Apart from being a major business hub, the United Arab Emirates is developing rapidly as a hub for higher education. This development results from growing domestic and international demand for quality education and an influx of major educational institutions from across the globe. Additionally, people love the UAE for state-of-the-art amenities, endless job prospects, good weather, and high ranking universities across the gulf. All these make the UAE a wonderful destination for quality higher education. Before taking the plunge, here are things to know about getting a UAE student residence visa.
Understanding a UAE student visa
This visa is essential for anyone looking forward to studying in the UAE. The student visa has various requirements to meet. Local laws require foreign students out of the emirates to get this visa for their stay in Dubai. Getting this visa requires submission of appropriate documents, paying associated fees, and securing sponsorship. Regardless of whether you are looking forward to secondary, college or master’s programs, there are various options to get visa sponsorship including:
- Parents sponsoring a male student above 18 years
- College offering sponsorship time full-time student
- High-level professional mother or father sponsoring an unmarried female student
Documents required for a student visa
Before embarking on the student visa application process, you need an admission letter from the university. You get this after a successful application by the education institution. This is after submission of your relevant documents including academic documents of schools you last attended. You need degree certificate attestation to make your academic documents legalized in the UAE. This increases the chances of getting a successful admission.
Afterward, you need to submit appropriate documents to the university to handle the visa application on your behalf. These include:
- Filled application form from the university
- Two to four passport copies
- Copy of tuition fees visa fees and receipt
- Twelve copies of quality passport photos
- Proof of attested undergraduate degree
- Admission offer letter from the UAE university
- Tenancy agreement for your accommodation
- Bank statements for proof of funds to cover living expenses and tuition fees
Taking a medical test
All international students wishing to study in the UAE have to take a medical test. This is done at a certified medical center in the UAE upon arrival. The medical test confirms that you are safe from various communicable diseases harmful to others. The medical test usually covers:
- General health check-up
- Chest X-ray
- HIV (AIDS)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Tuberculosis (TB)
Testing positive to any of these diseases warranties deportation.
Cost of a UAE student residence visa
The processing fee for the student visa is set by the Government Services office in the UAE although the university or higher institution of learning might charge an additional fee. This fee varies from one institution to another and might include a health insurance charge. Alternatively, you are required to get own health insurance. The cost of a UAE student visa might be about AED3,000 without health insurance.
How long to get a student visa
Preparing well in advance might see you getting a UAE student residence visa in a few weeks. Processing this visa usually takes about two to five weeks after the submission of all appropriate documents. When time-barred, you can opt for the express visa processing option that comes at an extra fee. This takes about one to three weeks.
The rule of thumb is to have all relevant documents well prepared and attested where necessary to avoid delay during the visa processing process. Staying out of the UAE for six months makes your student residence visa invalid. To challenge this requires having a valid reason including medical emergency and family emergency. You have to back this up with the appropriate documents that you submit to immigration authorities.
Working on a student visa
You can apply for part-time jobs in the UAE on your student visa. This allows applying for internships, getting work experience, and raising money to finance your living expenses. Working while studying allows building your resume to make you stand out during job applications. Students in Dubai can get employed by the various businesses in locations including Dubai Studio City, Dubai Internet City, and Dubai Media City.
The validity of the student visa
The visa for full-time students is valid for a maximum of one year. For those undertaking a longer program, you will have to get your visa renewed. However, this process is simpler compared to the first time to get this visa.
In a nutshell
The UAE is a wonderful place to live. It is also growing into a major education hub offering world-class education. Taking the plunge to study in the UAE is a great idea for its endless job opportunities. Living in Dubai requires having an appropriate student residence visa after the submission of relevant documents. This visa expires annually and you have to get it renewed to complete your education.