Student visa process

According to UAE law, all international students in UAE need a student visa. You will need to apply for a student visa if you are enrolling on a full-time course as a full-time student for an undergraduate or postgraduate programme at the University of Birmingham Dubai under the sponsorship of the University. If you are enrolling for part-time course, you will need to apply for other visa category which will not fall under the University sponsorship. This can either be a visa sponsored by parent, employment visa or any other category that may apply as per the policy guidelines set by GDRFA and DDA.

University of Birmingham Dubai provides a straightforward visa sponsorship service for students on a full-time programme who are not UAE residents. This allows our students to study and reside in the country for a 12 month period, renewable each year to cover the duration of your programme. 

To qualify for University of Birmingham Dubai visa sponsorship and to start the process you should have accepted an unconditional offer for your full-time programme and have completed the online registration process. Once you have registered, please fill in our visa application form. Please note that you will also need to fill in and attach the student undertaking form.

Visa renewal

Renew your visa

Visa cancellation

Cancel your visa

Frequently asked questions

What is the validity?

The UoBD student visa is valid for one year and is renewed annually as per students request until he/she completes the programme.

What are the types of application?

Inside UAE application

  • Normal application: visa process will take 4-5 weeks from the date of application to AXS
  • Express application: visa process will take 3-4 weeks from the date of application to AXS

Outside UAE application

Normal application

  • Before arrival to UAE: entry permit will usually take a minimum 14 Working days from the date applied on AXS
  • After arrival: visa process will take 4-5 weeks from the date of application to AXS

Express application

  • Before arrival to UAE: entry permit will usually take 7-10 working days from the date applied on AXS
  • After arrival: visa process will take 3-4 weeks from the date of application to AXS

Timeline may also be affected due to additional checks and immigration procedures which may cause delays of issuance of visa/entry permit and UoBD will have no control over this.

While your student visa is in process please note that you cannot travel to or exit UAE on any other visa category. You will have to wait till your student visa is issued. Failure to follow this guideline can have cost and other immigration implications and fines and will also delay your student visa application.

What are the requirements for visa application?

Inside UAE application

  • Clear coloured passport copy (with 6 months validity)
  • Passport size photo white background (taken from photo studio)
  • National ID (Pakistan and Iran nationalities)
  • Proof of payment for visa application
  • Tourist visa copy with entry stamp/cancellation document (whichever applies)
  • Emirates ID copy front and back (if applicable)
  • Visa copy (if applicable) 

Outside UAE application

  • Clear coloured passport copy
  • Passport size photo white background (taken from photo studio)
  • National ID (for Pakistan and Iran nationalities)
  • Proof of payment for visa application

What are the costs of a student visa?

New visa fees*

Visa deposit

Visa deposit charge is a one-time payment which the University may use to meet visa-related expenses and security which occur throughout your study at University of Birmingham Dubai should you fail to meet their duties in maintaining your immigration status

This amount will be retained by the University until the visa is cancelled and the University’s sponsor duties have ceased.

You are eligible for a refund of the full amount or a balance remainder of this charge after visa cancellation. Any fines/charges imposed from General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners (GDRFA) or AXS will be deducted from the visa deposit. Any fines, penalties and additional charges incurred because of late submission of documents required will be the sole responsibility of the student.

AED 3,000

Medical insurance

Please note that medical insurance can only be availed by students who are 35 years old or less.

AED 1031.10

Outside country visa service package

AED 2,187 (normal)

AED 3,563 (express)

Inside country visa service package

AED 3,817 (normal)

AED 5,193 (express)

Visa administration charges

AED 850


Total outside country

AED 7,068.10 (normal)

AED 8,444.10 (express)
Total inside country AED 8,698.10 (normal) AED 10,074.10 (express)
Visa renewal or cancellation fees* (returning existing students only)
Visa renewal (passport must have at least 6 months validity at time of renewal) AED 1,780 (normal) AED 2,578 (express)
Medical insurance AED 1,031.10 AED (normal) AED 1,031.10 (express)
Visa administration charges AED 250
Total AED 3,061.10 (normal) AED 3,859.10 (express)
Visa cancellation (an additional fee of AED 317 will be required to complete the immigration printout process AED 500 (normal) AED 1,077.50 (express)

*All the fee charges as mentioned above may be subject to change as per rules and regulations of the Govt of UAE.

What are the stages of the visa process?

For inside application

If you are already under parent or employee sponsorship visa and do not require our sponsorship, please fill in our brief confirming existing visa form to confirm your immigration status. 

  • Entry permit issuance
  • Local amendment/change status
  • Medical test appointment
  • Emirates ID application
  • Health insurance application (if applicable)
  • Visa stamping
  • Biometrics appointment

 For outside application

To apply for visa sponsorship, you will need to complete our new visa application form.

