Travelling to Dubai? New Online Pre-Approval Simplifies Visa-On-Arrival Process

Planning a trip to Dubai from India? Streamline your entry process with the new online visa application system for Indian travelers holding a US green card or residence visa in the UK/EU.

Indian citizens holding an ordinary passport along with a US green card or residence visa from the UK or European Union must now apply online for a pre-approved visa-on-arrival to enter the UAE.

This new regulation, announced by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, allows a stay of 14 days, extendable for an additional 14 days one time.

What You Need to Know

Previously, eligible Indian travellers could obtain a visa on arrival directly at UAE airports. However, a new system requires applying online first through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) website:

Online Application Process

Eligible travellers, who previously received their visa-on-arrival at UAE airports, must now complete an online application before their trip. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Visit the GDRFA Website: Access the online application portal at GDRFA Smart Services.
  2. Register and Apply: Enter personal details, upload the required documents, and pay the fee of AED 253.
  3. Await Approval: The visa will be processed and sent to the applicant’s email within 48 hours.

Once approved, the visa will be sent to your registered email.

Must Read: Travelling to UAE? Check if Your Passport is Eligible for Visa on Arrival

Required Documents

Applicants must ensure they have the following documents ready:

  • A valid passport or travel document with at least six months’ validity.
  • A permanent residence card (green card) issued by the USA, or a residence visa issued by the UK or EU countries, valid for at least six months.
  • A personal photo with a white background.

Terms and Conditions

The GDRFA has outlined several conditions for the short-term visit visa:

  1. No existing restrictions preventing entry into the UAE.
  2. Passport or travel document validity of no less than six months.
  3. Valid visa or green card from the USA, or a residence visa from the UK or EU countries, all with a minimum six-month validity.

Alternative Option Through Emirates Airlines

Emirates Airlines offers a separate pre-approved visa-on-arrival program for some Indian passport holders who book their flights with the airline. This is a 14-day single-entry visa and allows Emirates customers to skip queues upon arrival in Dubai. The application for this program is handled by the Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC).

Emirates emphasized that visa issuance remains at the discretion of the GDRFA, despite the streamlined application process through their service.

Final Note

Remember, the ultimate authority to issue visas rests with the GDRFA. While these programs offer a convenient way to enter Dubai, final approval remains at their discretion.

Travelling to Dubai from India just got easier! With the new online pre-approval system and alternative options like Emirates Airlines’ program, Indian travellers with US/EU residency can now plan their Dubai adventures with greater ease.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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