UAE student visa: Key requirements and how to apply 

Rana AbdelRahman
Published 1 year ago on 7 June, 2023-487 views
UAE student Visa
UAE student Visa

UAE student visa is a dream for many students around the world. So, if you are an international student seeking a study opportunity in the United Arab Emirates, continue reading and learn how to get a student visa in UAE. 

Quick info about UAE student Visa 

A student can study in the UAE under the sponsorship of his or her parent, who must be a UAE resident, or under the patronage of the authorized university/college where he or she is enrolled. Student Affairs offices at universities will help students with their UAE student visa applications. 

A UAE student visa is only valid for one year. It is renewable for a similar period of time upon confirmation of continued studies issued by the educational institute where the student is enrolled. Expat residents can sponsor male children under the age of 25.

As a result, male students over the age of 25 can continue to be sponsored by their parents if they can demonstrate that they have attended a higher educational institute for at least one year.

What are the documents I need for a UAE Student Visa? 

UAE student Visa documents
UAE student Visa documents

If you are going to apply for a UAE student visa, you should meet several requirements and provide some supporting documentation. These documents are as below: 

  • Your passport, as well as several copies of it.
  • Several passport-size photos. You may be asked for up to 12, so be prepared. 
  • Proof of your financial ability to cover your tuition and living expenses.
  • A letter of acceptance from a university or college in the UAE. 
  • A medical certificate from a UAE government-approved health center.  
  • If you are 18 years or above, you must be tested for HIV, tuberculosis, leprosy, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis. 
  • Proof of residence, for example, a student housing or proof of tenancy.
  • AIso a certification from your previous university or college if you tend to apply for a post-graduate program. 

Just keep in your mind that UAE student visa application requirements differ from one emirate to another and from one university to another. The list above stated only the most frequently requested documents. Eventually, your school will provide you with a complete list of all the documents you will require. 

“Read more: UAE tourist visa

How can I apply for a UAE student visa? 

Applicants accepted by one of the United Arab Emirates higher education institutions, their schools will arrange for their UAE Student Visa to be obtained from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – GDRFA. The college or university must be accredited to obtain the visa on your behalf. 

Since the UAE Student Visa is a kind of residence visa, it can only be obtained by your school once you have arrived in the country. This means you must first obtain an entry permit to study. 

Obtaining a UAE Student Visa 

UAE student Visa requirements
UAE student Visa requirements

Your college or university will apply for your UAE Student Visa at the GDRFA office in the emirate where you reside, whether it is Dubai or Ajman, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, or Fujairah. If your application is approved, the GDRFA will stamp your passport with a Residence Visa and issue you an Emirates ID that is valid for the same period as the visa. 

Please note that even if accepted into a higher education institution in the UAE, you will still be granted a visa. The decision is made by the UAE immigration authorities, not your school. 

“Read more: UAE dependent visa: sponsor your family members

How long is the validity of a UAE student visa? 

A student visa is usually valid for 1 year, and you can renew it annually for the duration of your study. For a UAE student visa renewal, you should obtain confirmation from your school that you are still enrolled. 

On the other hand, the UAE government introduced a brand-new type of Long-Term Residence Visa in 2018, issued to outstanding or exceptional students. This visa is valid for a period of five years. 

Who can be qualified for a 5-Year Student Visa in the UAE? 

A good student with a high GPA may be eligible for a UAE Student Visa with a 5-year validity period. The following are the eligibility requirements needed: 

  • Graduates of a public or private secondary school should have a minimum grade point average of 95%.
  • Recent university graduates must have a minimum GPA of 3.75 from any university, whether it is in or outside of the UAE. 

The holder of this type of UAE visa may also bring dependents. 

“Read more: UAE golden visa: amazing benefits

Is it possible to work in the UAE while on a student visa? 

Working in the UAE with a Student Visa is only possible if you also obtain a UAE Work Permit. Furthermore, You cannot work full-time and can only work four hours in a row.

This decision is relatively new, as International students were previously prohibited from working at all, except in school-approved internship programs. 

Do I need a Student Visa if I already have a Family Visa in the UAE? 

You certainly do. If you are a male over the age of 18 and want to further your education in a UAE college or university, you will need a Student Visa. This is because, as a male, once you reach the age of 18, you are no longer eligible to remain on your parents’ visa. 

However, the The UAE government has established a new rule for dependent sons of UAE visa holders 2018. Under the new law, you are eligible for just one year UAE Residence Visa, which you can renew for another year after completing secondary education or reaching the age of 18. 

Daughters of any age can continue to be sponsored by their dads as long as they are unmarried.

“Read more: UAE family visa: learn about it’s requirements

Fees for UAE student visa 

UAE student Visa fees
UAE student Visa fees

A student residence visa is only valid for one year and cannot be extended. A student visa form can cost up to AED 3,000 (US$820). There is also a required deposit of AED 1,000 (US$270). 

How long does it take to process an application for a UAE student visa? 

Dubai student visa processing time is typically 2 to 5 weeks. This time is needed to process after all necessary documents are submitted. Express visas are processed in 7-21 days. The processing time of your application is also affected by whether or not you have all your documents in order. 

“Read more: UAE visa fees; how to apply

Outstanding students are eligible for a Golden Visa 

For students with above-average achievements, the UAE government offers a Golden Residency Visa with a 5 or 10 years validity period. If the same conditions are met, the visa will be automatically renewed. Students need the following documents when applying for this visa: 

  • High school graduate 
    • a letter of recommendation from the Ministry of Education. 
    • A duplicate of the sponsored residency (Dubai residents only). 
    • A copy of the sponsored passport. 
  • Universities graduate 
    • An academic transcript and an attested degree (bachelor’s degree or higher). 
    • A duplicate of the sponsored residency (Dubai residents only). 
    • A copy of the sponsored passport. 

Visa charges

The following are the visa fees: 

  • AED 3,860 for a 10-year golden visa (USD 1050.91).
  • AED 2,855 for a five-year golden visa (USD 777.29).

Please keep in mind that the costs include both residency and identification fees. 


Only students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for the visa: 

  •  Senior high school students 

According to the following, a high school student who ranks first in the country (with a minimum grade of 95% in public and private secondary schools) is granted a Golden Visa for (5) years without a sponsor, in case of:

Submitting a letter of recommendation from the Ministry of Education (Emirates Schools Establishment). 

The student’s Golden Visa is valid for five years and may be extended if he is enrolled in one of the majors/colleges in the country that require more than five years of study, such as (the College of Human Medicine). 

Conditions for granting a Golden Visa to family members of a top-ranking high school student in the country: If the outstanding student’s parents and (his sibling’s dependents of his father) stay in the United Arab Emirates, they are granted a Golden Visa for the same period. 

  • University students 

A university student is granted a Golden Visa without a sponsor for ten (10) years if the following conditions are met: 

Submission of a university recommendation letter, an accredited graduation certificate, or an accredited academic record indicating that the student’s cumulative GPA is greater than (3.8). 

Conditions for granting a Golden Visa to a University Student’s Family: During their stay in the United Arab Emirates, the university student’s parents and (his siblings‘ dependents of his father) are granted a Golden Visa for the same period. 

How much is the student visa in UAE?

A student visa application might cost up to AED 3,000 (US$820). There is also a deposit of AED 1,000 (US$270) required.

What are the requirements for Dubai student visa?

An official admission letter from the university where they will be studying, a medical fitness test, a visa sponsor (which can be the university or a relative who is a resident), and approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai are all required to process a visa.

In the UAE, you can find some of the best universities in the Gulf region; it’s also a safe and amiable country; don’t hesitate and work on obtaining your UAE student visa. 

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