This guidance aims at providing an overview of the UK visa from UAE in 2019 for all types of entry clearance applications, especially for UAE nationals and residents applying for the electronic visa waiver (EVW), UK tourist, family and business visitor visa for the very first time. Accordingly, the post provides the details of all types of UK visa application fees and cost from UAE in Emirati Dirham (AED) and US$. In fact, the post also tries to answer faqs relating to the UK visa requirements for UAE citizens and residents, processing time and refusal rates. And also explain the usefulness of UK visa priority and VFS Global user-pay services from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, UAE.

UK Visa from UAE for Emirati Citizens and Foreign Expatriates

Perhaps, approximately more than 5-7K UAE citizens apply for a UK visa every year. Since UAE nationals can apply for the Electronic visa waiver (EVW) (aka UK electronic or e-visa), therefore, a large number of UAE nationals use EVW instead of standard visitor visa.

Please note, foreign residents in the UAE, can apply for UK visa application from UKVAC Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. However, foreign expatriate are not eligible for applying the UK electronic visa. Moreover, the total number of UK visa applications made in UAE far exceeds the number of applications made by UAE nationals because of a large number of foreign residents (i.e. Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, Bangladeshi etc. nationals) apply from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, UAE.

UK visa fees from UAE

In fact, the UK visa fees from UAE 2020 is different for different types of applications. However, in nearly all the instances an applicant needs to pay the UK Embassy visa fees in the UAE online. The Home Office usually revises the application fee only once every year. Therefore, the UK application charges in GBP remains the same during the year. Nevertheless, due to the exchange rate fluctuations, the cost of UK visa for UAE Citizens and foreign expatriates may vary during the year. Furthermore, the exchange rate @ AED3/67 to a US$ is used for calculating the price in UAE Dirham (د.إ) (AED).

UK standard visitor visa fees from UAE 2019

Apparently, UAE citizens and foreign expatriates can apply for 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years standard visitor visa. Indeed, the most common and popular application for tourism, family and business visits is for 6 months standard visitor visa. In fact, usually, a fresh applicant applies for the 6 months multi-entry visa for tourism or family visit. Accordingly, the 6 months tourist or visitor visa fees from UAE is AED455 ($124). Moreover, at times applicants also refer the UK 6 months visa as England or London visit visa from Dubai, UAE. Perhaps, a repeat visitor can also apply for a long-term visitor visa for tourism and family purpose. Accordingly, the UK tourist visa fees from Dubai, UAE for 2, 5 and 10 years visa application is AED1,725, AED3,130 and AED3,927, respectively. Moreover, the UK visa price for infants under 5 and children under 18 are same as that for adults.

Furthermore, the additional charges for priority service from UAE are AED1,050 (US$286). Therefore the priority visitor visa fees from UAE for 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years applications are AED1,505, AED2,775, AED4,180 and AED4,977, respectively.

UK visitor visa processing time from UAE

Perhaps, all the short and long-term visitor visa from UAE usually processed within 15-30 days i.e. 3 to 6 weeks. Here it is important to note that UKVI’s service standard is to process all visitor visa applications within 12 weeks, respectively. Therefore, if an applicant intends to apply for UK visa from Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah then may expect a decision within 1 week with priority service or 3-6 weeks with standard service.

Delays

Perhaps, at times only a fraction of the applications from UAE might experience delays in processing. Apparently, there could be a number of different reasons for delays in UK visa processing. However, usually, 98-99% of the applicants get a decision within 15 working days!

What if the UK visa application gets refused from UAE?

Empirically, the UK visa refusal rate from UAE is low. However, after a refusal decision, an applicant can either reapply or challenge a refusal decision by filing an appeal, administrative review or judicial review. Please note: there is no right of appeal against the refusal of visitor visa. However, UAE citizens or foreign expatriates have the option of either re-applying or filing an immigration judicial review against the refusal.

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Statistics

During Jan-March 2019 quarter, 891 UAE nationals applied for a UK entry clearance visa. Accordingly, 906 visa applications from UAE nationals resolved during the Jan-Mar 2019 quarter. And 887 visas granted and 6 applications refused. Moreover, 13 applications withdrawn by the applicants and no application lapsed during the quarter. Accordingly, so far the UK visa success and refusal rate for UAE nationals during 2019 has been 97.90% and 0.66%, respectively.

