Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Life-In-Abu Dhabi Calculator - Chapter 1 Visa

I have been frequenting this forum where questions are posted about what needs to be done to go here in Abu Dhabi, or what is the average salary that could keep you comfortable living here or just how much everything here in UAE costs.  So I have decided to break down necessary parts of living the life of an Expat here in UAE with numbers.

So when traveling to foreign lands most of us would be required a visa.  For a Philippine Passport holder like me, we need it.  There are a few number of visas you could choose from depends on the type of stay you will be doing here.

Visit Visa - This is usually issued by a sponsor to be applied at Abu Dhabi Naturalization & Residence Directorate (ADNRD) at Al Saada Road.  Typing offices are located at the left side outside the office of ADNRD.  This is where you will submit the following documents:
                                                   -  photocopy of the sponsor's passport
                                                   -  photocopy of the visitor's passport
                                                   -  1 pc 2x2 picture
                                                   -  visit visa application form
                                                   -  employment contract
                                                   -  tenancy contract
When we applied for my parent's visit visa, we paid AED 200 per parent and a deposit of AED 1000 per parent.  This deposit will be refunded once the visitor leaves the country.  The visa will be couriered after 3 days to the sponsor.  Please take note that visit visa is only applicable for parents, wife/husband and children.

Tourist Visa - This visa can be obtained from many outlet.  Some airlines like Etihad Airways issue tourist visas to those who will be flying with them.  Also, hotels where you will be staying at can also issue tourist visa for you.  The most common, at least from what I know, is through a travel agent.  I also got my brother's tourist visa through the travel agent since siblings are not allowed to be sponsored.  Visa fees depend on the length of stay of the visitor here in the UAE.  The cheapest visa is the 14-day visa.  If you are really just going to visit a relative here in the UAE the 14-day tourist visa is what you need.  I have already bought two (2) tourist visa from two different travel agents.  The first travel agent charged me AED 550.00 for the processing plus another AED 100 for the printing.  The second travel agent  charged me a total of AED 500.  So I went with the cheaper one.  Of course!  The processing usually takes a week or so.  Then you can get the copy from the travel agent and send it to the person who will be visiting you. 

Another tourist visa usually requested by my kabayans is the 30-day visa or the 60 day visa.  The same process is being followed but the fee could go as high as AED 750 and above.  Documents required for tourist visa are the following:
                                                 -  passport copy of the sponsor
                                                 -  passport copy of the visitor
                                                 -  1 pc 2x2 picture of the visitor

If you are from the GCC countries, you don't need a visa to get into UAE.  There are also some lucky countries that are given a free of charge visa upon arrival.  If you want to know more or if your country is one of the lucky ones, click here.

While waiting for the release of the visa, you should apply for Affidavit of Support and an OEC from the Philippine Embassy.  These documents will be asked from the visitor once they pass through the Immigration Officer in the Philippines.

Entry Visa - I have used to this visa twice since I came here in Abu Dhabi.  First was way back in 2010 when there was not much required documents needed to apply for it.  Over the course of 3 years, it has changed and more and more documents are needed.  It will be more difficult to bring in a family member because of most of the accommodations do not provide the documents you need to apply for visa.  Like in our case, our rental contract doesn't have a Tawtheeq permit.  This permit is also needed when applying for this kind of visa.  The same procedure will be done as with the visit visa, you submit documents at the typong center beside the ADNRD Office. Here are the requirements for applying entry visa:
                                                      -  passport copy of the sponsor
                                                      -  passport copy of the wife/husband
                                                      -  1 pc passport size photo
                                                      -  sponsor's salary certificate
                                                      -  emirates id of the sponsor
                                                      -  employment contract
                                                      -  house rental contract with Tawtheeq permit

You would also be needing electric and water bill, depends on the officer evaluating your documents.  Sometimes, they will look for a copy and sometimes if you are lucky they could just waive it.  By the way, this entry visa will only be used upon entry to UAE a permanent residence visa shall be stamped into the passport of the wife/husband after a medical exam.  The cost for the entry visa is AED 250 which will take 3-5 days.  However, if you want it immediately you will need to pay additional AED 100.00.  Also, please take note that there is a minimum salary requirement for this type of visa.  For details please click here.

I hope I covered the necessary information or issue when applying for visas here in UAE.  Note:  This is only applicable to Philippine Passport holders.

Travel Agents:

Paradise Holidays LLC
Tel. No. +971 02 6666943+971 02 6666943
Look for Ms. Rachel

Al Maha Travel & Tourism
Tel. No. +971 02 6770222+971 02 6770222
Look for Ms. Mary

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