Study in the UAE: Application Process

Thinking of studying abroad in the UAE? We’re here to help you make the process easier. Since there is no centralized application system, the admission process in the UAE might vary depending on the field, program level or institution, so make sure to consult the institution to which you are applying to check their requirements or if you have specific questions. In the meantime, take the following steps to get you started!

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1. Choose a program

Start by choosing a degree program that is right for you. Select the level of studies you are looking for (bachelor, master, PhD), your field of study and the institution you’d like to attend. There are many English programs available at several institutions, but keep in mind that you may be required to take an English proficiency test.

Need to book the TOEFL test to study in the UAE? Do it right here and now!

2. Prepare the Paperwork

Once you've chosen a program, look up the admission requirements on the institution’s website and remember that these may vary between degree and program level. While the necessary paperwork will differ between institutions, you will generally be asked to provide some of the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of a valid passport
  • Certificates and transcripts of your academic qualifications (e.g. high school certificate or its equivalent, university transcripts for credit transfer, etc.)
  • Recent passport-sized photo, in color
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Application fee

3. Check Specific Admission Requirements

Depending on the university and the program, specific documentation could be required. Always consult the university website for specific admission requirements and contact the appropriate university office if you have any questions. In the UAE, applications and admissions are handled by the institution to which you are applying.

4. Wait to Be Admitted

After you’ve submitted all the necessary documents, admission results can take some time to arrive. Once you’ve been accepted, the institution will send you a formal letter of acceptance that confirms your course details and the starting dates. You will need these documents to attain a student visa to travel to Israel to study.

5. Apply for a Visa

Once you’ve been accepted by a higher education institution in the UAE, you can begin the application process for a student visa. You’ll need a sponsor from a relative in the UAE for your visa application. If you’ve no relatives there, most universities will do this for you but be sure to contact your institution to check if they offer this service.

You can submit your application online to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in the corresponding emirate where you will be studying, which offer both online and offline channels.

A student visa is only valid for one year and needs to be renewed annually, with an official proof of continuation of study from your university. It’s important to note that admission in a UAE university does not guarantee that you’ll be issued a student visa.

6. Arrive in the UAE

After you’ve been admitted to a higher education institution in the UAE and have received your visa, it’s time to start your study abroad adventure! Make sure to investigate the cost of living in the city you will be staying in and what your budget will be. Once you have that, you can begin to look for accommodation. Finally, it’s time to purchase your transportation to the UAE and arrive in your new home city! No matter where you’re staying, there are plenty of sights and attractions to be enjoyed.

Overview of the UAE

Studying in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the chance to live a cultural experience like no other. Learn more about what it's like to study there.

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Education System

Want to learn about how higher education works in the UAE? A popular destination for international students given its high-quality education and fascinating cultural diversity, take a minute to dive into the UAE’s higher education system!

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Student Visas

Do you need a visa to study in the UAE? Learn everything you need to know about the student visa process and the exact documents you need to enter the country.

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Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in the UAE.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in the UAE may vary. While domestic students can study for free, international students are expected to pay tuition fees in the UAE, but there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available to help fund your study abroad journey. Read more here!

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Language & Culture

The UAE is rich in history, religion and cultural diversity. Find out more about what the country has to offer international students in terms of language, culture, and more!

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Ready to look for study programs in the UAE? Use our search engine to find and compare programs from top universities in the UAE today!

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Last update: 28 Jun 2021


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