There are several countries present alongside the Arabian Gulf, but the most dominant power of the Arabic world is UAE. It has grown rapidly and overtook almost every other neighboring gulf country. The progress made by this country in the last decade or so has been phenomenal. The land of sand is now famous as the “City of Gold” and has one of the strongest and richest economies globally. In the last few years, UAE has also emerged as the biggest education hub of the world for international students.
UAE oversees tons of tourists from all over the world, and now the country is witnessing thousands of students from every nook and corner of the globe. It has become a dream destination for ambitious students to pursue their academic dreams. The top-notch education facilities, rich cultural heritage, unbelievable academic standards, and hospitable environment makes Emirati universities the best educational institutes in the world. You can also pick this amazing country as your next destination for higher studies to enjoy a thriving future.
It takes a UAE student visa for international students to enter the country and start their academic journey as Emirati students. This is the most comprehensive guide that you will find online. We will discuss everything from the requirements to the application process for acquiring a UAE student visa in 2023.
Study Abroad In UAE: Complete Requirements For Student Visa Application
Why Should You Study In UAE? Let’s Answer This Question!
It is a very difficult decision for every student to leave their own home country and go abroad to study. You would want to pick the right place as it is one of the most vital decisions of your life. There are tons of reasons why you should pick UAE as your second home for the sake of your academics.
The diverse mosaic of multiple emirates is ready to offer you an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. Almost every university is accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. UAE is investing billions of Dirhams to boost R&D and innovation in the country.
A wide range of courses are available for international students in Arabic and English languages, and education standards are not less than what you get in other developed countries like USA and UK. It is also the biggest tourist spot, so you cannot expect any dull moments during your stay in UAE.
Start Your Academic Journey In UAE By Acquiring A Student Residence Visa
Thousands of students fly into UAE to join the prestigious Emirati universities. If you are from a country that comes under the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), then you can study in UAE without any visa. However, students who are not from GCC would need a student residence visa to commence their academic life in UAE.
There are three types of Dubai study visas that students can get:
- Study Visa With Sponsorship Of Family
If your parents are UAE residents, then you can get their sponsorship to apply for a UAE student visa.
- Study Visa With Sponsorship Of An Accredited University
You can also apply for a UAE student visa under the sponsorship of your accredited Emirati education institute.
- Study Visa For A Short Stay
There is also a short-term study visa for students who are interested in a program of a few months.
Your complete visa application process will be facilitated by the student affairs office of your university. The only limitation is that it has to be an accredited higher education institute. So it means that getting enrolled in a recognized university is mandatory for every student who is willing to apply for a UAE student visa.
You will be granted a student visa that will remain valid for a year. It is important to renew the visa before its expiry date. You just have to ask your university for a letter of continuation of study to present as authentic proof. It will be enough for visa renewal.
Learn How To Apply For A UAE Study Visa As An Internation Student
- Spend some quality time on research and explore all the options. Firstly, you have to decide the course you want and the emirate that you are interested to live in. After that, you have to determine the university where you will apply.
- The university might take an entrance exam, so you have to be prepared for it. Also, there are some prerequisites like IELTS or TOEFL that you will need to clear. It depends on the list of requirements of your selected institute.
- Once you are fully prepared, you can apply to your desired university. Receiving an acceptance letter would mean that you now have to pay the required fees to complete your enrollment.
- Now it is time to shift your attention toward applying for a Dubai study visa.
Your university will approach the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to make all the arrangements for your visa. Keep one thing in mind the GDRFA only accepts visa requests from accredited universities.
Another thing that you should know is that the visa will not be issued if you are not physically present in UAE. Students have to acquire an entry permit to land in UAE.
The Sources To Obtain A UAE Entry Permit:
- You have to visit the online portal of the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and register yourself. They also have mobile applications for Android and Apple users, which can be used to apply for an entry permit.
- The original GDRFA website and its alternate source Amer.ae, can be used to request the UAE entry permit. You can also find the GDRFA Dubai app and use it to complete your process.
