Friday 20 September 2019 (UAE)

Visit visa renewal Dubai, UAE

Visit Visa renewal and Hatta visa run from Dubai, UAE

Visit visa renewal and Hatta visa run from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Information about renewals and visa runs to Doha, Kish Island, Muscat, driving to Hatta border post in Oman, documents required, whether or not you need car insurance and registration.

UAE visit visa renewals latest updates

Don't guess what your visa status is. Phone the GDRFA immigration helpline (from anywhere in the UAE, operates 24 hrs) and give them your passport number to check your visa status and last possible exit date.

If doing a visa run to Hatta, or any other land, sea, or air border, always bring cash and credit card (preferably two credit cards). Border controls have different and changeable policies regarding whether they accept cash or cards or both, and policies can and do change. None accept body parts even if it feels like they're trying to remove your fingernails. Also bring at least AED 1,000 cash with you for possible fines, even if you are sure you don't have any. If doing visa run within grace period, bring AED 100 + AED 200 per day of grace period for possible fines. Most sources say fine is AED 200 + AED 100 per day which is probably correct, but we once had to pay a fine of AED 200 per day after miscalculating the visa expiry day. Also bring a credit card even though most sources say credit payments not accepted, and no ATMs at border crossings. You never know when things might change.

Do not rely 100% on information on this page or any other source, including official government sources (different places and different people can and do tell you different things, and government websites sometimes take years to update with new rules). Try and get information from at least 2, preferably 3 independent recent sources that are consistent. For example check with the immigration department (phone their helpline at least twice so you talk to two different people), and check with one of the visa run companies for the most recent information. Expect inconsistencies and conflicts, even for 2 or more people in what seems to be exactly the same situation.

Updates unconfirmed or unknown date:

