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The Emirates Student Visa falls under the long-term Visa system of UAE, which allows foreign students studying at a college or university in the UAE, to acquire Visas for the duration of their stay. The Student Visa is granted to outstanding expatriate students who are above 18 years of age. Such students are eligible for a long-term Visa for up to five years.

The Need for an Emirates Business Visa:

The educational scenario of the United Arab Emirates is fast developing, and offers students from various nationalities, with a plethora of higher study options and a truly global exposure. To further boost the education sector of the country, the UAE government launched the Emirates Study Visa system, to allow foreign students to enter the Emirates, enroll in a course of their choice, and reside in the country for the duration of their course. The process for obtaining the Visa is simple enough, with the UAE government providing ample guidance and contact points to the applicants. 

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Eligibility Criteria for Emirates Student Visa:

In order to be eligible for being granted the Student Visa, students need to satisfy the following criteria:

  • School students applying for higher education in the UAE should graduate with at least 95 percent from secondary schools, which may either be public or private.
  • University students (both from outside the UAE, and those studying in the UAE), must graduate with a distinctive grade point assessment (GPA) of at least 3.75.

The Visa benefits are also extended to the family members of the outstanding students meeting the above requirements.

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Important Requirements for Being Granted an Emirates Student Visa:

For applicants seeking to acquire a freshman Student Visa, an official admission letter from the university where they are going to be studying is mandatory. On the other hand, older students (those who are not in their freshman year), require a certificate of continuation of study. Applicants are also required to:

  • Pass a medical fitness test
  • Possess a Visa sponsor (which can be the university by means of a scholarship, or a parent or relative)
  • Get the approval of the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), which offers both online and offline services

Currently, the Emirates Student Visa is granted to the applicant for one year at a time, and is subject to renewal for a similar period, upon presentation of an official proof of continuation of study, issued by the relevant higher educational institution, where the student is currently enrolled.

The Emirates Student Visa can be provided either by an accredited university or college in the UAE, or by residents sponsoring their children. Applications for a Student Visa are scrutinized by Visa authorities represented by each Emirate's relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

Securing an Emirates Student Visa: How Can Universities/Colleges Provide Emirates Student Visa to Students:

In the UAE, accredited universities and colleges are eligible for securing a Student Visa for their students (both international students, and students already residing in the UAE). This process is subject to the terms and conditions of individual universities, and students should refer to the same for applying, to understand the specific requirements of the process for admission or Visa application.

Admission to an accredited UAE university/college does not guarantee a grant of a Student Visa, as issuance of Visa is subject to a number of additional requirements, including passing a security check, a medical fitness test, and receiving the approval of the  GDRFA of the relevant Emirate. 

Securing an Emirates Student Visa: How Can UAE Expatriate Resident Provide Emirates Student Visa to Their Children:

Under UAE law, resident expatriates are not allowed to fund their male children who are above the age of 18. Male students who continue their higher education in a higher educational institute in the UAE or abroad, are granted an exemption from the above law. This implies that male students, above 18 years of age, can continue receiving their parents' sponsorship for their residence or Student Visa, on the condition that they provide evidence of attending a higher educational institution, and be enrolled in a course for a minimum duration of 1 year. Female students can continue receiving their parents' sponsorship, regardless of their age.

On October 21st, 2018, it was announced that students graduating from their universities or secondary schools, or attaining 18 years of age, will be granted a residence Visa for one year, which is renewable for another year from the date of graduation, or on completing 18 years.

To avail this type of Visa, parents do not have to make bank deposits, and a fees of AED100 is applicable at the time of first issuance and renewal. Duly attested graduation certifcates from schools/universities, be it from in the country or abroad, are required as document proof.

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Channels For Applying For Entry Permits:

Acquiring an Emirates Student Visa secured by an accredited university/college requires applying for an entry permit. There are both online and offline channels available for the same.

Online Channels:

  • The eChannels Portal: Allows individuals registered in the UAE to apply for a new Visa or for Visa renewal.
  • The GDRFA Website: The GDRFA of Dubai accepts online Visa applications.
  • Mobile Apps: The above-mentioned channels have also launched mobile apps for iOS and android, to further simplify the process.

Offline Channels:

  • Licensed Typing Centres: Applications for Visa are typed at such centres, and are processed through he GDRFA of the respective Emirate.
  • Amer Centres: All Visa permits and transactions for Dubai Visas are to be made via such centres.

Documents Required for an Emirates Student Visa:

  • Original passport and four copies
  • 12 photographs
  • Admission Letter from an accredited UAE college/university
  • Bank statements as proof of funds in the UAE
  • A tenency agreement/letter from the university accommodation
  • Copies of tuition and Visa fee receipt for the current year
  • Postgraduate students need to present a valid undergraduate degree.

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