With the sweeping visa reforms announced by the UAE being trialled, residents have highlighted how the five-year multiple-entry tourist visa has helped them spend more time with their parents. Many of them are using the visa to ease the travel and entry procedures of their parents.

“It has made life so much easier for us,” said Taanya Ilyas, an Abu Dhabi resident.

“My parents used to live and work here. We grew up here and my sisters and I still live here so they often come for visit. However, taking a visit visa every single time was quite a task.”

That is why she decided to take the multiple entry visit visa for her parents this year. “All the documentation was online and pretty straightforward,” she said. “We had to show the bank balance requirements, insurance for the stay and proof of stay for 3 months.”

The five-year, multiple-entry tourist visa to the UAE was part of the sweeping visa reforms announced by the UAE earlier this year in an effort to attract more talent to the country. With the visa, tourists can enter the UAE multiple times on self-sponsorship and remain in the country for 90 days during each visit.

Abu Dhabi resident Jisham Latheef also had similar reasons for taking the visa for his parents recently. “We are three brothers, all of whom live and work in the UAE,” he said. “Our parents visit us quite often and this visa just simplified everything. The documentation and process were very simple.”

Holders can extend the visas for 90 days in addition to the initial 90 days without leaving the country. According to authorities, the visa allows families outside the country to spend more time with their loved ones in the UAE. People applying for the multiple entry visa need to provide documents including bank statement for the last six months with a balance of $4,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies, proof of UAE health insurance, copy of the flight ticket and proof of residence, like an invitation letter from friends and family in the UAE.

“We have seen a lot of interest in these visas from people who want to take it for their parents,” said Abdul Gafoor, general manager of Al Mas Businessmen Service. “For many, it is a very convenient option as their parents can visit any time during the 5-year period. It is especially good for people who split their time between two countries.”

Shehna Mansoor is thankful and overjoyed about the visa. “I am definitely taking it for my mother,” she said. “Earlier we used to take residence visa for my mother. However, to maintain the visa, she has to visit every six months. This isn’t always possible because my mother spends a lot of time between here and India, where my sister lives. So it was always an issue for us to keep tabs and make sure that she visits in that time window.”

The Indian national said that her mother’s visa had got cancelled many times due to her inability to get back to Dubai on time. “It obviously resulted in loss of money and then the trouble to get another visa sorted,” she said. “This multiple entry visa solves all those issues. Right now, my husband and I are just getting all the documentations ready. Hopefully, we will apply for it soon.”


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