UK Visa from Emirati Citizens 2016-18

In fact, during 2016-18 the total number of decisions on the UK visa applications made by UAE nationals hovers in the range of 5.7-7.6K. Evidently, during 2016-18 the number of UK visa grants to Emirati citizens hovers in the range of 5.6-7.5K.  In fact, the UK visa success rate for UAE citizens remained quite stable during the 3 year period and is approx 99%. Evidently, during 2016-18 only a handful of applications from UAE nationals are refused. Therefore the UK visa refusal rate has remained less than 0.5% during the preceding 3 years.

Year 2016 2017 2018
Applications 7,573 6,526 5,737
Decisions 7,626 6,525 5,717
Grants 7,571 6,432 5,674
Refusals 27 38 22
Withdrawals 28 55 21
Lapsed Nil
Success Rate 99.28% 98.57% 99.25%
Refusal Rate 0.35% 0.58% 0.38%

Types

During 2018, 5,674 UK visas granted to Emirati citizens in the following categories:

  1. Visitor Visa: 4,302
  2. Transit: 1
  3. Short-Term Study: 265
  4. Family Settlement: 2
  5. Dependant joining or accompanying: 13
  6. PBS Tier 1: 11
  7. PBS Tier 2: 33
  8. Tier 4 Student: 899
  9. PBS Tier 5: 26
  10. Certificate of entitlement to right of abode (Main apps): 21
  11. Other Settlement (indefinite leave): 1
  12. Other temporary visas: 100

Visitor Visas

During 2018, 4,302 Emirati Citizens get the UK visitor visa i.e. 4,273 main and 29 dependant applicants. Moreover, 265 and 1 Emirati national also get the short-term study and transit visa in 2018, respectively.

UK Visitor Visa Processing Time from UAE

Indeed, the UK visitor visa processing time from UAE is usually within 10-15 working days. Please note, the service standard is to process all (100%) of the visitor visa applications within 12 weeks or 60 working days. Therefore, if an applicant intends to apply for UK visitor visa from UAE then may expect a decision within 1 week with priority service or 2-3 weeks with standard service. Moreover, an applicant can fast track a UK visitor visa application from UAE by purchasing the priority service. In fact, the cost of the priority service is AED1,050 (US$286). Apparently, the UKVI’s service standard for priority non-settlement visa applications is 5 working days or 1 week.

UK Visitor Visa Fees from UAE 2020
Type Fees
Visit Visa Fees for 6 months AED455
(US$124, £95)
2 Year Visit Visa Cost AED1,725
(US$470, £361)
5 Year Visit Visa AED3,130
(US$853, £655)
10 Year UK Visa Fees AED3,927
(US$1070, £822)
Visiting Academic – more than 6 months but no more than 12 months AED907
(US$247, £190)
Private Medical Treatment – more than 6 months but not more than 11 months AED907
(US$247, £190)
Marriage Visitor Visa AED455
(US$124, £95)
UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa 30 days AED455
(US$124, £95)
Chinese Tour Group (ADS) AED455
(US$124, £95)
Short-Term Study (up to 6 months) for adult and child AED462
(US$126, £97)
Short Term Student studying English language for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months AED888
(US$242, £186)
Direct Airside Transit (DATV) AED169
(US$46, £35)
Visitor in Transit visa AED305
(US$83, £64)
Visit purpose of joining a ship or aircraft as a member of crew of that ship or aircraft (fee also applicable to the Isle of Man) AED305
(US$83, £64)
Parent of a Tier 4 child visa (up to 12 months) AED2,466
(US$672, £516)

Spouse

Evidently, the UK visa fees from UAE in 2020 is AED7,274 for a spouse, civil, unmarried and same-sex partner settlement applications. Moreover, the UK embassy visa fees in UAE are same for a fiancé(e) and proposed civil partner. However, the UK priority settlement visa fees in UAE 2020 are AED2,738 ($746) for fast tracking spouse applications within 30 working days or 6 weeks instead of 12-24 weeks. Accordingly, the UK spouse visa fees from UAE with priority settlement service is AED10,012.

Please note, the settlement priority visa service is for a straightforward case. Therefore, applicants with past refusals, adverse immigration history and complex circumstances may not opt for the priority service.

