Canadian's Coming to Visit -Visa process Nightmare (Abu Dhabi)
As you might know, Canadian's have a new Visa requirement in the UAE - So here is some advice I can offer after going through a horrible experience!
1) Book with Etihad!
2) If you got Emirates: You can't apply for a Visa if your residence is from AD and the ticket has not been issued from the Emirates office in AD!
3) If you are doing a 30 day visa, you can get it online easily - if you're going for longer Etihad is the best/cheapest option.
Here is my story... I'm an Abu Dhabi resident and my mother-in-law booked her ticket from a travel agent in Toronto as we always do. Price difference was about $200 CAD so we got it from Emirates instead of Etihad. I knew I had to do the visa from here and heard two rumors:
1) Close family (bros, sis's, parents, etc) can apply for a "discounted family visa"
Protected content = $250 and 90 days = $500
I called Emirates once the ticket was booked and they said since I didn't book through their office, I had two options... Apply online or go to the Visa office in Dubai to apply for the Family visa.
The ticket was booked for more then 60 days and the website only allows:
Protected content visa's
Protected content Protected content (but the original ticket needs to be 30 days, then you can extend the ticket and the visa after departure)
So I went to Dubai and took all my docs, and proof that she was actaually my mother-in-law. When I got there, they sent me home saying that my Visa is from Abu Dhabi so I can only apply in Abu Dhabi.
So I went to the Abu Dhabi Emirates office and they told me my only option for a visa for more than 30 days was:
- Cancel the ticket in Canada ($250 CAD fee)
- Rebook the ticket through the AD office (10% higher than online plus additional fee which totaled $250 dollars more than the original ticket.
- Apply for a 30 day Protected content visa Protected content for the 1st 30 days, Protected content for the additional 30 days)
So instead what I did was canceled the ticket and booked online from a Canadian agent on Etihad. (galatravel.com)... Price of the ticket was $200 dollars cheaper then Emirates ($ Protected content .
They have a visa application process online where I just had to email as many docs as they needed (plus a few extra for safe measure)
In two days, I got the 90-day visa, I had the ticket booked for 55 days, and it cost $375 dollars - approx. Protected content ...
- If you book with Etihad, you can book online through any agent and pay any price for the ticket = save money
- Get a 90 day visa instead of the 30 day renewable (gotta go into Emirates Visa department (in Dubai) to apply for the extension = save time.
- Everything online - no need to go anywhere or speak to anyone for the visa process = save much more time!