UAE visa on arrival for Indian Passport holders

by Anshul
close up of a visa stamp

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UAE cabinet has approved a simplified visa process that allows Indian passport holders with an American Visa or Green Card to obtain a UAE visa on arrival – according to Emirates News Agency (WAM). This is huge breakthrough for Indian passport holders around the world, that transit or plan to visit UAE.

UAE visa on arrival for Indian passport holders

  • Indian passport holders MUST have a valid US visa or a green card, with minimum six month validity,  to be eligible.
  • The UAE visa on arrival will be valid for 14 days with single extension possible (fee associated with extension)

India is UAE’s second largest trade partner while UAE is India’s fifth biggest oil supplier. The simplified visa process will further bolster the economic and trade relations between the countries.  Currently, there are ~140 daily flights scheduled between several cities in UAE and India.

According to Global Passport power rank, Indian passport ranks 166th out of 199, offering 22 Visa-free countries and 26 Visa on arrival.

UAE visa on arrival

India Passport score

Here’s a handy list of countries that offer Visa free/on Arrival for Indian passport holders, via

Asia Africa South America North America Oceania Europe
Thailand Mauritius Ecuador British Virgin Islands Cook Islands All European countries need pre-approved visa.
Bhutan Seychelles Dominica Haiti El Salvador
Cambodia Togo Bolivia St Lucia Fiji
Maldives Kenya Guyana Jamaica Micronesia
Macau Tanzania Saint Kitts and Nevis Vanuatu
Indonesia Ethiopia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa
Iraq Madagascar Grenada Tuvalu
Nepal Mozambique Trinidad & Tobago Nieu
Laos Uganda Montserrat Palau
Jordan Guinea-Bissau Nicaragua
Timor Leste Cape Verde Turks & Caicos
Comoros Islands

Take Away

This is welcome news for several citizens of India that live overseas and hold a valid US visa or a green card. It will mitigate the need to arrange a visa in advance, that can cost ~$150 USD.

As a Canadian resident with an Indian passport (and a 10 year US visa), UAE visa on arrival is music to my ears!!


Muhammad Faisal Kiani October 7, 2020 - 7:47 pm

Dear Anshul,

Great article for newbies! Thank you for motivating us to visit this beautiful country and it will be helpful for Asians as well. There are many catchy and amazing places in Dubai. If anyone is traveling to Dubai, dont forget to visit Desert Safari, Dubai
More info on


Elan Mask August 5, 2020 - 12:10 am

Dear Anshul,

Great post! Thank you for inspiring us to visit this stunning country and it will be helpful for Indians as well. There are many catchy and amazing places in Dubai. If anyone is traveling to Dubai then must visit Desert Safari Dubai

Thanks and Regards

Vanam Kiran Kumar December 20, 2017 - 5:56 am

If parents have valid US visa, can the child enter UAE through visa on arrival facility?

Anshul December 20, 2017 - 7:11 am

I would like to think that everyone including the child will need to have the US visa in order to be eligible. Basically, all passport holders need to meet the basic criteria for the VOA option. Best to call the embassy and check..imo

Vanam Kiran Kumar December 21, 2017 - 9:47 am

Thanks Anshul

Walter Vaz July 4, 2018 - 3:59 am

did check with embassy? whats update? is children allowed for Visa on arrival on parenet’s US visa?

Sid K December 10, 2017 - 10:53 pm


Posting the same question from one of the threads here, I haven’t received a clear answer yet:
– I do have a valid I-797 (approved H1B visa) valid until 2020. Its just that, I don’t have the VISA stamped on my passport.
– Does this count as a valid US visa?

Anshul December 20, 2017 - 7:13 am

Thats very specific Sid, may I suggest you call the local embassy or UAE consulate to confirm? I suspect UAE officials would like to see the Visa sticker on the passport (just guessing here..)

Kayan September 17, 2017 - 4:08 am

I hold Indian Passport and have US visa valid more then 5 years. I understand I will get Visa on arrival at Dubai. Do this Visa free of charges or have to pay, how much?

Anshul September 21, 2017 - 12:43 pm

Dirham 100 (Rs 1,750) – Found it online, but you should verify by calling your airline or the nearest UAE embassy. Cheers!

Kayan September 21, 2017 - 7:45 pm


GD July 13, 2017 - 12:18 am

I have a valid H1B stamped on my Indian Passport and confirmed ticket with emirates. From this article and other news sites, I understand that I will get visa on arrival in Dubai. Do you know what all documents I need to produce to get visa on arrival

Bling July 13, 2017 - 9:19 am

From what I understand, you don’t need any other supporting documents as such. Your passport with 6 month validity and valid visa should be enough. Several users are reporting easy procedures/experience at airports. **Note, final authority over this will be the immigration officer at the airport**

Anjay April 25, 2017 - 10:24 pm

Does this apply to B1/B2 visa holders ?

