Whether you plan to use one of Dubai's roughly 700 hotels for a spring vacation or you're an entrepreneur taking advantage of the bustling travel infrastructure or enormous International Convention and Exhibition Center, there's a chance you'll need a visa to enjoy your travels in the City of the Future. Whether or not you need a visa for your visit to Dubai largely depends on what part of the world you're a citizen of. While United States citizens don't need a visa to travel to Dubai, if you've got a green card and are therefore a United States permanent resident, that status doesn't have too much bearing on your Dubai visa situation.
Do I Need a Visa?
As a United States green card holder, you're considered a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. This affords you the right to live in America indefinitely, but you remain a citizen of another country. If you're a citizen of any of the following countries, you can get a visa upon your arrival at any airport in the United Arab Emirates:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (Except British overseas citizens)
Getting a Visa on Arrival
If the country of your citizenship is on that list, the UAE visa application process is pretty painless in that there really is no Dubai visa application – you just show up at the UAE airport and pay for it. You'll need your original passport (which must not expire within six months of your expected date of arrival) and confirmation of a round-trip airline ticket or a departure ticket. This visa is valid for one month's stay in the UAE.
Indian citizens with a passport, U.S. visa, green card, U.K. resident permit or EU resident permit are eligible for a 14-day visa, which, like all Dubai visas in this category, can be extended once. Entry costs AED100 and one-time renewal costs AED250, or about $27 and $68, respectively.
Read More: What is a Work Visa?
More About Dubai Visas
If you're not a citizen of any of the listed countries, your easiest option for Dubai travel is to get a 30- or 90-day non-renewable visit visa sponsored by family, friends, relatives or other hosts in the private sector in Dubai – this is where that green card will come in handy.
To apply for this type of visa, send a copy of your passport and a copy of your green card to your host in the UAE. Your host can then take the documents to a local immigration office to process your visa, which takes about four business days, and pay a refundable fee. The host sends you a copy of the visa, which you'll need upon your arrival, at which point, the original visa will be collected.
Alternatively, if you're a national of a country that requires a pre-arranged UAE visa, you can apply and pay your fees online at DubaiVisa.net. To get started, you'll need supporting documents such as your passport, a clear and current photograph, proof of residence and, in the case of nationals from high-risk countries, documents proving that you have $8,000 or more worth of investments or annual income, or proof of travel to one of the following countries within the past five years:
- Schengen countries
- New Zealand
- Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing: Top Ten Reasons to Visit Dubai
- Nolo AllLaw: Permanent Resident vs. Citizen: What's the Difference?
- Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Washington D.C.: Non-U.S. Citizens
- Dubai.com: Visa Requirements
- Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing: Apply for Visa
- Emirates: Apply for Visa to UAE: Documentation Required
- If you plan to visit Dubai/UAE for less than one month and you are from an eligible country, you may qualify for a visa waiver (see Resources).
- If you would like to have your Dubai visa processed faster, have your UAE sponsor/host process the visa from Dubai/UAE and then fax you a copy of the approved visa. According to the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Washington, this takes only four working days. If you apply through this method, you will receive your original visa when you arrive at a Dubai/UAE airport.
As a freelance writer and small business owner with a decade of experience, Dan has contributed legal- and finance-oriented content to diverse sources including Chron, Fortune, Zacks.com, Motley Fool and MSN Money, among others.