We are a few months away from one of the biggest worldwide events. EXPO 2020 will take place in Dubai on 20th October 2020. So, if you are planning to visit the UAE soon, or you are expecting your clients or business partners to arrive and be part of the event, or to take advantage of the opportunities and the business prospects that will be created before, during and after the EXPO. You will have to make sure when you apply for a United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) tourist or a visit visa, that you avoid the common mistakes many people make when applying resulting in visa rejections and delays when entering the UAE! So, the question is, what are the common mistakes expats and entrepreneurs alike make when applying for a UAE tourist or visit visa?

The UAE, the sparkling star of the Middle East, its capital Abu Dhabi and its most iconic city Dubai, both cities are among the most popular destinations for tourism, art and business worldwide. From the world-class skyscrapers, ultra-modern lifestyles, turquoise beaches, luxury shopping malls, and super cars to the magical deserts, there is absolutely everything in the UAE. The UAE is one of the safest and secure countries in the world, and it is an ideal destination for business and leisure travelers. Very often travelers of all age groups from all over the globe set their sights on spending their vacation in the UAE or decide to attend a conference, exhibition or a business meeting. For any of those aforementioned reasons, travelers need to obtain a tourist or visit visa prior to their travel if their nationality does not entitle them to get the tourist or visit visa on arrival at the airport.
Being one of the most fascinating destinations for travelers and international expats when looking at the Middle East. Dubai and Abu Dhabi in particular crowns the other emirates for being the leading tourist destinations for all those shopping, leisure, beaches, business, art and cultural trips. As well as being one of the most desirable places to live in the Middle East compared to other neighboring countries in the region, and because of its well paid jobs, free tax and high living standards. However, lately the government has become more stringent with visa applications, resulting in an increase in visa rejections to enter the UAE, this especially applies for citizens of countries who are required to apply for an entry permit prior to flying to the UAE.

In this article, we aim to shed some light on the common mistakes people make when applying for a UAE tourist or visit visa, resulting in their visa application being rejected.

From 2010 to 2016 statistics have shown that 14.8 Million travelers have entered the UAE on an overnight stay. In 2017, this figure increased to 15.8 Million travelers, the number of visa applications received by UAE authorities every year is phenomenal!

Generally, the rules of accepting or rejecting a tourist or visit visa application states that if the authority “Department of Immigration” rejects anyone’s visa application to enter the country, for any reason, they are not obliged to disclose the specifics of their decision of rejection or acceptance, and no one has the right to request this information. Furthermore, such information cannot be disclosed to third parties. This also applies to applicants who have had previous visit or tourist visas approved. The most accurate and sincere recommendation would be to reapply, as there is no other action that anyone can take to dispute the Department of Immigration decision. This is of course very unfortunate for many applicants as there options are limited when faced with visa rejection. Every week, we receive a tremendous amount of questions, asking us what could be the reasons behind such rejection, with most cases being labeled as “Security Rejection”.

For most travelers, travel agencies and residents of other GCC countries, the process of getting visa approval is easy, just follow the simple online application process. However, simple mistakes made during the visa application process may lead to your application being rejected. Below, we have outlined the most common reasons people have their visa applications rejected.

The reason why your UAE tourist or visit visa application may get rejected:

Mistakes in the visa application form

A very common mistake that an applicant’s make, is to input wrong information in the visa application, resulting in a discrepancy to what is actually shown on the applicant’s passport copy. This includes: spelling errors of the name, wrong passport expiry date, incorrect passport number, or date of birth. To avoid these kind of errors it is recommended that, before the final submission of the application to carefully review the details and ensure that information mirrors the information shown in the applicant’s passport.

For example, we have seen a female traveler have her entry permit application rejected and her entry to the UAE blocked because her tourist visa application showed her gender as “male”. In this example, the traveler was lucky to have an issued entry permit with a clear information discrepancy. Such a mistake is clear to be of the travel agency applying for the tourist visa. However, despite the accuracy and correctness of all the other passport details, it resulted to entry rejection. Additionally, the traveler had to spend a lot of time inside the airport waiting for such rectification to be fixed at the Immigration Office to enter the UAE.
Unskilled profession stated in the application

When, applying for a Dubai tourist visa, one of the most important details of the visa application form is the “Profession”. If an applicant mentions his profession, such as labor, or farmer, the chances of having the tourist visa application approved are reduced with many applications resulting in rejection. Hence, it is better to not mention these unskilled professions in the visa application form.

Handwritten or invalid passport

Dubai immigration automatically rejects handwritten travel documents and usually rejects passports valid for a period less than Six (6) months from the date of the visa application submission. So, to avoid this, applicants should have an electronically printed passport and to make sure to renew their passport if it expires within 6 months. It is worth mentioning that such reason is in fact a very common requirement globally. Most of the developed countries consider the hand written passport and the close-to-expire travel document a valid reason for rejecting visit visa applications. For example: most of the Schengen Visa countries, other GCC States, USA and Canada follows the same rules.