IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates has approved a plan to expand the number of Indian nationals who will be eligible for the UAE’s visa-on-arrival program.

What does the change mean? Once the change is implemented, Indian nationals holding residency visas issued by the United Kingdom or another European Union country will be eligible to participate in the UAE’s visa-on-arrival program. The move follows a decision earlier this year to allow Indian nationals with U.S. green cards or visas valid for at least six months to obtain visas on arrival.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. The Cabinet has approved the change, but it has not yet been implemented.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visas on arrival.
  • Who is affected: Indian nationals holding residency visas in the U.K. or another EU country.
  • Impact on processing times: The change will save eligible Indian travelers the time it takes to obtain a visa before traveling.

Background: On May 1, the UAE opened its visa-on-arrival program for Indian nationals with U.S. green cards or visas valid for at least six months. Currently, eligible Indian nationals may remain in the UAE for up to 14 days on a visa on arrival. Those who intend to stay longer than 14 days may pay a government fee and obtain an extension. The cabinet’s recent decision will grant access to the visa-on-arrival program to a greater number of Indian nationals.

BAL Analysis: The change will simplify the visa process for eligible Indian nationals traveling for business or as tourists to the UAE.