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My Dubai visa got rejected. Now what?

The requirements to start a business in Dubai can be complicated for foreigners. While Dubai may be extremely welcoming towards visitors and investors alike, it requires strict adherence to the rules and regulations of its visa application process. This makes employee visas a little tricky for new entrepreneurs operating in the Dubai mainland or out of one of the city’s free zones.

It is not entirely uncommon for visas to get rejected due to mistakes made in the application. Fortunately, it is possible to reapply for the visa after correctly identifying and rectifying the error.


Advantages of hiring a PRO

As you will see below, in many cases, the intervention of a Public Relations Officer (PRO) facilitates this reapplication process. When starting a business in Dubai, many entrepreneurs choose to hire a PRO to assist in the new business set-up process in the UAE. PROs also possess the experience, knowledge and contacts that help them expertly navigate the local immigration department, to expedite and sort out the visa issues faced by an applicant.

The following is a list of some common errors made during the Dubai visa application process and its solutions:

Error: You made an error in stating your name, passport number, profession code or other details such as date of birth, date of passport issuance and expiry. 

Solution: While typographical errors as described above can result in delays in visa processing, it is not uncommon for them to also result in an outright rejection. If this is the case, the applicant should proofread their application and reapply.

At times, a lack of knowledge about the particulars of the visa form, such as the policies surrounding job titles and profession code, can result in rejections. Therefore, it’s recommended to hire a PRO’s services before opening a company in Dubai.



Error: You submitted an unclear copy of your passport to the online UAE immigration system.

Solution: As with typographical errors, blurry passport copies could cause delays in visa processing but also lead to rejections. If this is the case, the applicant should reapply by uploading a clear scan of their passport in the online UAE immigration system.

Error: You submitted an old, hand-written passport.

Solution: Hand-written passports are no longer considered valid by most countries in the world. Submitting a machine-readable passport is now a mandatory requirement for obtaining visas. Apply for a new passport and submit a new application for a Dubai visa after it is ready.

Error: You used to reside in the UAE and left the country without cancelling your residence visa.

Solution: Before you can open a company in Dubai, your PRO will have to pay a visit to the immigration department and cancel your previous residency visa.

Error: You had applied for a tourist visa but never visited Dubai while that visa was valid.

Solution: Before you can set up a business in Dubai, your PRO will have to pay a visit to the immigration department and cancel your previous tourist visa. You may also directly contact your travel agent or sponsor to do so.

Error: A UAE-based company applied for your employment visa but you did not travel to Dubai during that visa’s validity.

Solution: Before you can start your business in Dubai, your PRO will have to pay a visit to the immigration department and cancel your previous employment visa.

Do you have more visa related queries? Our consultants at Decisive Zone can guide you about the requirements of starting a business in Dubai. Contact us now to book an appointment.

About the author:
Bob Natividad | Operations Manager

Bob Natividad | Operations Manager

Bob’s years of experience in the industry makes him one of the top experts in business operations and compliance.
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