UAE Golden, residency visas: A guide for students pursuing higher education

List of formalities for students to obtain a visa in the emirates, and how they can bring their parents to the country


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 12 Feb 2023, 10:44 AM

Last updated: Sun 12 Feb 2023, 3:32 PM

Question: I wish to come to the UAE to pursue higher education. Could you please take me through the visa duration/formalities? Also, can I bring my mother on any type of visa so that she can stay with me?

Response: A student who wishes to enrol himself or herself in a university or educational institution in the UAE needs to apply through relevant channels to obtain an admission letter. The documents to obtain a student visa in the UAE may include the official admission letter from the university, passport, medical fitness test report, Emirates ID application, biometrics and health insurance.

The university will make the necessary arrangements to obtain your UAE residency visa from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (the ‘GDRFA - Dubai’) or the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (the ‘ICA’) — depending on whether you are applying in Dubai or rest of the UAE, respectively.

The UAE residency visa may be granted to you subject to you clearing the medical fitness test and the relevant security clearance. Generally, student visas sponsored by a university in the UAE are valid for one year and may be renewed based on the documents for continuation of education.

Based on the above, if you are granted residency visa as a student, you may sponsor your parents to reside in the UAE if you can afford to have an accommodation, pay their day-to-day expenses and health insurance.

Alternatively, if you are willing to join a university in the UAE for higher studies based on your previous excellence in academics, then you may apply for a Golden Visa which is valid for 10 years. In this case, you are self-sponsored to reside in the UAE. The requirements and terms include submission of a recommendation letter from the university or an accredited graduation certificate or academic record stating that your cumulative grade point average is not less than 3.8 along with aforementioned requirements which are required for a regular student’s visa.

If granted, you may sponsor your parents on the 10-year Golden Visa as well. Further, for more clarifications on this matter, you may contact the university where you intend to pursue your higher education, the GDRFA - Dubai or the ICA.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


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