According to Emirates, “a minimum of four international working days prior to arrival in Dubai is required, however Emirates does recommend that online applications are made as early as possible.”
However, the government said the process to actually issue the visa from the time the application is made until the final decision takes between 24-48 hours, “subject to MOI procedure.”
It added that online applications can be submitted at any time of the day or night.
However, the e-visa isn’t required for all GCC expat residents.
Nationals from 46 countries – including most of Europe, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and South Korea – can still get a 30-day visit visa on arrival at the airport and for free, as was previously the case, an Emirates representative confirmed to Doha News.
Additionally, some expat professionals working in the GCC on an official list of 201 approved professions may also still be able to get a visa on arrival. However, they should check with their airline to avoid being turned away at the airport.
While the occupations’ exemption has made it easier for some foreign residents to travel within the GCC, the UAE’s new online visa system will effectively rule out last-minute trips for others who now need to pre-order their visit visa in advance.