Bling April 26, 2017 - 12:40 am

The information shared by the UAE foreign ministry simply says ‘Indian passport holders with US visa OR Green card’ are eligible for the visa on arrival program. It docent spell out which ‘US Visas’ are eligible as such. I strongly recommend calling the UAE consulate or embassy and getting a confirmation. The program has been in effect since May and there should be a lot more clarity on this by now.

Anjay May 2, 2017 - 8:32 am

I got an email today from Etihad Airways and they have confirmed that Indian passports with US visitor visas are also eligible.Thanks anyway.

Chereena Mary Abraham November 14, 2017 - 12:10 am

Hi can I know did you travel to UAE and obtain On arrival visa with your US visit stamped on your passport? My parents are travelling this week and I have been facing a lot of confusions with this, hence could you please help me out with this as it is an emergency.

Anjay November 14, 2017 - 2:00 am

My wife did, on arrival visa will be issued after you show them the US visa page (assuming your parents have a US visa with at least 6 months validity). They charge you 100 AED for a 14 day validity and an additional 150 for extending it to 4 weeks. Hope this helps.

Chereena Mary Abraham November 14, 2017 - 3:24 am

Yes thanks a lot . This was of great help. Just to ensure one more thing. Your wife’s visa was Tourist visa stamped for 10 years or does she live/work in the US?

Anjay November 14, 2017 - 4:07 am

10 year tourist visa..

Chereena Mary Abraham November 14, 2017 - 4:25 am

Thank you so much for your help..

Anjay November 14, 2017 - 4:34 am

no problem, let me know if they get through fine.

Chereena Mary Abraham November 14, 2017 - 5:00 am


Anjay April 7, 2018 - 3:57 am

Hi, Did your parents have any issues during their visit?

Jabs H December 21, 2017 - 12:38 pm

My daughter has Valid US Visa on her expired passport and she has anew valid passport for 5 years. Can she get a VOA for UAE.

Anshul December 30, 2017 - 2:18 pm

Sorry for the late response – Normally, valid US visa on expired passport works, when accompanied with the valid new passport. Should be fine but worth a call to the uae embassy/consulate to confirm.

swarup April 25, 2017 - 10:09 am

weather indian persons holding us visit visa for 10 years is applicable??????

Bling April 25, 2017 - 4:52 pm

From what I understand, a valid US (valid for min 6 months) is applicable for the UAE visa on arrival. Its best to call the UAE embassy and confirm.

swarup April 25, 2017 - 8:12 pm


bsnlBB April 5, 2017 - 1:58 pm

Q1) Does US Visa Stamp in Indian Passport need to be 6 month valid on date of entry to UAE? or just the Indian passport validity for 6 months?
Q2) If VISA Stamp in Passport is expired, but has extension receipt pending? has new I-94 with approval of extension? is it allowed for arrival on visa?
we planing to travel from USA to india visa UAE and visit UAE

Bling April 6, 2017 - 5:31 pm

From what I understand;
a1) The US visa should be min 6 months and still valid. Shorter duration visas may not be eligible.
a2) That is very specific and I am not sure you should take anyone’s advise other than the UAE consulate/embassy.
I have read conflicting reports about the implementation of the new VOA rule. I highly recommend calling the UAE embassy or consulate and ask them the question.

Balakrishna Reddy May 31, 2017 - 11:32 pm

Hi,I asked same question to UAE consulate, stamped visa expired, but have approved I 797 ,travelling to India from US .They replied with the same wording they published on the website.
Nothing new.
If any one have real time experience, please share.

harsha koundinya September 1, 2017 - 8:37 pm

Hey Balakrishna,

What happened to your case ? Did you get the on arrival visa at Dubai with an expired H-1b stamp and a valid I 797 ?

Hridesh Bansal November 12, 2019 - 8:39 pm

Hi Bala, appreciate if you can share your experience, as I have the same situation.

Balakrishna Reddy June 13, 2017 - 9:26 am

Hi bsnlBB, did you got UAE VOA with i-94 with aprroval notice?Please let us know your experience.

Jon March 30, 2017 - 2:51 pm

Was Hong Kong dropped?

Bling March 31, 2017 - 4:45 am

I think HK is not listed since it requires a pre-arrival registration. Not a true visa free or voa destination.


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