Canada. All the rest need a visa prior to their arrival, including citizens of the Philippines.
There are two types of visas: the VISIT VISA and the TRANSIT VISA. Visit visa is valid for two months, with option to renew for another month. But since I was just going to be in Dubai and Sherjah for 4 days and 3 nights, I only needed a transit visa which expires in 96-hours.
Initially, the travel agency asked me to submit the following:
- Completed visa application form
- Scanned copy of passport
- One passport-sized photo (at the back write the full name and affix with signature)
- Visa Fee
- Copy of hotel confirmation (voucher) during stay. If staying with relatives or friends in UAE , information where you will be staying for the whole duration of your visit in UAE indicating his/her complete name, address, contact numbers, his/her name of employer, office address and office phone numbers
Pretty simple, right? Naaah… After a couple of weeks, I was asked to submit the following additional requirements:
- Original Bank Certificate with history of transactions for past 6 months
- Scanned copy of Marriage Certificate
- Copy of International credit cards
- Original Certificate of Employment stating current position, salary, years of service and duration of approval leave
- Copy of ITR (Income Tax Return)
Apparently, this is now required for ALL nationals entering the UAE (those who need a visa prior to entering UAE, that is).
Processing the visa here costs US$77, cheaper than if it is processed in the UAE. Don’t ask me why. 🙂 Visa processing is up to 10 working days. Good thing I got mine just a few days before my trip.
Coming to Dubai from Israel.
Now for the sad part: Israelis and travellers whose Passports bear Israeli stamps will be denied a visa. So if you have plans to enter Dubai from Israel, make sure to tell the immigration officer in Israel NOT TO stamp your passport. Don’t worry, he/she will give you a piece of paper on which he will put the stamp that will bear your points of entry and exit.
When asked at the passport control in Dubai where you came from (last point of exit), don’t mention Israel. This will make things easier for you. Also, put everything that you’ve purchased in Israel (especially crosses, rosaries and other religious items from the Holy Land) inside your checked-in baggage. DO NOT hand-carry these items to avoid trouble at the customs. I kid you not. The mother of an office mate was almost asked to go back to Israel after religious souvenirs she bought from Israel were found in her carry-on bag. She was eventually allowed to pass through, but not after going through hours of interrogation.
Good to note.
Hotels and airlines can also process your visa for you. Just ask the guest relations officer.