UK spouse visa processing time from UAE

Quite clearly, the service standard of UKVI for settlement or spouse visa processing from UAE is to decide 95% and 100% of the applications within 12 and 24 weeks, respectively. However, the service standard for priority visa is to process a settlement application within 30 working days or 6 weeks. Perhaps, a few spouse visa applications from UAE conclude even within 15-30 working days i.e. 3 to 6 weeks. However, for most of the settlement applications, the UK visa processing time from UAE is usually 12 weeks or 60 working days. Nevertheless, some applications even remain outstanding after 120 working days!

Family Settlement

During 2018, 2 Emirati nationals get the family settlement visa. Moreover, 13 Emirati citizens get a visa as a dependant to join or accompany their family members in the UK.

UK Family Settlement Visa Fees from UAE 2020
Application Type Charges
Family visas – partner, parent, proposed civil partner or child AED7,274
(US$1,982, £1,523)
Settlement – other dependant relative AED15,524
(US$4,230, £3,250)
Adult who needs to be looked after by a relative AED15,524
(US$4,230, £3,250)
Settlement – refugee dependant relative AED1,853
(US$505, £388)
Former UK Armed Forces AED7,274
(US$1,982, £1,523)
Pre 1997 Gurkhas (outside immigration rules) AED7,274
(US$1,982, £1,523)
Overage dependant children of pre 1997 Gurkhas AED7,274
(US$1,982, £1,523)
HM Forces dependants applying under part 4,5,7 or 8 of Appendix Armed Forces AED7,274
(US$1,982, £1,523)
Returning residents AED2,466
(US$672, £516)
Family reunion, under Part 11 of Asylum, Immigration Rules (pre-flight dependants) Free of Charge
Post flight- Non- Settled person (Family reunion for asylum seekers) AED7,274 (US$1,982, £1,523)
Family reunion – other dependent relatives (Family reunion for asylum seekers) AED1,853
(US$505, £388)
Family member of an EEA or Swiss national – EEA Family Permit Free of Charge
Family member of an EEA or Swiss national – EUSS Family Permit Free of Charge
Parent / primary carer of an EEA national child Free of Charge

Appendix W

As a matter of fact, since March 2019, the Home Office has introduced new work visa categories under Appendix W. Accordingly, these new Non-PBS work routes have replaced the following PBS visas:

  1. Innovator visa has replaced Tier 1 Entrepreneur
  2. Start-up visa has replaced Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
  3. Global Talent visa has replaced Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

Moreover, a CESC discount of £55 is applicable for the main applicant.

Start-up and Innovator categories, which were introduced on 29 March 2019 and the Global Talent category which was introduced on 20 February 2020
Appendix W

UK Visa Fees from UAE 2020 under Appendix W
Application Type Charges
Start-up Visa AED1,732
(US$472, £363)
Innovator Visa AED4,877
(US$1,329, £1,021)
Global Talent – Stage 1 – endorsement application – main applicant AED2,180
(US$594, £456)
Global Talent – Stage 2 – entry clearance application – main applicant AED727
(US$198, £152)
Global Talent – subsequent application AED2,903
(US$791, £608)
Global Talent – dependants AED2,903
(US$791, £608)

Tier 1 High Value Migrants

During 2019, 11 UAE citizens get the Tier 1 visa i.e. Investors (8) and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs (3). However, this does not include the number of foreign residents applying for a UK Tier 1 visa from Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Moreover, the  UK Tier 1 visa application processing time from Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, UAE, is usually 3-6 weeks. However, at times an applicant can get a decision even within 2 weeks.

Tier 1 Visa Fees from UAE 2020
Application Type Charges
Tier 1 Investor – main applicant and dependants AED7,751
(US$2,112, £1,623)
Tier 1 Entrepreneur – main applicant and each dependants AED4,877
(US$1,329, £1,021)
Graduate Entrepreneur – dependants only AED1,732
(US$472, £363)
Tier 1 Exceptional Talent – dependants only AED2,902
(US$791, £608)
Tier 1 General – dependants only AED4,877
(US$1,329, £1,021)
Post Study Work (PSW) – dependants only AED2,885
(US$786, £604)

Tier 2 Skilled Workers

During 2018, 33 UAE nationals get Tier 2 (Pre-PBS equivalent) work visa i.e. Tier 2 General (4), Intracompany transfers – long-term (18) and Tier 2 Deps (11). However, this does not include the number of Tier 2 grants to UAE residents applying from UKVAC Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

What is the UK embassy work visa fees in UAE?

