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Dubai Tourist Visa for US Citizens & UAE Residency

Update - 19th July, 2024

The UAE has emerged as a global hub for innovation, business, and the standard in luxury living. Specifically Dubai, unfailingly, attracts tourists from around the globe. The first quarter of 2024 alone recorded approximately 5.18 million international tourists to Dubai.

As Dubai has fast become a highly traversed, popular destination, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made the process easier for almost all tourists to visit.

Due to bilateral agreements and relationships between the UAE and select countries, the type of visa you may obtain depends entirely on the passport you carry. For tourists especially from the US, Canada, the UK and select countries within Europe, Africa, and Asia, the process of traveling to Dubai and the UAE is a covetable standard for high tourism ranked countries to operate by.

Here we will explore and explain the enviable Dubai Tourist Visa for US Citizens.


Types of Dubai Tourist Visa for US Citizens

Dubai and the UAE offer two types of tourist visas. These are the prepaid visa and the on-arrival visa.

US passport holders are automatically granted an on-arrival visa that is free of charge and valid for one month’s stay in the UAE.

On-arrival Visa

The Dubai on-arrival visa granted to US citizens makes traveling to Dubai a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

Minutes within touchdown at either international airport in Dubai, a US passport holder will have obtained the on-arrival visa stamped on their passport, processed almost immediately via UAE Immigration and the UAE’s smart e-Government services.

The visa, valid for 30-days is updated onto the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and AMER247 systems which will allow Immigration to pull all prior visits by a particular traveler, which makes “going through immigration” a smooth and effortless process.

Not more than 30 minutes from touchdown in Dubai, a US passport holder will be on the freeway to downtown Dubai.

Prepaid 60-day tourist visa

US citizens wishing to stay in Dubai longer than a 30-day period may apply and obtain a prepaid 60-day tourist visa. As the name suggests, this type of visa is obtained prior to traveling to Dubai and the UAE.

Alternatively, US travelers who want more time than 30-days but less than 60-days, may request more time from Immigration at entry, or contact the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai to request an extension.

Residence Visa – Another Visa Option for US Citizens

A Dubai residence visa is your only option, if you wish to live and work in Dubai and the UAE. The residence visa allows a US citizen to legally live and work in the UAE for an extended length of time.

There are several types of UAE residence visas.

1. Blue Visa

Introduced and launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in early 2024, the year earmarked as the year of sustainability, the Blue visa is a long-term residency visa for a period of 10 years. The visa recognizes applicants who have made exceptional progress and contributions toward the environment, encompassing marine, land and air sustainability.

Individuals who feel that they meet the above criteria and who are planning on working on sustainability projects in the UAE should apply directly to the UAE’s Federal authority for Identity, Customs, Citizenship, and Port Security (ICP Smart Services).

Per the UAE Government this visa is renewable upon expiry.

2. Green Visa

If the US passport holder is a self-employed contractor, investor, or freelancer able to show a per annum income of at least US $100,000 or 360,000 AED over the last two years, and can show the ability to continue to do the same in the UAE, they may apply for the Green visa. The Green visa allows the holder to live and work in the UAE without requiring sponsorship by a UAE employer or national.

The applicant must have a specialized diploma or a Bachelor’s degree.

The visa is given for a period of 5 years.

Skilled professionals who may be classified in Occupational levels 1 – 3, i.e. legislators, scientists, physicians and managers, per the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, too, may apply for the Green visa. In order to be eligible for consideration, they would need to be on a valid employment contract in the US, possess a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and show a salary of at least AED 15,000, or approximately USD $4,100 per month.

Per the UAE Government, this visa is renewable upon expiry.

3. Golden Visa

The Golden visa is perhaps considered the more attractive resident visa option in the UAE. US passport holders who are investors, scientists, entrepreneurs, gifted and exceptional students/graduates, and humanitarian leaders specifically are eligible to apply for this visa. A few of the benefits of this visa are :

  • The ability to sponsor immediate family members.
  • A long period of residency of ten, or close to ten years.
  • Sponsorship by a UAE employer/national not required.

The Golden visa is a ten-year residency program.

If you wish to know more about the golden visa, please do contact Arabiers for more details.


Rates of Tourist Visas for US Citizens

The on-arrival, 30-day visa for US citizens is free.

As discussed above, if you are seeking to stay longer than 30-days, you have the option of obtaining the prepaid 60-day tourist visa.

The 60-day tourist visa may be single entry or multiple entry and the costs will differ accordingly :

  • 30 Days single entry dubai visa 60 Days
  • 30 Days single entry dubai visa Single Entry
689 AED
188 USD
  • 60 Days single entry dubai visa 60 Days
  • 60 Days single entry dubai visa Multiple Entry
1190 AED
324 USD

The Documents You Need to Have

For your on-arrival visa, you need only your passport and return ticket with you.

For the 60-day prepaid tourist visa you will require the following documents :

  • A scanned copy of the applicant’s passport valid for at least 6 more months
  • A color photo of yourself taken against a white background
  • A copy of the return ticket

The application process and the required documentation may seem complex. Remember, our team at Arabiers is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the visa process.


Prepaid Visa Process in Short

Step One – Send in Your Documents
The first step of this process is to get your documents ready. Make sure to send us clear copies and you can simply email them, or WhatsApp for your convenience.

Step Two – Time for the Payment
Once you send the documents, it is time for you to make the payments. Our customers mostly appreciate us for our convenient ways of handling the visa process. We provide you with the easiest and the simplest options for you to make payments.
The most secure and convenient option for our clients is to use the secured link we will be sending you. All you have to do is click on the link and make the payment by following the instructions.

