Student visa

A student visa is issued to expatriate students who are over 18 years and residing in the UAE. Outstanding students can get a long-term visa of 5 years.

Long-term visa for outstanding students

On 24 November 2018, the UAE government approved a decision to grant a 5-year visa to outstanding students.

Eligibility conditions for a 5-year visa are:

  • School students must graduate with a grade of at least 95 per cent from secondary schools whether public or private.
  • University students must graduate with a distinctive GPA of at least 3.75 from universities within and outside the country.


Visa benefits will also include families of the outstanding students.

Who is a student visa for?

A student’s visa is for a university or a college student studying in the UAE. The student must be at least 18 years of age.

Key requirements of a student’s visa

In order to secure a freshman student’s visa, the applicant must obtain an official admission letter from the university he is studying at. For older students, a certificate of continuation of study is needed. Other requirements include:

What is the term of validity of the student’s visa?

Currently, a student’s visa is given for a duration of one year, at a time, renewable for a similar period upon an official proof of continuation of a study issued from the relevant higher educational institute in the UAE where the student is admitted.

Who can provide a student’s visa?

Student’s visa in the UAE can be secured either by residents sponsoring their children or by one of the accredited universities/colleges in the UAE. Visa applications are processed through visa authorities represented by the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in each emirate.

How can universities and colleges secure a visa for their students?

Accredited universities and colleges in the UAE can secure a visa for their students whether international students or students already residing in the UAE. Students should refer to terms and conditions listed in each university or college to know specific requirements for admission and visa process.


Admission in one of the UAE universities does not guarantee that visa will be issued. Visa issuance is subject to certain requirements, which include passing a medical fitness test, a security check and the approval of the GDRFA in the relevant emirate. These are the available channels to apply for a student’s visa in the UAE.

How can UAE expatriate residents secure a student’s visa for their children?

UAE laws do not allow a resident expatriate to continue sponsoring their male children above the age of 18. An exception is given to male students who continue their studies in one of the higher educational institutes in the UAE or abroad. Therefore, male students over the age 18 can remain on their parent’s residence visa sponsorship as long as they provide an evidence of attendance at a higher educational institute for a minimum of one year’s course. Expatriate parents may continue to sponsor their female children for study, regardless of their children’s age.


Note: New rules for children’s visa sponsored by parents

Starting from 21 October 2018, students who graduate from their universities or secondary schools or complete 18 years of age will be granted a one-year residence visa, renewable for another year from the graduation date or on completing 18 years.


For this type of visa, parents are not required to place bank deposits. The visa will cost AED100 for first time issuing and renewal.


To avail this service, parents must present duly attested graduation certificates from universities or schools, whether inside the country or abroad.


Source: Emirates News Agency-WAM