Perhaps, the Tier 2 visa application cost is generally referred to as UK embassy work visa fees in Emirati Dirham. Moreover, the Tier 2 visa application fees from UAE is also erroneously referred to as UK work permit fees in UAE Dirham. Please note: PBS Tier 2 replaced the UK work permit route in 2008. Moreover, the Points-based system (PBS) Tier 2 and Tier 5 application charges are also applicable to the Isle of Man. And the Council of Europe Social Charter (CESC) discount of US$70/- (£55) applies to PBS main applicants.

Tier 2 visa processing time from UAE

Perhaps, the UK visa processing time from Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi is usually within 15 working days for applicants from UAE. However, some of the applications conclude within 5-10 working days. Moreover, all the Tier 2 applications from UAE usually decide within 60 working days. Please refer: Tier 2 General Visa for details.

Tier 2 Visa Fees from UAE 2020
Type Fees
Tier 2 General where a (CoS) Certificate of Sponsorship is for a period of 3 years or less AED2,914
(US$794, £610)
Tier 2 General if the CoS is for a period of 3 years or more AED5,828
(US$1,588, £1,220)
Shortage Occupation if CoS for Tier 2 General is for 3 years or less AED2,217
(US$604, £464)
Shortage Occupation if CoS for Tier 2 General is for 3 years or more AED4,433
(US$1,208, £928)
Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT) if CoS is for 3 years or less AED2,914
(US$794, £610)
Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT) if CoS is for 3 years or more AED5,828
(US$1,588, £1,220)
Graduate Trainee (Tier 2 ICT) AED2,301
(US$627, £482)
Tier 2 Minister of Religion AED2,914
(US$794, £610)
Tier-2 Sportsperson AED2,914
(US$794, £610)

Tier 4 Student

During 2018, 899 UAE citizens get the Tier 4 student visa:

  • PBS – Tier 4 General student (Main apps) – 833
  • Tier 4 Child Student (Main apps) – 10
  • Tier 4 General student (Deps) – 56

Please note, the aforesaid, does not include the number of foreign residents applying for a UK Tier 2 student visa from UKVAC Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

UK Student Visa Fees from UAE

The charges for Tier 4 students and their dependants are AED1,622 ($442). Moreover, the UK application fees from UAE is the same for entry clearance as a student to enter the Bailiwick of Gurnsey or Bailiwick of Jersey. Moreover, the UK visa fees from UAE 2019 for a Tier 4 student application with priority service is AED2,649 ($722) i.e. application charges AED1,622 ($442) plus the priority service cost AED1,027 ($280).

Tier 4 student visa processing time from UAE

Apparently, the UK visa processing time from UAE is normally 10-15 working days for the applications submitted at UKVAC Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. In fact, a number of Tier 4 visa applications are also decided even within 5-7 working days. However, a fraction of the applications may take more time due to verification and interview. Perhaps, such applications are also usually decided within 6 weeks i.e. 30 working days.

Tier 5 Temporary Workers

During 2018, 26 UAE citizens the Tier 5 temporary worker visa with the following breakup:

  • Creative and Sporting – 4
  • Government Authorised Exchange – 18
  • International Agreement – 4

The UK visa application fees from UAE for Tier 5 main applicant and dependants is AED1,137 ($310) for Charity Worker, Creative and sporting, Government Authorised Exchange, Religious Worker, Youth Mobility Scheme and International Agreement. Moreover, the UK visa processing time from UAE for most of the Tier 5 applications submitted at UKVAC Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi is usually within 10-15 working days. Perhaps, more than 25% of the Tier 5 applications even conclude within 10 working days. Moreover, only a small fraction of the Tier 5 applications from Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi takes more than 3-6 weeks to decide.