  1. [May 2016]
    • Previous information about the invalidity of the 10 (or 9) day grace period is either incorrect; or some people were unlucky with immigration officials who decided the grace period no longer applied; or the rules changed but not clearly, resulting in some people getting charged fines or denied entry until immigration departments and officials figured out what they were really trying to do.
    • If you are from a visa on arrival country (not Schengen Zone), do not renew your 30 day visa before the 30th day, wait until the grace period (days 31-39). The 30 day visit visa (and possibly 90 day visit visa for Schengen Zone passport holders) is a multiple entry visa. Which means you can exit and enter the UAE any number of times during the validity period. But that also means you do not get a new 30 day visa if you re-enter the UAE within the validity period. If you do get a new 30 day visa despite exiting the UAE before the previous one expired, that could mean that the immigration official used a different stamp for your passport. Double check with him or her that in their system you do actually have a new 30 day visa, then later on phone the immigration department and ask them what your visa expiry date is.
    • Schengen Zone passport holders must stay out of the UAE for 90 days out of every 180 day period. Meaning that doing a Hatta visa run (or other visa change drive or flight) is likely to result in being denied re-entry to the UAE if you do it on or after the 90th day. If you do it before, you are just exiting and re-entering the UAE on the same 90 day visa, and the expiry date is unchanged. One way around this is might be to apply for a different type of visa, for example a company sponsored business visa. Or try one of the tourist agents who arrange visit and tourist visas (but tread carefully, there are numerous reports of people being scammed out of thousands of dirhams by shady tourist agents).
    • Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania passport holders are treated as Schengen Zone countries even though they are not (yet). Possibly also Cyprus.
    • Unconfirmed reports of overstay fine increased to AED 300 or 500 per day (might be misunderstanding of how a fine was applied for 1 or 2 days overstay).
    • [Check] A short term extension (7 days?) to a visit visa or tourist visa is available at Dubai Airport (GDRFA office at Terminal 3), or immigration department?
  2. [Ignore, incorrect or no longer valid] [April 2016] The 10 day (or 9 day) grace period for 30 day visit visas issued in Dubai emirate no longer applies. In other words you will or might be fined (AED 100 or AED 200 per day) if you do a visa change on the 31st day. To be safe, do a visa change on 29th day and ask at border how long next visa is valid for. Try phoning Dubai immigration but there are mixed reports of how helpful they are. Or try phoning one of the Dubai visa run companies, they go every day so are likely to have more up to date and accurate information than forum posts and website pages.
  3. [Jan 2016] Schengen (not the same as EU) zone country passport holders (not Ireland and UK passport holders) who receive a 90 day visa must stay out of the UAE for 90 days before returning for a new 90 day visa. See previous information, that might apply to those who exit after 90 days stay, but not if doing a visa change after 89 or fewer days in the UAE (but don't tempt fate and go on 89th day, go after 60 or 70 days). Or length of stay might be irrelevant. Possibly do a flight exit instead of road exit? Unknown if this applies to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania passport holders (EU but not yet Schengen countries). Note that Schengen zone country nationalities can still do land border exit if changing visa status from visit to employment for residence permit. Remember that the rule is maximum 90 days stay in 180 day period so if you do do a successful visa run after 60 or 70 days, and then try again 2 months later, you might or might not have a problem the next time since you'd be over the 90 day limit.
  4. [Unconfirmed, might just be speculation] Schengen zone country passport holders can request a 30 day renewable visa instead of 90 day visa, and continue doing repeated visa runs. Since the 90 out of 180 day rule depends on nationality irrespective of visa option chosen, this does not seem a likely possibility, at least not officially. Perhaps unofficially?
  5. [Dec 2015?] UAE exit fee AED 35 per person (exact cash or card - bring both since you won't know what option is available). Might not be all nationalities.
  6. [Dec 2015?] Oman entry/exit fee AED 50 per person (exact cash or card, bring both). Normally UAE cash is fine, we've never heard of an Oman cash requirement but if you have Omani Riyals, bring them.
  7. [Dec 2015?] Evidence of Oman car insurance now required at checkpoints. UAE or Oman or both? If driving rental car check if insured for Oman. If not, at Hatta it's a long walk from UAE to Oman border posts (10 km) and unknown if permitted anyway. Did anyone try cycling?
  8. [When? Not confirmed as consistent change] Residence visa (UAE) holders accompanying visit visa changers (husband, wife, gf, bf, random companion, peculiar first date, etc) must bring passport and also get UAE exit stamp and Oman entry exit stamp (fee payment required). Previously Emirates ID was sufficient and tell border posts you are just coming along for the ride. If you are in this category, bring your passport and cash and credit card for fee payment in case. If you are a nationality excluded from getting arrival visa for Oman, be prepared to sit at UAE border control for an hour and wait for your companion to go to Oman ... and hopefully come back.

01 Dec 2015: Oman enclave border checkpoints closed between Dubai and Hatta for non-GCC expat residents and visitors, and possibly closed for GCC nationalities also except for UAE and Oman (conflicting information about GCC nationalities). Note, this is not the main border crossing at Al Wajaja (which is open as normal), this refers to the military checkpoints on the E44 road to Hatta from Dubai. There is an alternative route through Sharjah emirate which avoids Omani territory and you end up on the main road from Hatta to Oman Al Wajajah border crossing. From Dubai, turn left at Al Madam roundabout onto the E55 to Al Malaiha, turn right onto the Sharjah-Kalba rd towards Shawka, turn right again after 25-30 km to Hatta. Don't do your visa run on the UAE National Day holidays because there will be long queues with all the holidaymakers. As in several hours long not just an extra 10 or 20 minutes.

Dubai Abu Dhabi UAE visit visa renewals

A Visit Visa is normally valid for 60 days (update: only 30 days from January 2009). Be careful - that's not the same as two months (1 month), and note that if you aim to renew on the 60th day (30th day), your calculations may not agree with the ones done at immigration. The fine is 100 dhs for overstaying plus 100 dhs (or 200 dhs or 300 dhs) for each day past the limit. Expect to pay 200 dhs on the 60th day (30th day) or renew on the 59th day (29th day) at the latest.

