Visiting the United Kingdom from the United Arab Emirates
The United Kingdom is one of the most popular destinations for citizens of the UAE, with around 40,000 Emirates visiting the country every year.
There are many reasons why residents of the UAE choose to UK Visit Visa. With over 5000 UK companies operating in the UAE, business visits from the capital city of Dubai are common.
If you want to UK Visit Visa the United Kingdom from Dubai then you will need either a UK Visit Visa or an Electronic Visa Waiver.
Electronic Visa Waiver for Dubai residents
Citizens of the UAE may also be eligible for an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) instead of a visit visa. The EVW also allows you to visit the United Kingdom for up to 6 months for tourism, business, medical treatment or even to study.
You can apply for the EVW up to 3 months before you intend to travel to the United Kingdom, but the latest that you can apply is 48 hours before you are due to travel.
The process to apply for an EVW is fairly simple, you must fill in the application form on the gov.uk website and will need the following:
- your current passport
- an address in the United Kingdom where you will stay
- details of your journey, including departure and arrival dates and times
You should then receive an email within 24 hours with your EVW, you must show this when you travel either by printing it or showing it on an electronic device such as a phone.
It’s important to note that you can not use an EVW to work or to get married in the United Kingdom and that it will only allow you to enter the United Kingdom once. If your travel plans change, you must update this on your EVW.
UK Standard Visitor Visa
The UK Visit Visa is a type of tourist visa that allows non-EEA nationals to visit the United Kingdom for a number of purposes. This visa can be used for visiting friends and family in the UK, for leisure purposes, to access private medical treatment or to attend business meetings.
The UK Visit Visa is usually valid for 6 months from the date of travel. To be eligible you must be able to meet a few requirements, including:
- proving that you can support yourself financially whilst in the United Kingdom
- proving that you will leave the United Kingdom at the end of your visit and that you won’t live in the United Kingdom for an extended period through successive visits
- showing proof of any business or other activities that you plan to do whilst in the United Kingdom
Standard Visitor Visa application process
You must apply for the UK Visit Visa online before you leave Dubai. The application form is available on the gov.uk website. You can make your visa application up to three months before you intend to travel to the United Kingdom.
After completing the online application, you need to book an appointment at a visa application centre near you to prove your identity. There are two visa application centres located in the UAE, one in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. During your appointment you will have your biometric information taken, this is your photo and fingerprints.
Once you have completed your online application and attended your appointment, the processing time is usually 3 week. There are Super Priority and Priority visa services available for those who need to travel urgently.
When making your visa application you will need to provide a valid passport or travel document. Your passport will need a blank page for the visa and must also be valid for the duration of your stay. As well as this, you will have to supply several other supporting documents to prove that you are eligible for the UK Visit Visa. The documents that you will need may vary but they will need to provide the following information:
- the dates you’re planning to travel to the United Kingdom
- details of where you’ll be staying during your visit
- how much you think your trip will cost
- your current home address and how long you’ve lived there
- your parents’ names and dates of birth
- how much you earn in a year
- details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences you may have committed
You will need to have any documents that aren’t in English translated before you submit them.
Using the Visitor Visa for business activities
You can use the Standard Visitor Visa for a number of business reasons whilst you are in the country. This includes attending meetings, conferences, trade fairs or even to negotiate contracts. You can also partake in certain business activities, including proving training and sharing knowledge on internal contracts.
However, because you will be subject to the visitor rules, you cannot use the UK Visit Visa for all business activities. This visa does not allow you to do paid work with a UK company or as a self-employed person. You may be able to do paid work by applying for the Permitted Paid Engagement Visa.
Visitor Visa for paid business engagements
The Permitted Paid Engagement UK Visit Visa is for those who have been invited to Britain as an expert in their profession. To be eligible for this visa, Dubai residents must be invited by a UK-based organisation or client.
The Permitted Paid Engagement Visa is valid for up to 1 month. This visa allows you to partake in paid work, however, you cannot undertake paid work that is not related to your main job or area of expertise.
The application process for the Permitted Paid Engagement Visa is very similar to the Standard UK Visit Visa. You must fill in the online application form before booking an appointment at one of the visa application centres in the UAE, located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.