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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Bilateral Visa Waiver Signed with the European Union

Effective 6 May 2015, United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals can travel without a visa to any European Union (EU) Member States which participate in the Schengen Area for stays of up to 90 days (within any 180-day period).

The remaining visa requirements for some EU nationals travelling to the UAE (also for 90 days in 180) have also been lifted.

Agreement and Exceptions

The EU and the UAE signed the Agreement between the European Union and the United Arab Emirates on the short-stay visa waiver on 6 May 2015 and it will be provisionally applied until it is ratified.

The reciprocal visa waiver is good for short visits including tourism, business and journalism, sports, artistic performances and intra-corporate training. It does not apply to those employed in the destination country, or to those providing paid services.

The 90-day period is calculated for stays in the territory of the EU Member States which are already fully part of the Schengen Area. Separate 90-day periods are calculated for stays in any of the four Member States which are not yet full participants in the Schengen Area (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania).

The visa waiver does not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland which have opted out of the Schengen area. The United Kingdom has since last year offered UAE (and Qatar and Oman) nationals an electronic visa waiver for up to 180 days of tourism, business or study.

The visa waiver agreement also does not yet apply to Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, which have signed the Schengen Agreement but are not EU Member States.

Action Items

  • Note that UAE nationals travelling to the EU countries in the Schengen area for tourism or business (not paid activities), for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, no longer require a visa. The same is true for EU nationals (other than British and Irish nationals) travelling to UAE.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.