Who needs visa to study in Dubai?

Any non-resident foreign national (excluding those from the GCC) who wants to study in the UAE must obtain a UAE Student Visa. However, prior to that, they must get an offer letter from SIU Dubai since it is the institution that handles the visa application process.

How can I get a Student Visa for the UAE?

  • If you have been accepted into SIU Dubai, the University will arrange to get your UAE Student Visa from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) through AXS office. Because the UAE Student Visa is a type of residence visa, SIU Dubai can only get it for you once you are in the country. This means you first need an entry permit for studying purposes.

Applying for the Entry Permit

  • SIU Dubai sponsors your entry permit. Depending on your country, you may have to get an entry permit before you can enter the UAE. The detailed explanation of the UAE visa application process and whether you need an entry permit here. Once you enter the country, SIU Dubai will arrange to get a Student Visa, also known as a Student Residence Visa.

Applying for the Student Visa

  • SIU Dubai applies for your UAE Student Visa and once your application is approved, the GDRFA will affix a Residence Visa on your passport, and you will receive an Emirates ID, valid for the same duration as the visa.
  • Keep in mind: Just because you have been accepted in the SIU, it does not necessarily mean that you will receive the visa. The decision does not depend on your university, but on the UAE immigration authorities.

How Long is a UAE Student Visa Valid?

In most cases, a student visa is issued for one year, and it can be renewed annually for the entire duration of your studies. To renew a Student Visa, and continue the studies, you need to be in touch with the ‘student services department’ of the university.

When is a visa required?

  • All foreign nationals who join an institution for studies as bona-fide students would require a student visa to study in the country.
  • As per the UAE authorities’ foreign visitors on visit visa or tourist visa are not permitted to enrol in any course.

Applying for Visa?

SIU Dubai is the only authority to apply for student entry permit for students enrolling with the University. To apply for visa sponsorship, you will need to submit requested documents from the admissions department of the university.

Process Flow:

  • Admission Notification from the institution
    Submission of the required documents for visa / entry permit application
  • Entry Permit Application
    Upon receiving of the entry permit student needs to book his / her airlines ticket as per the prescribed dates of start of academic sessions
  • Travel Formalities and Restrictions
    After boarding the airlines, students are advised to keep the documents safe which may be required at the Dubai airport. While following the regulations at the Dubai airport students are supposed to collect the baggage and the Stamped Entry Permit (Which will be required to be submitted for residence visa issuance)
  • Arrival
    Upon Arrival students may proceed to their accommodation
  • Student Visa Stamping
    After submission of stamped entry permit copy, student’s residence visa application will be initiated by SIU Dubai immediately. Student will be guided by the SIU Dubai staff for all the notifications and would also support them with the locations and transportation to the visa center

The process includes following:

Medical Screening

Within few days of submission of required documents at SIU Dubai, medical screening is notified on student application, through which student must visit the medical center and undergo mandatory medical examination to proceed with the student visa. If the results are satisfactory the application will proceed to next step.

Emirates ID application

SIU Dubai will apply for the Emirates ID application for each student who has completed the medical screening successfully. The process would require student to visit to the Fingerprint scanning center.

Once the scanning is done the Emirates ID will be sent to SIU Dubai in due course of time.

Medical Insurance

Upon the issuance of the Emirates ID student would also receive a medical insurance and would be eligible to go to medical clinic covered in the network for any health- related issues during the validity period of the visa and insurance.

Visa Stamping

After the above steps have been completed, student visa will be stamped / pasted on the passport. The process will take few (7- 10) days and the passport willbe delivered to SIU Dubai

The above process takes 3-4 weeks and it is the responsibility of the student to follow the deadlines to ensure the process is not delayed which may bring fines, disciplinary actions, and cancellation of the issuance of visa process.

Can I Work in the UAE With a Student Visa?

You cannot work full-time under Student Visa, and it is clearly mentioned on the issued permit as well. Foreign students are now allowed to work on a part time basis and as interns authorized from the sponsoring university. As such you can work in the UAE with a Student Visa only if you also obtain a UAE Work Permit. You may only work up to four consecutive hours which is relatively new and solely depends on case-to-case basis and discretion of the authorities.

Few useful links to get more information-

Employment and training of minors - The Official Portal of the UAE Government

The SIU Dubai supports students for the job internship if it is linked to the course and provides necessary skill enhancement as listed in the course learning outcome.

SIU Dubai has the Career Services Centre which in forms students about the opportunities in the relevant field. The confirmation of the internship would solely depend on the discretion of the employer and NOC status form the sponsor.

Visa Cancellation

A student’s visa will be cancelled in the following circumstances:
  • Where the student wishes to terminate his/her studies prior to the expiry of the visa. The visa will be cancelled immediately and the student will be responsible for making arrangements to leave the country or seek other sponsorship.
  • All graduating student visas will be cancelled one month after the last day of examinations in the final session of study or one week before the visa expiry date.
  • When a student does not maintain a full-time study status in a session, other than those who have been granted a leave of absence.
  • When a student has been convicted of a criminal offence.
  • When a student does not comply with the rules and regulations as advised by the University.

Visa Deposit

Each student needs to pay the visa deposit of 1000 AED and is refundable after the completion of the course at the time of visa cancellation, if the policies and guidelines are met.


Entry Permit
(before arrival)

  • The application and receipt of the entry permit may take7-14working days from the date applied on AXS portal.
  • Note: While arriving on entry permit student may get the travel insurance if required. However, once you are in UAE, we will start with the residence visa process which involves medical fitness test and biometric to complete your residency. Once you have completed this process, residency visa will be stamped on your passport and emirates ID will be issued to you along with the medical insurance for a year. Student visa applications from some countries may require additional security checks by the UAE government authorities. This is out side the control of the University and may cause delay in the visa processing time.

Residence Visa
(after arrival)

  • Visa process will take 4-5 weeks from the date of arrival intimation / local amendment
  • While your student visa is in process, please note that you can not travel to or exit UAE on any other visa category. You will have to wait till your student visa is issued. Failure to follow this guideline can have cost and other immigration implications and fines and will also delay your student visa application. Please note that these visa timelines are just for your information and can vary depending on how busy the immigration office is at the time of student visa application.
The rules and regulation of the government keep altering from time to time. Kindly refer to the authorities’ websites and institution for the latest updates.

Website last updated : July 14, 2024