Choosing the United Arab Emirates as a study destination prepares you to gain unique life and academic experiences. Here, you’ll have access to world-class education, with local and international universities, and modern city life. It’s easy to feel at home in this country, as you meet people from all walks of life, possibly even those who came from your home country. English is also the most widely spoken language so you’ll have no trouble communicating with people during your stay.

As an international student, you will need to get a student visa in the United Arab Emirates before the start of your school year. Fortunately, accredited universities and colleges will help you with the application. Besides the UAE student visa, you might also need an entry permit to enter the country. So, make sure to check the requirements and learn how to get a student visa in the United Arab Emirates.

What documents do you need to apply for a student visa in the United Arab Emirates?

Upon acceptance, the university in the United Arab Emirates can assist you with your visa application. Here are the general requirements you will need to prepare:

  • Accomplished visa application form
  • Confirmation of the terms and conditions of the visa guidelines
  • Accomplished Student Undertaking Letter
  • Medical Insurance Form
  • Six colored passport-sized photos
  • Clear colored passport copies with at least one-year validity
  • Unconditional offer letter from the admissions department of the university
  • Copy of fee receipts
  • For students under 18 years old, Non-Objection Certificate from parents attested by the UAE embassy

Besides these documents, you’ll also need the following:

  • Pass a medical fitness test
  • A visa sponsor, such as your university, parent, or relative in UAE
  • Approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)

How much money do you need for a United Arab Emirates Student Visa?

The student visa for United Arab Emirates costs around $820, requiring a deposit of $270, and is valid for one year. You’ll need If you need to stay longer, you can apply for an extension.

Besides the visa fee, you’ll also need to prepare other expenses for your study. While universities can establish their own tuition fee policies, you might need to pay around $5,900 to $32,000 per academic year.

For your living expenses, you can set a big chunk of it on accommodation. Typically, university lodgings, onsite and offsite, cost around $680 to $2,300 annually. If you rent a flat, the cost depends on the type, but you can expect a range between $860 to $2,400 per year. On top of these, you might need to cover utilities which cost around $180 to $270 monthly. You might save on accommodations if you share it with other students.

  • These are other monthly expenses you need to prepare:
  • Food: $218 to $350
  • Transportation: $55 before discounts
  • Hobbies and interests: $60 to $140
  • Medical insurance: at least $120

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Steps on Applying for a Student Visa in the United Arab Emirates

Now that you have an idea about the documents to prepare and how much it will cost you to study in the United Arab Emirates, here are the steps to apply for a UAE student visa:

1. Confirm Visa Application with University

Accredited universities and colleges in the United Arab Emirates process the student visa for their international students. For example, Middlesex University in Dubai processes the student visa. International students can fill in an online form at their website and provide the necessary documents.

Upon confirming that your university can process your United Arab Emirates student visa application, follow the steps and submit the necessary documents based on their guidelines. Take note that some universities might also require you to pay for the full tuition fee, besides the visa processing fee.

2. Apply for an Entry Permit

Unlike in many countries, you can only apply for a student visa through each emirate’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner’s Affairs. It means that your sponsor should be in the United Arab Emirates to apply for your student visa. In most cases, the university will serve as a sponsor, thus will process the visa on your behalf.

But to enter the country, you might need to apply for an entry permit for studies, too. Accredited universities can also process this since they will be sponsoring your entry. These are the requirements for the Entry Permit, which your sponsor university will require you to submit:

  • Photocopy of passport
  • Study enrolment letter
  • Sponsored personal photo

There are associated fees when applying for an entry permit. Some universities already include these in the UAE student visa processing fee.

3. Submit your requirements electronically

To let your sponsor, process your visa application and entry permit, make sure to follow the guidelines in submitting the requirements. In most cases, you will have to submit the documents electronically, either by uploading those on a university online platform or through email to the university admissions office.

Take note of the format for uploading the documents and coordinate with the university any concerns with the visa application requirements. Although there are general requirements listed here, check with the university admissions office if there are additional requirements you need to prepare. This way, you can avoid submitting incomplete documents and delaying your visa processing.

4. Settle Initial Payments and Financial Requirements

Some universities require applicants to settle the tuition or at least a portion of it. International students applying to Abu Dhabi University, for example, have to settle a $5,000 initial fee to have their UAE student visa processed. This amount includes the residence visa application fee already, along with other applicable fees.

Meanwhile, the University of Wollongong in Dubai requires applicants to settle a $2,000 visa fee, which includes Medical Insurance fees, and the Visa Maintenance Charge.

5. Wait for Visa Application Decision

Accredited universities typically provide two months for applicants to complete and submit their visa applications after confirming acceptance at the university. Although the visa processing itself takes up to 20 days only. Some universities also offer express processing for an extra fee, where you can get your visa within 10 days.

6. Get Your Visa Stamp at UAE

The university will inform you once your UAE student visa and entry permit is approved. You will need an entry permit to enter the country. Once you arrive in the United Arab Emirates, your sponsor university will guide you to get your visa stamped on your passport.


I hope that this article on getting a UAE student visa was helpful! If you’re interested in studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students!