What is the change? The United Arab Emirates is issuing longer-duration visas-on-arrival to nationals of most European Union member countries.

What does the change mean? EU nationals, with the exception of Irish and U.K. citizens, may apply for 90-day visas-on-arrival initially, instead of having to renew 30-day visas.  

  • Implementation time frame: The change has not been officially announced, but the government has begun issuing the visas.
  • Visas/permits affected: 90-day visas-on-arrival.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of all EU countries except Ireland and the U.K.
  • Impact on processing times: The longer visas will eliminate renewal processing of visas-on-arrival for more travelers.
  • Business impact: European business travelers who anticipate staying in the UAE for longer than 30 days will save time and expense.
  • Next steps: Employers sending EU nationals to the UAE should contact their BAL representative to determine whether individuals are eligible and for assistance in the application process.

Background: The new visas follow an agreement on visa-free travel signed in May by the UAE and the EU. Ireland and the U.K. were not part of the agreement.

BAL Analysis: Extended visas-on-arrival will benefit most EU nationals, but are not available to all visa-exempt nationals. U.S. nationals, for example, are still limited to 30-day visas-on-arrival that may be extended for another 30 days.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the United Arab Emirates. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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