November 2007 update - the fines for overstaying were reported in the press to be increasing to 2,000-10,000 dhs, and deportation would also be imposed. The good news was the daily rate would decrease. This information is unconfirmed as of December 2007.

In May 2007 there were reports that the authorities would only allow two renewals of a visit visa, and then visitors would have to stay out of the UAE for a month before starting again. This means you could stay between 6 to 9 months at a time depending on if you extend your visit visa each time before renewing it. As yet, it is unknown how strictly this will be enforced, or where you have to go if you are refused entry at airport or land border.

According to the DNRD website, you can renew a visit visa twice for 60 days at a time, by payment of 100 dhs renewal fee + 100 dhs mandatory urgent processing fee. This sounds like out of date information. Our information as of January 2007 is that you have the following options:

If a visit visa is not renewed after 60 days, then you may have to leave the country for at least a month before obtaining a new one. However, that information appears to be inaccurate as there are large numbers of residents, er "visitors" that renew their visas frequently by doing visa runs with a return to the UAE on the same day as their exit.

Nationalities who can get a Visit Visa on arrival in Dubai/UAE, and can get an Omani visit visa on arrival in Oman will be able to "renew" (they actually get a new visa) their visit visa by doing a road trip - see the route descriptions below for more details. See the table on the Dubai visas page for list of nationalities this applies to.

Visa regulations can and do change, sometimes with very little or no notice. Do your best to confirm whatever information you have is up to date, but even then you may find when you arrive at border crossings that requirements and procedures are not what you expected.

By Air to Kish Island, Doha, Muscat, or Bahrain

It's common for people to book a "Visa Run" or "Visa Flight" from Dubai/Sharjah/Abu Dhabi to either Muscat in Oman, Bahrain, Doha in Qatar, or Kish Island.

Update: after visa rules changed in July 2008, it might not be possible to do the visa flights for some nationalities as the UAE authorities have imposed a 30 day period of staying out of the country before a new visa is issued. Check with the immigration authority in the emirate in which you are staying, but so far it seems as if the visa run flights have continued as normal for most or all nationalities.

Hatta to Oman visa run from Dubai, UAE updated

Incorrect information: Many websites have information about the Dubai Hatta visa run, some have out of date information (this is not unusual), but watch out for sites that claim to be up to date with incorrect information. For example:

Documents needed: passport, car insurance for Oman if driving a private vehicle..

If you don't have your own car, check dubizzle.com for Hatta Visa Run vans or minibuses, there are several companies operating daily trips, cost is about AED 150 return from Dubai.

Cheaper petrol is available in Oman, at least until the government removes or reduces the subsidy, which is under consideration in 2014. Cheaper by about 30% compared to the UAE. Not worth making a special trip but if you are going for a visa run, fill up at one of the Oman petrol stations - in the Oman section between Dubai and Hatta, also between the Dubai-Hatta border checkpoint and the Oman-Al Wajaja checkpoint. Not all of them are open 24 hours though.

If doing this trip at night, at any checkpoint where you should slow down or stop, turn your lights off. There are signs telling you to do this but they are not so visible at night. Also switch on your interior light to make it easier to see you. If you don't turn off your lights, you'll annoy the officials present and give them an excuse to scrutinize you more closely.

There is a new border checkpoint building under construction in 2013-2014, it looks like it might be ready to open in late 2014. That will mean some of this information is out of date. New border crossing building is for the UAE (Dubai emirate), not Oman.

If doing a visa run, friends and relatives can come along for the ride without needing an Oman entry permit - don't get a UAE exit stamp of course, otherwise they can't get back into the UAE without having an entry and exit stamp from Oman. On your way back into the UAE, make sure you tell the immigration desk how many people in the car with you when you get your new visa - usually they'll ask. They will also want to see the person or persons and their passports with a valid UAE residence or visit visa.