Other Non-PBS Work Visas

The details of UK Non-PBS work visa cost in UAE, except for applications under Appendix W, are as under:

Type Fees
Representatives of overseas businesses AED2,466 (US$672, £516)
An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation AED2,466 (US$672, £516)
UK Ancestry Visa AED2,466 (US$672, £516)
Turkish businessperson and dependants Free of Charge
Overseas domestic worker in a private household AED2,466 (US$672, £516)
Offshore worker AED2,466 (US$672, £516)
Fisherman operating inside UK waters AED2,466 (US$672, £516)
Sheep Shearer AED2,466 (US$672, £516)

Priority Service

Evidently, the cost of priority non-settlement and settlement (spouse) visa service in UAE is AED1,050 ($286) and AED2,738 ($746), respectively. Moreover, the price of 24-hour same-day super-priority service in UAE is AED4,565 ($1,244). If an application is straightforward and the applicant can afford then it is advisable to opt for the priority service from UAE. Indeed, the priority service does not affect or influence the outcome of the decision.

How popular is UK priority visa service in UAE?

Apparently, more than 30% of the business and long term visitor visa applications from UAE decide within 1 week or 5 working days. Therefore, a large number of foreign residents, especially businesspersons and corporate executive, in the UAE opt for UK visitor visa priority service and other option user-pay services offered by VFS Global in Dubai and Abu-Dhabi.

DOES THE PRIORITY SERVICE GUARANTEE ANYTHING?

No, certainly the priority service does not guarantee a favourable result. Moreover, payment for priority service does not even guarantee a quick decision. However, the UKVI usually expedite the processing of priority applications. Moreover, also inform an applicant via email, if the priority visa does process within 5 working days!

Premium Services Fees
Priority service for settlement applications AED2,738
(US$746, £573)
Priority service for non-settlement AED1,050
(US$286, £220)
Super Priority Service AED4,565
(US$1,244, £956)
International contact centre – via telephone (per minute) AED7.34
(US$2, £1.37)
International contact centre – via email (per query) AED25.69
(US$7, £5.48)
Registered Traveller Service – Adult AED239
(US$65, £50)
Registered Traveller Service – Child AED114
(US$31, £24)
Registration of new documents AED95
(US$26, £20)

Charges for Other Visas and Services

The charges for other visas and services are as under:

Other Services Fees
HM Forces personnel or Member of foreign armed force – exempt from immigration control (non-settlement) Free of charge
Dependants of exempt international forces applying under Part 10 of Appendix Armed Forces (non-settlement) AED2,466
(US$672, £516)
FCO Strategic performance fund and bilateral projects Free of charge
Receiving/handling/ forwarding applications on behalf of Commonwealth Countries/Overseas Territories AED675
(US$184, £141)
Vignette Transfer (transfer of a valid visa vignette to a new passport) AED734
(US$200, £154)
Single-entry visa application for replacing a lost Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) AED734
(US$200, £154)
User Pays Visa Application Centre (VAC) AED264
(US$72, £55)
Certificate of entitlement (Right of Abode) AED1,853
(US$505, £388)
Call out/ out of hours fee (per hour/part hour) AED679
(US$185, £142)

Exemptions

Certainly, there is no application fee for

  1. Diplomatic Posting
  2. Diplomatic Posting (Dependant)
  3. Members of International Organisations on Official Visits
  4. Official Transit
  5. Official Visit

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How to apply for an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) online?

In term of Appendix V for Visitors, instead of applying for a UK visa, nationals of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE can get an electronic visa waiver (EVW) for visiting the UK up to 6 months for tourism, business, study and private medical treatment.

UK E-visa Requirements

Apparently, the requirements of EVW for UAE citizens are quite simple and upfront.

An applicant only needs to complete the online EVW application form at least 48 hours before the trip to the UK. However, before starting to fill the form, a UAE national must ensure that he/she has:

  • a current passport
  • an address in the United Kingdom for staying during the visit
  • details of the journey to and from the UK (including departure and arrival dates and times)

How to fill the EVW application form?

In fact, it is not much difficult to fill in the details of the EVW form. However, an applicant must ensure that the details on the EVW application form must exactly match the details in an applicant’s passport. Moreover, the applicant must ensure that he/she is only entering the correct travel details. If an applicant fails to provide the correct travel details then there is a risk that the applicant will not be allowed to travel.

Furthermore, in addition to passport and travel details, an applicant also needs to upload an image of his/her passport photo.

EVW Fee

The EVW Fees is a non-refundable fee of 30 GBP payable by a debit or credit card.