Step Three – Applying for Your Visa
Once we have received your documents and the payment, we will apply for your visa.

Step Four – Receiving Your E-visa Online
You will receive your visa as an e-visa. As soon as your visa is approved, we will send your e-visa to you via your preferred mode of communication, WhatsApp or Email.
Please remember to check your inbox or your WhatsApp!


Renewal & Extension Options and Procedures

The UAE is a country that will definitely make you want to extend your stay. Knowing this, the UAE government has several options for you to renew or extend your stay in the UAE.

If you are a US citizen and traveling to Dubai for an on-arrival tourist visa, the following are several options for extending your stay in Dubai.

Extension of on-arrival visa for 20 days – approximately 990 AED

You are able to add another 30 days to your existing on-arrival visa in order to extend your stay. The Dubai government gives visitors a grace period of 10 days in case you miss the expiry date of your visa. You have to apply for an extension before the 10-day grace period expires. Altogether you have 30 days.

Airport to Airport Visa Change

Airport to airport visa change is another option you have to extend your stay in Dubai. All you have to do is exit the UAE and go to the nearest country such as Oman and apply for an extension. Your visa extension will be for 60-days.

Alternatively, Arabiers can process an express visa to Dubai for you.

90-day In-country Leisure Tourist Visa Without Exit

This option is for tourists who wish to extend their stay for longer than 60-days in Dubai and the UAE without exiting the UAE to obtain the extension.

  • Please contact Arabiers at least five days before your visa expires
  • Send us a copy of your passport, current visa or your on-arrival entry stamp and a passport-size photo
  • We will apply for the 90-day leisure visa. The approval process typically takes between 3 – 5 days
  • Once we obtain approval, and the visa change has been recorded on the UAE immigration’s website, Arabiers will send you the updated visa status
  • You can continue your stay in the Emirates with the updated visa

Sponsoring Family Members

What should I do if I am a US citizen living in Dubai, and I want to sponsor my family or one of my family members ?

Arabiers is here to help you with this question.

Family Members Outside Dubai

When planning to bring your family member to Dubai from another country other than the US, you must first obtain an entry permit before your family member travels to Dubai.

Once your family member enters Dubai, you may proceed with the sponsoring process, including stamping. This way, you can save on the standard price of AED 489 a traveler has to pay for a prepaid, single entry visa when visiting Dubai.

Family Members Inside Dubai

In the event where you want to convert an on-arrival visa of a family member to a resident visa, below is an outline of the process you need to follow. Luckily, you can do the conversion to a resident visa without exiting the country. However, you will have to pay an amount of 1140 AED to get an in-country entry permit and another 640 AED to update the status of the on-arrival visa to a resident visa.

Should you want to save 640 AED, you always have the option of an Oman visa run.

Am I eligible to sponsor my family ?

To be able to sponsor your family or a family member, it is necessary for you to be eligible for this process.

The following information answers this question for you.

  • Passport stamped with a resident visa
  • A valid Emirates ID
  • Your salary must be 4000 AED or more
  • Availability of an Ejari tenancy contract or a rental agreement in your name from any flat or residence

Contact Arabiers to get a better understanding about your eligibility, visa processes, and the latest updates from the UAE Immigration.


Document Attestation

The attestation of documents is a complicated process. However, you need not worry because Arabiers is your solution to simplify this process for you.

The UAE requires all applicants, regardless of nationality to provide their attested documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Certificate Attestation in the UAE.

Translation, notarization, authentication and legalization are the basic steps in this attestation process.

US Certificate Attestation Process

Let’s get to the attestation process in detail.

The attestation process depends on the type of certifications requiring attestation.

During this process several authorities will handle your certificates.

The following authorities will be handling your certificates in the attestation process :

  • Legal translation services in the UAE (if required)
  • Notary Public in the US
  • Secretary of State Certification from the US
  • Department of State Certification from the US
  • Embassy Attestation from the US
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs UAE

When Arabiers handles the attestation process for you, you have our assurance that we will handle your original documents with care ensuring that they are not damaged during the handling and attestation process.

Certificates Required for Attestation

What are the certificates I need to get attested if I want to get a resident visa in Dubai ?

You will require :

  • Personal certificates (Birth certificate, marriage certificate, medical certificate)
  • University degree certificates
  • Training certificates
  • Commercial certificates (Certificate of Incumbency, Certificate of Incorporation)
  • Certificates of specialization (Teaching license, medical license)

Be sure to present the original certificates along with a copy of your passport.



If you are visiting Dubai for a short stay, under 30- days, you can enter the country where you will automatically be granted an on-arrival visa.

If you want to stay in Dubai longer than 30 days, you will have to obtain a prepaid tourist visa valid for a 60-day stay. US Citizens who are already in Dubai and seeking to extend their stay should contact the GDRFA in Dubai to request an extension.

Yes, if you are visiting Dubai for 30 days or less, you will receive an on-arrival visa.
Yes, you can stay in Dubai for more than 30 days via a prepaid 60-day tourist visa prior to traveling or seeking an extension from the GDRFA in Dubai.
A US citizen only requires a passport valid for a minimum of 06 months and a return ticket to obtain the tourist on-arrival visa to Dubai.
It is not mandatory to have travel insurance but it is generally recommended to get travel insurance when traveling internationally.
Yes, you can apply for a work visa if you want to live