This section last updated December 2013.

  1. Drive to Hatta. The road goes through a section of Oman before Hatta where there are drive-through UAE or Omani checkpoints (prior to 2011 or 2012 there weren't) and you might or might not be asked to show your passport and other documents.
  2. At the Hatta roundabout continue straight on towards Oman. After a few km there will be the main UAE border checkpoint where you need to stop, park your car (after or behind the building), go to the passport counter and get an exit stamp from the UAE.
  3. Drive on a few more km to the Oman border post, customs, immigration. First stop will be Omani customs checking your car. They might or might not search your car. Usually you get out, open the boot (trunk), they glance inside and wave you on your way. This is not the immigration department yet.
  4. Next stop a couple km further on is a large building where you get your entry and exit stamps for Oman. There is a large sign that says "New Visa" or similar, with an arrow pointing to a car park in front of the building - park there.
  5. Walk inside with your passport, go to the immigration counter (on your right as you walk in, or left if you drove too far and came in the other side). You might be asked if you are going to Oman or just "in and out" or similar. If you're not asked, say you are doing a "visa change". You should get both entry and exit stamp for Oman at that counter. If not, then walk to other side of building and get an exit stamp.
  6. Go back to car, start driving back towards Dubai. At the Oman car searching place you don't need to stop, carry on.
  7. At the UAE border post you need to park your car and go into the immigration building to get an entry stamp. The drive-through booths are for Emiratis (and probably GCC citizens).
  8. Just after you exit the car park there's a booth where someone collects the small piece of paper you were given, with the number of vehicle occupants written on it.
  9. You're finished, go back to Dubai. Or Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, etc.

Notes

Visa renewal by road to Hatta and Oman old information

Update (2011 or 2012): You will need Omani insurance for the car you are in as there are more checkpoints along the way before you get to the Hatta border. The road passes through a section of Oman territory before Hatta. Unrelated to visa renewal but anyone driving to Hatta should have their passport with them for the checkpoints.

  1. From Dubai to Hatta takes a little over one hour. There's an immigration department on your right as you come up to the main Hatta roundabout (with a large fort on it, Hatta Fort Hotel turnoff at 9 o'clock). Don't stop there, continue on towards Oman and a few kilometers later you'll see Dubai customs post on both sides of the road. Stop there, go to one of the windows and get an exit stamp for the UAE. You'll pay a fine here if you've overstayed. Update: as of 01 May 2008, exit visas are no longer required, from either the UAE or Oman, according to news reports in UAE newspapers. This is a temporary trial by the DNRD, unknown how long for or whether it will become permanent.
  2. Then continue to Oman border control a few km later. First stop is where they check your car for any items you shouldn't have. They'll give you a small piece of paper with a stamp. Don't lose it.
  3. Next stop a few kilometers later is a large building that says Al Wajaja Border Crossing (or similar). If you really are going to Oman, stop at the window where you'll be told to park the car and go inside to get your visa (GCC Nationals can carry on after showing ID), or drive past the window and park behind the building. Alternatively park before the building, walk in the front entrance and when you're done processing, just drive past the window to the final border check a bit further down the road.
  4. Go inside with your car registration, car insurance for Oman, passport, paper you got at the car checking stop, and drivers license. You'll get a visa there and they'll scribble something on that small bit of paper from the previous stop. You might have to pay 30-70 dhs (or 3-7 Omani Riyals) (update October 2010 - possible visa fee increase to AED 200 or OR 20?) for the visa depending on which country you're from. The rules change frequently enough so check the Royal Oman Police website or another reliable source. Or just bring a couple of hundred dirhams with you to be prepared.
  5. Steps 6 to 8 apply if you drive into Oman. It is also possible to skip them. Park you car on the Dubai side of the main building, not on the Oman side. Walk in, queue, say you're doing a visa change (visa renewal - there might even be a sign) and after you get stamped, walk back out the front, turn right and go to the outside counter where the cars exiting Oman are queuing up. Handover your passport and get an exit stamp. The advantage of this is that you save 20 dhs on the exit permit for the car, a bit of time, and you may not be asked for proof of Oman insurance. Now go to step 9. Note that just because this has worked in the past is no guarantee that it will continue to be the case. Rules can change or be implemented more strictly without warning.
  6. Drive on towards Oman, there's a final checkpoint where you hand over that bit of paper and say "Shukran, ma-asalama" ("Thank you, goodbye"). Drive on and enjoy the scenery until you're ready to head back to the UAE, and turn around.
  7. Returning towards Dubai/UAE you'll see a small booth on your left where you buy an entry ticket for your car - cost is 2 Omani Riyals or 20 UAE Dirhams.
  8. Drive on to the next window in that big building where you got your Omani visa. Stop at the window and hand over your passport and car ticket. You'll get the Omani exit stamp there.
  9. A little further is another hut with a gate where you might have to stop and handover the car ticket or whatever bit of paper it was replaced with when you got your exit stamp. Sometimes there's no one there and you can just keep driving.
  10. Continue on to the UAE customs post (several km), park there and go to one of the windows with your passport. You'll get get a new 60 30 day visit visa and another small piece of paper for the car (with the number of passengers written on it).
  11. Hand over that piece of paper at the next stop and say "Shukran, ma-asalama".

