Student visa in the UAE

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Student visa in the UAE is intended for foreign citizens who plan to enroll in an educational institution in the country to obtain higher or additional education. This type of visa is provided to students who have been accepted into an educational institution and have received confirmation of their status as learners.

Education in the Emirates is an excellent opportunity to obtain a residence permit in a foreign country and discover new opportunities, so it is important to know about the conditions and methods of obtaining a student visa.

Advantages of a student visa in the UAE

The UAE attracts the interest of foreign citizens for living and receiving education due to its constantly developing economy, market, and state support. The country attracts students with its high level of education, modern infrastructure, cultural diversity, and innovative education programs.

In the United Arab Emirates, a high rate of involvement of the population in higher education has been achieved: 80% of young men and 95% of girls who have completed secondary education enroll in universities. The country has more than 34,000 foreign students, and this figure is growing annually, indicating the demand for and development of the education system in the UAE.

A student visa offers many benefits for foreign students. Some of them include:

  • Legal residence. The student visa provides legal residence in the country during studies, relieving the student from problems associated with illegal status and possible legal consequences.
  • Access to education. Students have access to educational resources, educational institution infrastructure, libraries, and laboratories.
  • Possibility of extension. After the initial visa validity period expires, the student may have the full right to extend it if they decide to continue their education and qualifications within the university.
  • Cultural experience. Studying in another country and interacting with foreigners allows students to broaden their horizons, meet new people, learn language, and customs.
  • Employment in the UAE after graduation. In some cases, universities assist graduates in finding employment.
  • Support from the educational institution: scholarships, consultations, career orientation courses for foreigners, assistance with document processing, and more.

The most developed specialties in educational institutions in the UAE are: medicine, logistics, tourism and hospitality, IT technologies and programming, business and management, engineering and industry, energy and environmental protection. The choice of educational programs is not limited. If desired, you can enroll in branches of foreign universities from the USA, UK, Germany, France, Canada, Australia. In Dubai, there are two campuses of Russian universities: St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Synergy University Dubai.

The main language of instruction is English. Local residents and students often communicate in Arabic, but this will not be a big problem. Each college and university has a department to support foreign students. Students will be informed about current events and activities, receive additional information about benefits, payments, and processing of all necessary documents. The main task of the department is to establish contact between local and foreign students for fruitful cooperation and absence of barriers.

Features and Differences from Regular Visa

The main difference between a student visa and a standard one is the absence of a visa fee. In the case of a student visa, you pay for processing, but there is no monthly fee. This decision was made to reduce costs for students, who often cannot afford additional expenses. The cost of processing is $200–$300 or 600–700 dirhams.

Important! A student visa does not entitle you to work in the UAE, so the student must address this issue in advance and decide how they will pay for their education. The average cost of education is $5,000–$20,000 per year depending on the prestige of the specialty and the educational institution.

Who Can Get a Student Visa

To obtain a student visa, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • The student must be enrolled in an accredited educational institution.
  • Documents confirming admission to the educational institution must be provided: an invitation from the university, a certificate of payment or enrollment on a budgetary basis, an extract, etc. It may take time for the educational institution to process the confirming document.
  • Documents confirming that the student has sufficient funds to pay for education and living expenses in the country must be provided.
  • Presence of medical insurance for the duration of the study in the country.

All these factors will be taken into account by the authorized body when considering the visa application. The more supporting documents the expatriate provides, the higher the likelihood of approval. If the educational institution where the foreign citizen has enrolled does not have official accreditation and a license to provide educational services, the visa may be refused.

How to Apply for a Student Visa

The student must submit an application for a student visa to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. When submitting the application, make sure to have the following documents:

  • A completed application for admission in accordance with the requirements of the educational institution.
  • Original and copy of passport with photo and personal information.
  • Copies of certificates and diplomas from education starting from school certificates to diplomas from previous educational institutions.
  • If the documents are in a foreign language, their certified translation into Arabic or English may be required depending on the requirements.
  • Academic recommendations – letters from teachers or previous employers.
  • Resume. Overview of the student's academic and professional experience. Any student activity is welcomed: events, campaigns, festivals, scientific competitions, lectures, public defenses of works, implemented projects, etc.
  • Language certificates and language test results.
  • Documents on financial status. A bank statement or other papers confirming the financial ability to pay for education and living expenses.
  • Copy of medical insurance covering the entire period of study.
  • Set of photographs (3–6 pieces). Try to take photos in advance, as they become expendable materials and are needed for processing student records, personal files, etc.

After submitting the documents, wait for the application to be processed. The processing time is from 20 to 30 days on average, but no later than the start date of the academic year. Typically, this issue is addressed as quickly as possible to avoid delaying students, even if the visa is denied. The department allocates time for the student to reconsider their choice of educational institution and country.

After the application is approved, you will be issued a student visa, which will allow you to live and study freely in the Emirates.

What to Do If Your Student Visa Application Is Denied

Usually, you cannot be denied a visa without stating the reason. The authorities must have a compelling argument for such a decision.

Common reasons for refusal:

  • Incomplete document package or errors in documentation.
  • Financial incapacity of the student.
  • Absence of medical insurance.
  • Suspicion of providing knowingly false information and fraudulent or criminal actions.
  • Presence of serious illnesses detected during a medical examination.

If you believe that the refusal is unjustified, reapply to the General Directorate. For example, if the problem is with the documents, there is nothing wrong with correcting the deficiencies and resubmitting them. The number of applications is not limited, and if desired, you can clarify whether it is possible to rectify the situation. The General Directorate is obliged to provide an explanation.

If you plan to study in the UAE and then establish a stable income abroad, seek assistance from The Level Consulting agency. We will assist in setting up a business in the Emirates, prepare necessary documents, provide legal support, and accompany you at all stages of the transaction.

Studying in the UAE is a reliable investment in your future and career prospects. In the future, the likelihood of finding a high-paying job in your field of study or starting your own business significantly increases.

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