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UK Visitor Visa from Dubai

To enter the United Kingdom from Dubai, travellers will need either a UK visit visa or an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). Whether you are coming for tourism, business or medical treatment, you will require one of these travel documents.

For more information about the UK Visa application process, contact Total Law on 0333 305 9375 or via our online contact form..

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    Visiting the United Kingdom from Dubai

    As a visitor from the United Arab Emirates, you must have either a UK Visitor Visa or an ETA, previously the Electronic Visa Waiver.

    As a national of the UAE, you are eligible for an ETA, which permits multiple entries but each stay must not exceed six months. A Standard Visitor Visa is typically valid for six months, but some categories, such as for medical treatment or visiting academics, have a maximum stay of 11-12 months. If you want to make multiple trips, you can also apply for the long-term Standard Visitor Visa which can last for two, five or ten years and is valid for six months per trip.

    You must apply for a visa before you travel to the UK and attend an appointment at a visa application centre. The exact visa that you apply for will depend on the reason for your travel. You must meet the eligibility requirements for the visa you are applying for.

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    Types of UK Visa for Visitors

    There are several categories of UK visas for visitors, including tourism, business, study, medical treatment, paid engagement or as a visiting academic. Therefore, the visa type you need will depend on the reason for your visit, and you will need to satisfy the eligibility criteria for that particular visa.

    Standard Visitor Visa

    A Standard Visitor Visa is also known as a UK Tourist Visa, as it can be used for visiting the UK for tourism purposes and to visit family and friends.

    The UK Standard Visitor Visa is valid for six to twelve months, depending on the category, and allows holders to:

    • come to the UK as a tourist
    • visit family or friends
    • enter for medical reasons
    • volunteer with a registered charity for 30 days
    • transit through the UK to another country
    • attend business meetings or interviews
    • in certain circumstances enter the UK for a paid engagement or event
    • participate in a school exchange programme
    • take part in a recreational programme for up to 30 days
    • study, take an exam or do a placement
    • enter as a senior doctor, dentist or academic

    You are not allowed to do the following with a Standard Visitor Visa:

    • Paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person unless you have a visa for a permitted paid engagement
    • Live in the UK for extended periods through successive visits
    • Claim UK benefits

    Even if you do not need a visa to enter the UK, you may still need to meet the eligibility requirements for a Standard Visitor Visa.

    Being issued a visa is not a guarantee of entry, and border officials have the final say. They must be satisfied that you are a genuine visitor and that the reason for your visit is valid.

    Eligibility Criteria for Visitor Route Visa

    To be eligible for a Standard Visitor Visa, you must demonstrate the following:

    • You will leave the UK at the end of your trip
    • You can support yourself financially for the duration of your stay
    • You have the means to pay for your return ticket
    • You will not make the UK your main home or live there for extended periods through frequent visits

    If you are coming to the UK as an academic, to study, for a permitted paid engagement, or for medical reasons, you must meet extra eligibility requirements.

    Documents Required for UK Visitor Visa Application

    The following supporting documents are required for all Standard Visitor Visa applications:

    • Current passport or valid travel document
    • Completed and signed visa application
    • Details of your accommodation in the UK
    • Bank statements confirming you can support yourself during your stay
    • Your stay details, including arrival and departure dates
    • An invitation letter from family, friends or a UK business

    Some additional documents may be required for applications for medical treatment visits or visiting academics. If you are coming to the UK for more than six months, a Tuberculosis test certificate may be needed, and you will need to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

    There are no language proficiency requirements for a Standard Visitor Visa application. However, you must provide certified translations if the required documents are not in English or Welsh.

    Electronic Travel Authorisation

    The Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme allows UAE nationals to travel to the UK without a visa. It is a digital travel document that is valid for two years, and you can apply online or via the UK ETA app on your smartphone.

    Unlike the former Electronic Visa Waiver, you will not be asked for your stay details, such as departure and arrival dates.

    Requirements for an ETA application include:

    • The passport that you will be travelling to the UK with
    • Uploaded photo
    • Credit or debit card

    You don’t need to apply for an ETA if you have permission to live, work or study in the UK, if you already have a visa or if you hold an Irish or British passport.

    Visitor Visa Application Process

    Before beginning your application, check that what you want to do in the UK is permitted with a Standard Visitor Visa. If your intended activity is allowed and you meet the eligibility criteria, you can proceed with your application.

    When applying for a UK Visitor Visa you must:

    • Complete the online application form
    • Book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre
    • Attend your appointment and have your biometric information taken

    There are two Visa Application Centres in the United Arab Emirates, one in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. Your biometric information, including photographs and fingerprints, will be taken during your appointment.

    The earliest that you can apply for your Visitor Visa is three months before you travel. Priority visa services are available if you urgently need to visit the UK.

    If you are concerned about the visa application process, contact Total Law today on 0333 305 9375 or get in touch online. Our immigration lawyers can guide you through the application form, advise on the supporting documents required and answer any questions you may have.

    UK Visitor Visa Fees

    The fee for the Visitor Visas are:

    • Standard Visitor Visa £115
    • Standard Visitor Visa for medical reasons £200
    • Standard Visitor Visa for academics £200
    • Two-year Long Term Standard Visitor Visa £400
    • Five-year Long Term Standard Visitor Visa £771
    • Ten-year Long Term Standard Visitor Visa £963

    You do not need to pay the Health Surcharge if you enter the UK with a Visitor Visa.

    The fee for the Electronic Travel Authorisation is £10, payable at the time of your application.

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      UK Visitor Visa Process Timing & Tracking

      The processing time for a Standard Visitor Visa is approximately three weeks, but this can vary if you do not complete the application correctly or provide the right documents.

      It takes approximately three days to process an ETA as the entire process is digital.

      How Can Our lawyers at Total Law Help You?

      The immigration experts at Total Law are familiar with all aspects of the UK Visitor Visa and can help you through the different stages of your application. Whether you need help deciding which visa category is correct for your situation or are wondering if the ETA is the best route, we can point you in the right direction.

      We are here to help you at every step to ensure the right outcome for your visa application. Call us on 0333 305 9375 or use our online contact form.

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                Related pages for your continued reading.


                You can enter the UK multiple times on a Standard Visitor Visa for as long as the visa remains valid. Each visit must not be longer than six months.

                The ETA scheme can be used by nationals of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Jordan and those of the UAE.