You're done until your visa expires again. Arrive back in Dubai about an hour later. Whole process will take you about 4 hours if no or small queues. Avoid holiday weekends when many people travel between Oman and the UAE and there are long queues.

You may or may not be able to do this repeatedly. Some people have said the authorities frown on this practice. One option is to consider going to Muscat for a weekend or a night and actually be a tourist in Oman for longer than 5 minutes.

By Road - Ras Al Khaimah to Khasab

The procedure is much the same as going via Hatta to Oman but from Dubai or Abu Dhabi will probably take longer since the border crossing is about 30 minutes north of Ras Al Khaimah, and it can easily take about 20-30 minutes to drive through Ras Al Khaimah. This route would be useful if you live in Ras Al Khaimah and/or wanted to see the Musandam Peninsula (which is a worthwhile trip to do).

By Road - Al Ain to Buraimi

Again, the procedure would be much the same as the Hatta to Oman crossing at Al Wajajah but note that although Al Buraimi is in Oman, the actual border crossing is quite a long drive into Oman after Al Buraimi - about 30-40 minutes. This is of course quicker for people coming from Al Ain, and possibly from Abu Dhabi.

The border crossings within the Al Ain city area are for Emiratis and GCC nationals only, not for non-GCC expat residents, tourists, or visitors.

By Road - Fujairah

There is another border crossing into Oman about 30 minutes south of Fujairah where you could go through the same process. Handy if you live in Fujairah or wanted to go there for a weekend. On the Oman side is nothing spectular until you get further down the coast to Al Suweidi Beach Resort - which is more easily accessible from Dubai and other emirates via the Al Wajajah border crossing.

By Bus

There are buses that travel between Dubai and Muscat so you could try that if you don't have a car. But you're either in for a long wait at the border if you get off to catch the return bus, or you have to go all the way to Muscat. Daily departure from Dubai is 0730 or 1630, cost is less than 100 dhs each way. Remember to stay with the bus to Al Wajaja Oman border post if you do this. If you don't, it's a 10 km walk from UAE to Oman border posts at Hatta, if you are even permitted to walk.

By Boat

As there are (or were - the ferry may not be in operation) ferries from Sharjah to Iran (Bandar Abbas) and Dubai to Iran (Bandar Abbas or Bandar Lengeh, possibly Bushehr), you could try to renew your Visit Visa via that route. However, for nearly all nationalities, that would mean getting a visa for Iran which will cost money and take time. It's probably easier to do a flight or go to Oman via Hatta.

Last update Tuesday 31-May-2016
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