 

Is EVW (e-visa) for single or multiple entries?

In fact, the EVW is only for a single entry. Therefore, an applicant needs a new EVW for every visit to the UK. Moreover, an EVW does not entitle a visitor to do work or get married or enter into a civil partnership in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, for getting EVW, each applicant, including children, needs to make a separate online EVW application.

Do I need to visit the UKVAC for EVW?

No, the procedure to apply for an EVW is quite different from applying for a regular UK visa application. Therefore, an applicant doesn’t need to visit a UK visa application centre for getting the EVW. Instead, an applicant needs to complete the online application form.

When I will get the UK e-visa in UAE?

In fact, once UKVI receives a request for e-visa then within 24 hours sends an email (to the applicant) with a link to download the UK e-visa i.e. electronic visa waiver (EVW). Therefore, after downloading the UK e-visa, it is important to check it for any possible corrections. If the details on the e-visa (EVW) are correct then an applicant needs to take a printout of the EVW. And if possible also to save the UK e-visa on mobile phone or tablet. However, if the details on EVW are not correct then the applicant needs to contact the UKVI at least 48 hours before travelling for any possible changes.

Is it necessary to bring UK e-visa (EVW) for travelling?

Yes, an applicant needs to bring a hard/soft copy of the UK e-visa for travel.

Can someone else fill in the EVW application form?

Yes, it is quite fine if someone else fills the UK e-visa (EVW) application form on behalf of an applicant. However, in such cases, an applicant needs to provide the contact details of himself/herself and also that of the person, who filled the EVW application form.
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How to apply for the UK visit visa from UAE?

A UAE national or resident can apply online for any type of UK visitor visa and submit the application at UKVAC Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi. Perhaps, an applicant can read the questions in different languages. However, can answer only in English. Moreover, after selecting a language for reading the questions, one needs to select UAE as the country if an applicant is applying from inside UAE. If a UAE passport holder is applying for a UK visa from outside the UAE then needs to provide the details of the residence. However, a foreign expatriate needs to have a UAE residence to apply for a UK visa from  UAE.

Furthermore, the UK visitor visa application process from the UAE usually consists of the following steps:

  1. Specify the Purpose of Visiting the UK
  2. Fill the Online Application Form
  3. Schedule an Appointment
  4. Pay the Application Fees
  5. Upload/Prepare the Documents Bunch
  6. Biometrics at UKVAC
  7. Wait for the Decision
  8. Passport Collection from UKVAC

1. Specify the Purpose

In most of the instances, the purpose of visiting the UK from the UAE is tourism, meeting family members, business. Therefore, the first step is to specify the purpose of visiting and to gather the supporting documents. Please note: a UAE national or a foreign resident can apply for a UK visitor visa application 3 months prior to the intended visit. For instance, if a UAE passport holder wishes to visit for tourism from Feb 15, 2020, to 5 March 2020, then can submit an application at the UKVAC from Nov 15, 2019, onwards. However, UAE citizens or foreign residents usually submit an application 3-4 weeks prior to the scheduled visit as the processing time for most of the applications from the UAE is within 2-3 weeks!

2. Fill the Online Application Form

An applicant can apply online for any type of UK visitor visa application from the UAE. Therefore, no paper application form is required. Moreover, applicants can read questions in languages other than English. However, can only fill the UK visa online application form in English. Moreover, after selecting a language, an applicant needs to select UAE as the country of application if an applicant is applying from inside the UAE. However, if a UAE passport holder is applying from some other country then needs to select that particular country. However, in such instances, also need to provide the details of the permission to reside in that country. Accordingly, after completing an application form, an applicant needs to attend an appointment at one of the UK Visa Application (UKVAC) in the UAE.

3. Schedule an Appoitment

Once an applicant has reviewed and finalised the application then can select the service type (standard or priority). And accordingly can schedule an appointment at one of the UKVACs in the UAE.

4. Pay the Application Fees

Once an applicant has schedule the appointment and selected the service type then can proceed forward to make payment online. And may take a print out of the final online application form.

5. Upload/Prepare the Documents Bunch

Quite clearly, the requirements for submitting supporting documents with the UK visa application for UAE citizens and foreign residents is the same as that for any other visa national. Therefore, an applicant applying for a UK visa from the UAE needs to upload/submit the required supporting documents.