The Final Steps That Conclude Your Application For The Student Visa
Once you have received the entry permit now, you can freely arrive in UAE and complete your visa application process. The university will be responsible to monitor the complete procedure for the student residence visa. The visa application will be submitted by the student affairs department of your university to the relevant GDRFA office based on the emirate where you will settle in.
When the GDRFA approves your application, the residence visa will be stamped on your passport, and you will be good to go with your academic life in UAE. You will end up with an Emirates ID which will remain valid for the duration same as your visa. You have to complete this whole process carefully in coordination with your university or other sponsor, as getting admission is not enough to ensure that you will get the visa.
A Checklist That Contains Complete UAE Visa Requirements For International Students
The first and most important thing for international students is to get their hands on the official admission letter. Existing students with previous academic history will need a continuation of study certificate.
The emigrants have to pass a medical fitness test and present a certificate that proves them medically fit. This test is conducted to check whether the applicant has any infectious or contagious disease or not.
Students should get approval from the GDRFA as without a permit you won’t get the Emirati visa. Following is a detailed student visa checklist that contains all the documents and other requirements that you will need to apply for UAE student visa:
- You should have a passport that will remain valid for at least the next six months. For visa endorsement and entry stamps, your passport should have two blank pages.
- Keep multiple copies of your passport and at least a dozen of passport-size photographs. You might not need a dozen pictures, but it is better to keep some extra with you for the safer side.
- The acceptance letter from the university in UAE that confirmed your admission.
- Get some copies of the receipt for your tuition fee that you have already paid for the starting semester of your course or degree program.
- You will need a strong bank statement of financial solvency proof to show the embassy that you can manage all the expenses of accommodation, traveling, and academics.
- If you have asked your university for accommodation, a tenancy agreement or an official letter from the university will be required.
- Your undergraduate degree should be attested and verified if you are going to pursue a post-graduate degree.
- Visit any legit UAE medical center for a check-up of TB, HIV, Hepatitis B, and C, and clear all these medical examinations if your age is over 18.
These are the basic necessities that you will need throughout the process. However, the documentation requirements may vary from university to university or from emirate to emirate. You can contact the student affairs depart of your university to get the authentic checklist of the complete and updated UAE student visa requirements. The checklist might also be available on the university website.
A Sponsored Student Visa Is Required To Study In UAE
If you are visiting UAE as a tourist, then there is no need for a sponsor. However, international emigrants looking for a UAE student visa will have to be accompanied by a sponsor. Your university can be your sponsor. If you have your parents or any other close relatives residing in UAE, they can also sponsor your study visa.
You have to pick a full-time program if you want visa sponsorship from your university. For programs under 12 months, the university will only assist you with a short-term visit visa that remains valid for around 30 to 90 days.
The Expected Duration Of Your Visa Application Process
When you have completed the whole process and submitted all the official papers, the processing time after that would be 2-5 weeks for UAE student visa. The duration is 1-3 weeks if you apply for an express visa. Any errors in your documentation or missing paper can cause a delay in the processing time.
Internation Students Can Work Work In UAE While Studying
UAE allows emigrants on a student visa to work for a limited duration of max four hours. However, you would still need a work permit for these part-time jobs. This is a recent decision of the UAE government, as in the past international students were not allowed to work at all.
Are You Eligible For The Long-Term Residence Visa? See It For Yourself!
You have to renew your student visa every year until your degree program is completed. But once you are done with your degree, then visa renewal will be quite difficult for you. If you are a diligent student, then you can reap the benefits of your hard work by acquiring a long-term residence visa. It was launched in 2018 by the UAE government for those students who have outstanding academic scores. The validity of this special visa is around five years, and students have to meet certain academic requirements to become eligible for it.
- College students can get a long-term visa if their grades are equal to or above 95%.
- University students who have scored more than a 3.75 GPA, whether from a local university or any other institute, can get this visa pretty easily.
It Is Time To Sum Up This Guide For UAE Student Visa Application
In 2023, when we make a list of the top places for international students to pursue their academic dreams, the list will not be completed without UAE. Thousands of students proudly call this country their second home as it offers so many perks to make your life easier and better. This article was all about clearing the doubts in your mind so you can go ahead with the UAE student visa application with complete preparation and confidence.