A lot of people are aware that having a valid US visa allows you to get a visa on arrival in UAE, but most people still seem to be confused about the process. A few months back, I traveled to Abu Dhabi from India, and used my US visa to get a visa on arrival. It was quite a simple and hassle-free process, and hence I’m laying out the detailed steps below:
Initial Requirements: You should have a valid US visa (which is valid for at least 6 months). I have a valid B1 / B2 visa (business / tourist visa). As far as I know, any US visa-holder or a green-card holder can use the same process for getting a UAE visa on arrival.
Procedure at the Indian airport: All airport authorities in India are aware of this rule for travelers to UAE, so there is nothing to worry about. I traveled from the Bangalore airport. At the immigration counter, you’ll be asked to show your US visa, flight-tickets and you’ll be asked a few questions on purpose of visit / duration of stay etc.
Procedure at Abu Dhabi airport: My destination was Abu Dhabi, so I’ll provide an overview of my experience there. However, the procedure should be exactly the same across destinations in UAE. Once you reach the immigration counter, you’ll be asked to show your visa, return flight bookings and you’ll need to pay for the visa right there and then.
Ensure that you have a valid credit / debit card which can be used internationally. Cash payments in INR are not accepted. The cost of the visa is roughly 100 Dirhams (INR 1800), which is much cheaper compared to the cost of the typical tourist visa (roughly INR 6000).
The visa is valid for a duration of 2 weeks and can be extended if required. It’s a pretty simple process and doesn’t take much time at all.
Below are answers to some common FAQs regarding this process:
Q 1. What if my US visa is on an expired passport?
Ans 1. This isn’t an issue at all. Just ensure that you carry the old passport with you as well, and show the visa properly at the counter. In fact, you should also carry your old / expired passports.
Q 2. What if I have a US visa but I have never traveled to the US using it?
Ans 2. Again not an issue, as long as you have a valid visa, it doesn’t matter if you have actually traveled to the US or not, using the same visa.
Q 3. How many times can the visa be extended?
Ans 3. The visa can be extended once only, and with a one-time fee of 250 Dirhams.
For any further queries, feel free to reach out!
The sand-dunes in Abu Dhabi
I’m going to do a separate detailed article on Abu Dhabi, so watch out for that!