6. Biometrics

An applicant needs to attend an appointment at UKVAC in the UAE for biometrics and passport/application submission. Accordingly, the staff of the VFS Global application centre takes an electronic photo of the applicant at the time of application submission. Moreover, the staff of UKVAC also takes an applicant’s biometrics i.e. scanning of fingers + thumbs. Therefore, in case of a successful decision, the British HC or Embassy use the electronic photo for visa vignette.

7. Wait for the Decision

Perhaps, the UK visa processing time from the UAE for all the short and long-term visitor visa application is usually within 10-15 working days i.e. 2 to 3 weeks. However, the UK priority visa processing time from the UAE is normally within 5-7 working days. Here it is important to note that service standard for UK tourist visa processing from UAE can take up-to 12 weeks.

8. Passport Collection

Once the UKVI makes the decision on the application then the UKVAC will inform the applicant for passport collection. However, if your application remains unresolved even after 12 weeks or 60 working days then you need to contact the UKVI.
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Supporting Documents Checklist

Quite clearly, the requirements for submitting supporting documents with the UK visa application form is slightly different for UAE nationals and residents. However, by and large, the requirements for UK visa supporting documents are the same for the UAE nationals and residents. Therefore, an applicant applying for UK visa from UAE needs to submit the following types of documents at the UKVAC:

  1. Print out of the UK visa online application form
  2. Current valid passport
  3. Previous passport, if applicable
  4. Translation of documents, which are not in English/Welsh
  5. A valid UAE residence visa (for foreign residents applying from UAE)
  6. Invitation letter, if applicable
  7. Business/Employer details
  8. Tax registration certificate
  9. Tax returns
  10. Bank statements
  11. Salary slips (for employed persons)
  12. Marriage certificate, if applicable
  13. Family certificate, if applicable
  14. Residential address in the UAE
  15. Conveyance/Mortgage Deed or Rental Agreement of the address in the UAE
  16. A UK address for staying during the visit
  17. UAE telephone or mobile number
  18. Ownership of assets in the UAE (and also in the Home Country)

Do applicants really require to submit any photographs?

No, applicants don’t need to submit any photographs with their UK visa application in the UAE. Certainly, the UK visa application procedure has changed during the last few years. Therefore, the information relating to the requirement of submitting a photograph with the UK visa application form and supporting documents is misleading and outdated.

In fact, the staff of the UK visa application centre (UKVAC) in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, UAE, takes an electronic photo of the applicant at the time of application submission. Moreover, the staff of UKVAC also takes an applicant’s biometrics i.e. scanning of fingers + thumbs. Therefore, in case of a successful assessment/decision, the British HC or Embassy use the electronic photo for visa vignette.

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VFS premium service packages in the UAE

In order to facilitate applications from UAE, VFS offers 4 premium packages and also Platinum Lounge facility. And depending on the service features, the cost of the VFS premium service packages varies from US$37/17 to US$615/38. Accordingly, the VFS Global premium service packages in the UAE are:

  1. Gold Premium Package for US$165/55
  2. Silver Premium Package for US$142/95
  3. Bronze Premium Package for US$37/17
  4. Student Premium Package for US$152/24
  5. Platinum Lounge Service for US$615/38

1) Gold

Apparently, the Gold premium package is a bundle offer available to the UK visa applicants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Moreover, the VFS Global Gold Premium Package includes the following services:

  1. Walk-in Without Appointment (US$122/53) – to apply for the visa without making a booking in advance
  2. Application and Document Checks (US$40.84) – to ensure that supporting documents are appropriate
  3. Courier Service (US$13.61) – passport delivery at an applicant’s home or office address
  4. SMS Service (US$2.86) – instant updates on mobile
  5. Premium Lounge (US$122.53 – 142.95) – for comfort and convenience, a separate lounge with personalised service from dedicated staff
  6. Printing (US$1.39) – of the visa application and a max of ten pages of additional documents
  7. Photocopying (US$1.36) – of passport and documents
So is the Gold Premium Package a good bargain?

Yes, apparently, the price of 7 services offered in the VFS Global Gold Premium Package amounts to approx US$305-325. Therefore, the Gold Premium Package saves an applicant approx US$140-160. Moreover, nearly all the services included in the Gold Premium Package has some utility. Therefore, if an applicant can afford spending an extra buck for peace of mind and convenience then Gold Premium Package seems to be a good bargain.

