UAE Student Visa Requirements

The UAE educational system comprises of a variety of academic institutions – Schools, Colleges and Universities. Furthermore, there are several Training Institutes that offer professional qualification and training programs in various fields. Each institution has its own objective, structure, and admission requirements.
There are a few governmental universities and colleges in UAE where admission is restricted to nationals only. However, there are several private institutions where enrolment is open to any student who meets the admission requirements.
A student may enrol in any program of his/her choice. Programs may vary from academic, technical, and professional degree programs in various disciplines, preparing students for careers in research and professional practice in every field.
Enrolling in primary, secondary or high schools a residence visa is required. However, student visas are provided by all colleges and universities and also a few training institutes. Prior to issuance of visa all formalities need to be completed as per the university chosen
Student Visas
To enrol in primary, secondary or high schools a residence visa is required and educational institution may be permitted to make their UAE visa application based on the sponsorship of their parents. This option is available to full-time students.
Students under parent’s sponsorship wanting to enrol into tertiary level university, college or institute have the following regulations:
  • Sons, below the age of 18 in full-time education can be sponsored by their parents.
  • Unmarried daughters of any age can be sponsored by their father (or their mother if she is employed in a high-level profession).
Students attending a tertiary level university, college or institute: Educator-sponsored Dubai study visa
  • Full-time students can be sponsored by their educational institution if the institution is eligible. This allows them to obtain a UAE study visa for the duration of their course
  • Full-time students can be sponsored by the university, college or institute please check with the university, college or institute because not all offer this service.
Student Residence Visas are normally only valid for 1 year at a time, renewed each year during the study program.
Documents needed:
  •  Passport with at least 6 months validity, the passport must have two blank visa pages (one to endorse the visa and one for entry stamps)
  • Passport copies (about 4)
  • Photographs (about 12)
  • Passport copies (about 2 copies)
  • Upon arrival, passport copies with entry visa to the UAE (about 3 copies)
  • Evidence of acceptance to a UAE tertiary institute (offer letter)
  • Possibly bank statements showing evidence of funds in the UAE
  • Possibly a tenancy agreement (or letter from university if staying in university accommodation)
  • Copy of tuition fee receipt for the current study year of the program
  • Copy of visa fees receipt for the current study year of the program
  • Post-graduate students will need to have their undergraduate degree attested
Students from some countries will undergo a security check to make sure they are not considered a threat to UAE security.
A medical test at an authorised UAE medical center (allow AED 350-500) will normally be required. The medical check is a blood test and chest X-ray for HIV (AIDS), Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis (TB), Leprosy, and Syphilis. If results come back positive for any of those conditions, the person is deported, except for syphilis which is treated, but this may change, check with UAE immigration department or UAE Ministry of Health (and keep in mind it’s possible to get conflicting reports from them).
Student Residence Visa Fees
  • Student Visa Fees vary between universities, colleges and institutions. Varies between 1,000 to 3,000 AED for a one-year student residence visa.
  • Some universities, colleges and institutions may require a refundable visa deposit, may vary between 2,000 to 3,000 AED.
  • Renewal charges vary between 1,000 to 3,000 AED yearly.
There might also be differences in fees between different emirates.
There are also differences depending on if the university is located in a UAE education free zone such as Dubai Academic City or Knowledge Village, or not.
Please check with university, college or institute applying to for up-to-date information.
Visa Validity
If a student stays out of the UAE for longer than six months, their student residence visa becomes invalid and they will be denied entry to the UAE until it is cancelled. Usually the sponsor will report the visa holder to the immigration authorities.
  • Visas normally take 2-5 weeks to process once all the correct documentation has been supplied.
  • Express visas take 1-3 weeks to process.
  • Cancellation of visa normally takes 1-3 weeks, express cancellation takes 1-2 weeks.