UAE residents’ guide to e-visas for GCC countries: Validity, documents, process explained

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While the implementation of the unified tourist permit is underway, residents of the Gulf nations can continue to enjoy their current visa-free travel privileges

The GCC countries, inspired by the extensive European Schengen travel visa system, have unanimously approved a unified tourist permit. This unified visa will facilitate unrestricted movement among residents of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait.

While the Schengen-style visa is in the process of implementation, citizens of GCC nations can still benefit from their current visa-free travel privileges. Additionally, other residents can enjoy hassle-free travel through e-visa services.

Here’s a breakdown of the process for applying for an e-visa in each Gulf nation:

Saudi Arabia

UAE citizens enjoy visa-free travel to Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes. However, residents have the option to apply for e-visa, which grants a validity period of 1 year and permits stays of up to 90 days. The e-visa is available in two types, single entry e-visa, and multiple entry e-visa; fees are Dh452 for a single entry visa.

Requirements:

  • Passport (the passport should not expire in the next six months after the e-Visa is issued.)
  • ID card.
  • Bank information.
  • Place of accommodation. (Not mandatory)
  • A passport-sized photo with w white background.
  • Email address.
  • You will need to provide your Guardians’ information such as phone number, residence and ID, and approval if the applicant is underage, in need of medical assistance, or handicapped.

Visa application process:

  • Access the official website of the Saudi Arabia eVisa portal or visit – https://visa.mofa.gov.sa/.
  • Create an account or log in if you already have one.
  • Complete the online application form with accurate information.
  • Upload scanned copies of your passport and a recent photograph meeting the specified requirements.
  • Upload a digital copy of your valid UAE visa or residency permit and provide the necessary residential information
  • Double-check to ensure all the information provided is accurate.
  • Enter the necessary medical information and choose one of the available medical insurance options.
  • Pay the visa fee online using the available payment methods.
  • Await approval notification via email, which will include the e-visa if approved.

Oman

UAE citizens can travel to Oman visa-free, while residents can opt for e-visa. Visitors can apply for this visa online through the Royal Oman Police website, allowing a stay of 28 days. Visitors can extend their visas for an extra week if necessary. The visa costs OMR 5.

Required documents:

Valid passport: You need a scanned copy of your valid passport. Your passport must be valid for 6 months from your date of entry.

Passport photo: The photo must be recent with a white background.

Resident permit: You need a copy of your residence permit. Your permit must be valid when you enter Oman.

Visa application process:

  • Visit the Royal Oman Police (ROP) eVisa website. You’ll see an option to apply for a tourist visa at the bottom of the website.
  • Create an account – provide your email address, password, and nationality and verify your account.
  • Click “Apply for visa” and “Apply for unsponsored visa.” Then, fill out the online visa application form with the required details.
  • Upload digital copies of your passport, photograph, and any supporting documents as specified.
  • Pay the visa fee online using the provided payment methods.
  • Await approval notification via email, which will contain the e-visa if approved.

Qatar

Nationalities from 102 countries can enter Qatar visa-free, and all others can apply for an e-visa using the Hayya platform online.

Depending on the passports they hold, residents have the option to obtain either a 90-day or a 30-day visit visa for Qatar. UAE residents who require the Qatar e-visa will have to pay QAR 100.

The Qatar e-Visa application is straightforward and uncomplicated. It consists of 3 easy steps – fill in the application form with your personal data and travel details, upload the essential documentation in PDF format, and make the payment for the processing of your application.

Required documents:

  • Proof of accommodation in Qatar (e.g., hotel booking or your host’s address)
  • Details of your return (or onward) travel
  • Copy of your passport (with a minimum validity of six months)
  • Copy of your residence permit or visa to any one of the eligible countries stated above (with a minimum validity of 30 days).
  • Documents stating the applicant’s current employment status and occupation

Visa application process:

  • Navigate to the official website of the Qatar Ministry of Interior’s Qatar e-Visa portal.
  • Register for an account or log in if you have one that is existing.
  • Fill in the online visa application form with the required details.
  • Upload digital copies of your passport, photograph, and supporting documents.
  • Pay the visa fee online through the provided payment gateway.
  • Once processed, receive the e-visa via email.

Bahrain

Bahrain offers various types of visit visas tailored to the residency status and duration of stay for GCC residents and visitors. These include a two-week single-entry visa for GCC residents, a one-month multiple-entry visa for GCC visitors, a three-month multiple-entry visa for GCC residents, and a one-year multiple-entry visa for GCC residents. Each visa type has its conditions and validity period. Additionally, Bahrain also provides on-arrival visa services for eligible individuals. Visa fees differ as per the length of the visit.

Required terms of service:

  • Applicant must be outside Bahrain when applying for this visa.
  • Applicant must have had a current resident permit of a GCC country for at least 3 months.
  • Applicant’s resident permit for a GCC country must be valid for at least another 3 months.
  • Applicants with GCC resident permits occupation should not be labourers
  • The visa is issued and paid online.

Validity conditions:

  • If the visa expires before entry to Bahrain, the applicant must apply again and another fee must be paid.

Entry conditions:

  • Applicant must not take up any paid or unpaid employment during the visit to Bahrain.
  • Passport must be valid for at least six months.

Required documents:

  • Copy of the applicant’s passport. (Family Page and any additional information page).
  • Copy of GCC residence permit valid for 3 months
  • Copy of valid confirmed return air ticket.
  • Copy of hotel booking in Kingdom of Bahrain. Alternately, in case you are staying with a relative/friend, please provide a copy of their ID reader’s print out.

Visa application process:

  • Go to the official eVisa Bahrain website. / https://www.evisa.gov.bh/
  • Select the type of visa you need (tourist, business, etc.).
  • Complete the online application form with accurate information.
  • Upload scanned copies of your passport, photograph, and any other requested documents.
  • Pay the visa fee using the available online payment options.
  • Receive the e-visa confirmation via email once it’s approved.

Kuwait

Travellers holding a valid UAE passport will not require visa to enter Kuwait. If you hold a foreign passport and a GCC residency card, you must obtain an e-visa before you can travel to Kuwait. This applies to all foreigners living in the UAE. The e-visa issued by the Kuwait portal is valid for up to 30 days.

The application process for the Kuwait online visa for UAE residents is quick, and it involves submitting a few basic personal details, passport information, and answering some security questions.

Requirements:

Eligibility: Individuals applying for a Kuwait visa from Dubai and the UAE must be either of the following: A resident of the UAE with a GCC residency permit that will be valid for at least 6 months. A national of one of the eligible countries listed below.

Passport validity: The applicant must have a passport that will be valid for at least 6 months from the date of application.

Security: There must be no security restrictions imposed on the applicant that would prevent them from entering Kuwait.

Visa compliance: Visitors must comply with all conditions of their visa when in Kuwait. Those who have breached the terms of their visa on previous occasions (such as staying in the country longer than permitted) may be denied a new visa.

Visa application process:

  • Fill out your online application form for Kuwait e-visa
  • All information provided in the online application form for Kuwait e-visa should match exactly as per your passport.
  • Upload scanned copies of your passport, photograph, and any other necessary documents.
  • Pay the visa fee online through the available payment options.
  • Receive the e-visa via email once it’s processed and approved.
  • Once the online application form was submitted, all the Kuwait e-visa notification and updates will be sent via email.

The Kuwait e-visa processing time is within 24 hours (except Friday, Saturday & holidays in Kuwait). However, some applications may take longer, up to three (3) business days, upon completion of the Kuwait e-visa application form.

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