2) Silver

Apparently, the Silver premium package is a bundle offer available to UK visa applicants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The price of the Silver premium package is US$142/95. And the package includes the following services:

  1. Walk-in Without Appointment (US$122/53) – to apply for the visa without making a booking in advance
  2. Courier Service (US$13.61) – passport delivery at an applicant’s home or office address
  3. SMS Service (US$2.86) – instant updates on mobile
  4. Application and Document Checks (US$40.84) – to ensure that supporting documents are appropriate
  5. Printing (US$1.39) – of the visa application and a max of ten pages of additional documents
  6. Photocopying (US$1.36) – of passport and documents
  7. Premium Courier 500 (US$2.86) – insurance (with a courier service), covering compensation up to US$500.

3) Bronze

Apparently, the Bronze premium package is a bundle offer. The price of the Bronze premium package is US$37/17. And the package includes the following 3 services:

  1. Application and Document Checks (US$40.84) – to ensure that supporting documents are appropriate
  2. Courier Service (US$13.61) – passport delivery at an applicant’s home or office address
  3. SMS Service (US$2.86) – instant updates on mobile
So is the Bronze Premium Package a good bargain?

Yes, apparently, the price of 3 services offered in the VFS Global Gold Premium Package amounts to approx US$57. Therefore, the Bronze Premium Package saves an applicant approx US$20.

4) Student

Apparently, the Student premium package is a bundle offer. The price of the Student premium package is US$152/24. And the package includes the following 6 services:

  1. Application and Document Checks (US$40.84) – to ensure that supporting documents are appropriate
  2. Courier Service (US$13.61) – passport delivery at an applicant’s home or office address
  3. SMS Service (US$2.86) – instant updates on mobile
  4. Premium Lounge (US$122.53 – 142.95) – for comfort and convenience, a separate lounge with personalised service from dedicated staff
  5. Printing (US$1.39) – of the visa application and a max of ten pages of additional documents
  6. Photocopying (US$1.36) – of passport and documents
So is the Student Premium Package a good bargain?

Yes, apparently, the price of 6 services offered in the VFS Global Student Premium Package amounts to approx US$183. Therefore, the Student Premium Package saves an applicant approx US$30.

5) Platinum Lounge only in Dubai, UAE

Apparently, for UK visa applicants in Dubai, the VFS Global has an exclusive Platinum Lounge. In fact, the Platinum lounge is away from the main visa application centre and aims at providing luxury, privacy and comfort to the applicants. The price of the Platinum Lounge service is US$615/38. And the Platinum Lounge includes the following services/features:

  1. Non-settlement Priority Visa Service (US$280) – to enable UK visa processing from UAE within 3-5 working days
  2. Chauffeur Service –pick-up and drop-off from anywhere in Dubai
  3. Secure Wi-Fi connectivity, not available anywhere else within the visa application centre
  4. Assistance with filling in application forms and making online payments
  5. SMS updates at every stage of the visa application and decision process
  6. Courier for direct return of passports and documents
  7. Drinks and snacks
  8. A free Oyster Card to top up and use on the London public transport system
SO IS IT EXPEDIENT TO USE THE PLATINUM LOUNGE?

Apparently, if you intend to use the Priority Service (US$280) then you will be paying an additional US$371/- for other services and features of the Platinum Lounge. Therefore, it may be expedient to use the Platinum Lounge. However, if you don’t intend to use the priority service then there is no point in spending an additional amount of US$615/38 for the Platinum Lounge.

VFS Global Application Centres in UAE

Following VFS Global UK Visa Application Centre are operating in the UAE:

  1. Abu Dhabi – UK Visa Application Centre Shining Tower, Level 25, Mubarak Bin Mohammed Street, Adjacent to Khalidyah Mall, Abu Dhabi – UAE, P.O.Box 30023
  2. Dubai – UK Visa Application Centre, WAFI Mall, Level 3, Falcon, Phase 2, Umm Hurair 2 – Dubai – UAE
  3. Sharjah – UK Premium Visa Application Centre, 3rd Level, Regus 2XL Building, Near Mega Mall, Central Sharjah Al Qasimya – UAE

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