Do you reside in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? If yes, you can travel to the United Kingdom (UK) without too many restrictions, although you do need to apply for a UK visa. Some questions about a UK visa may come to your mind after knowing it, especially if you are a Dubai or UAE resident. In this post, you will get information about how to apply for a UK visa, the requisite documents for it, and other aspects.


Do you need a UK tourist visa to travel to the UK if you are a resident of Dubai and the UAE?

The first thing you need to check is whether you are a citizen of a country that does not need a tourist visa to enter UK. If not, then you have to apply for UK tourist visa before leaving for the country. Moreover, even countries that are eligible for visa on arrival in the UK have to apply for a visa if they want to visit the UK for anything other than tourism. If you live and work in the UAE, you can apply for a visa document based on your purpose for travelling to the UK.

Different Types of UK Visas for UAE Residents

  1. Work, Academic Visit, or Business

If your objective to visit the UK is related to work, academics, or business, you can apply for a visa depending on the number of days for which you wish to stay in the country.

  1. Study

If you wish to go to the UK for study purposes, you can apply for a visa depending on the duration for which you wish to stay in the country. You need to apply for separate visas for staying in the country for 6 months and longer than this duration.

  1. Transit

In this regard, the visa you need will depend on the place to which you want to go. There are different visa rules and requirements for the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man, and other places. You can file a visa application depending on the destination to which you wish to travel among these places.

  1. Joining Family or Partner for a Longer Stay

The type of visa you need to enter and stay in the UK legally in this case will depend on the residential or immigration status of your partner or family member in the UK.

  1. Marriage or Civil Partnership

If you enter into a civil partnership or a marriage relationship with a resident in the UK, you can file an application for your Marriage Visitor Visa. If your partner is under the protection of the Government of the UK as a refugee, or they are a British citizen or an immigrant who is settled in the UK, you will need to file an application in connection with a family of a settled person visa.

Further, it is also possible for a UAE resident to turn their civil partnership with a UK resident into a marriage relationship. To do so, you either need a Standard Visitor visa or an electronic visa waiver (EVW).

  1. Staying with a Child who is Enrolled in a School

To go to the UK to stay with a child who is enrolled in a school, you could apply for one of the following visa documents based on your needs:

  • An electronic visa waiver (for a 6-month stay)
  • A visa for the parent of children who are students
  1. Medical Treatment

If you wish to travel to the UK for undergoing medical treatment, you need to apply for the following visa documents:

  • An electronic visa waiver
  • A standard visitor visa
  1. For Government or Diplomatic Business

If you are a serving government minister or you have a posting in the UK, you do not need a visa for your visit to the country. However, having an exempt vignette will help you prevent the chances of a delay at the airport.

  1. For Travel Purposes

If you wish to take a trip to the UK as a tourist, you could apply for the below-mentioned visas:

  • Standard Visitor Visa: If you plan to stay in the UK for more than 180 days, you can apply for a standard visitor visa. You can do so for study, business, tourism, and other purposes that necessitate you to stay in the UK for more than 6 months.
  • Electronic Visa Waiver: With an electronic visa waiver, you can visit and stay in the UK legally for up to 180 days. However, it is tied with some rules. For instance, you cannot use it for a civil partnership, marriage, or employment in the country. An electronic visa waiver is only meant for undergoing medical treatment, study, business, or tourism.

Soon, obtaining a UK ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) will be mandatory along with the EVW for UAE residents to enter the UK.

How to Apply for a UK Visa

As a UAE resident, you can apply for a UK tourist visa or any other type of UK visa by following the below-mentioned steps:

  • Visit the official website of UK visas and immigration to know about the different types of visas and the documents that you need to submit along with them.
  • Choose a visa based on your requirements and keep all the requisite documents handy.
  • Pay the fees, depending on the type of visa you need.
  • After paying your visa fee, choose a visa application center that is nearest to your residence to book an appointment.
  • Upload all the supporting documents for your visa application.

Visit your chosen visa application center as per your appointment. The onus would be on you to track your visa application through your registered email or SMS on your registered number. You can collect your visa application on the date given to you.

How Long does the Processing of a UK Tourist Visa Take?

After applying for a UK visa with the requisite documents, you will get information about its processing in 15 days. The number of days in which you will get your visa will depend on the type of visa for which you file your application. You can track your visa application either through your email or messages on your registered mobile number.


You can easily obtain your UK visit visa as a resident of the UAE by keeping the above rules and requirements for it. Do not hesitate to reach out to a visa expert if you feel the need for it. With their valuable guidance, you can clear all your doubts or eliminate potential hurdles of your visa application.


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