  • Entry permit issuance
  • Arrival intimation (entry stamp emailed by student to UoBD)
  • Medical test appointment
  • Emirates ID application
  • Health insurance application (if applicable)
  • Visa stamping
  • Biometrics appointment

These are all arranged by UoBD and AXS – student is notified via email for instructions.

Visa and Emirates ID process should be fully completed before planning your travel or booking your flights.

Who keeps my passport?

The student will keep their passport at all times.

When can I renew my visa?

  •  A renewal reminder email is sent to student’s UoBD email prior to the expiry date
  • Visa renewal should be started at least 45 days before the expiry dates to avoid overstay fines and considering the lengthy visa renewal process
  • Students bear the cost of fines in case of delays due to late renewal application
  • Required documents and cost of renewal application will be included on the email reminder for renewal

Until when can I keep my UoBD student visa?

  • So long as you are full time registered student and continuing the programme
  • Until your programme is complete
  • Changing from full time to part time makes you ineligible to keep the visa


  • There is no extension or renewal for the visa when a student graduates
  • Visa needs to be cancelled after completing the programme
  • If you are an exchange student from UK/other campuses, you are required to cancel the visa at least 15 days before your flight out of UAE

I want to cancel my visa, what do I do?

  • You have to fill the online cancellation form and send us copies of your visa, passport and emirates ID
  • There are charges for the visa cancellation that needs to be paid. Proof of payment is required to proceed with the cancellation
  • It is highly suggested that visa cancellation is done before exiting UAE (if done with the studies or not continuing/renewing with university visa)
  • Visa cancellation is a must as visa does not automatically get cancelled regardless of if you are in or out of UAE and even if expired. A cancellation must be completed in order for the student to be cleared from immigration and AXS and UoBD records
  • Non cancellation of visa will result to fines and the student will bear the cost
  • After cancellation, it is mandatory for the student to show proof of exit (exit stamp on cancellation permit) if leaving UAE or new visa copy if changing sponsorship and this will be forwarded to immigration for clearing the student record

Does the university provide visa support for the exchange year to the UK campus?

We have the IST (International Student Team) based in the UK which can provide support.

What is the deadline for visas for international students?

The deadline for new international student visas applying from outside of the UAE for the September 2024 intake are as follows:

Normal application: 11 August 2024

Express application: 23 August 2024

What is student undertaking letter and where can I download it?

A student, prior to enrolment shall execute an undertaking letter which shall define the obligations and duties of the student towards Dubai Development Authority (DCCA). Download the student undertaking letter.

Important: A NOC letter filled by father is a mandatory requirement if you are 18 years old or under. Please note that in some cases, a NOC letter might also be required by immigration regardless of the age. We will request you for this if the need arises. Download the NOC letter.

Does the university provide medical insurance?

Yes, we do provide medical insurance only to university sponsored students.

Students sponsored by the University of Birmingham Dubai are required to obtain and maintain health insurance as required by the UAE authorities.

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) compliant Medical insurance is compulsory for all students. Medical insurance aims to provide cover for most expenses incurred by students in a wide network of hospitals and clinics in the UAE, whether as an outpatient, inpatient or emergency admission.

University of Birmingham Dubai has partnered with AXS and ADNIC - to provide students under University visa sponsorship with access to a comprehensive and competitively priced medical insurance plan. This partnership has been established to aim to make it easier for prospective students to access medical insurance in Dubai. The University of Birmingham Dubai does not provide the medical insurance cover; this is provided by ADNIC. Should you opt to take this insurance, your contract of insurance will be with ADNIC. Students are free to arrange their own medical insurance should they wish; however, the level of cover will need to comply with comply with the UAE authorities' requirements.

Please note that University of Birmingham Dubai (UoBD) visa-sponsored students who opt to access medical insurance through ADNIC will see their cover activated ONLY after their immigration process is complete. Therefore we strongly recommend students take a travel insurance that covers medical costs over a sufficient period. 

University of Birmingham Dubai provides access to medical health insurance through ADNIC coverage on a paid basis to both new and returning students. The student is responsible for annually paying the cost of this medical insurance to the insurer, although the University will then set up the medical insurance on the student’s behalf as part of the visa application through AXS. 

You can refer to the Hospital & Pharmacy Network to find out which clinics, hospitals and pharmacies around you accept your medical insurance. This list is constantly updated by ADNIC therefore we recommend students check the status of the network and services provided directly with the insurer.

Your medical insurance is linked with your Emirates ID card. Your Emirates ID card is your medical insurance card for this scheme. Emirates ID needs to be presented every time at the clinic or hospital at the time of the treatment/visit.


Talk to us

If you still have outstanding questions regarding the visa process, email us on


lecturer looking at notepad with student