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Freelance Visa in Dubai & UAE: How to Apply, Cost and Eligibility

Here is how to apply for freelance visa in Dubai, including cost and more

Do you want to live and work as a freelancer in the UAE? Then start the process of obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai immediately.

The UAE has always been a business-friendly environment. As if that wasn’t enough, the introduction of the freelance visa has made it even more attractive to foreign entrepreneurs!

The UAE is also a popular destination for freelancers and remote workers due to its tax-free status. In addition, the UAE’s cost of living is lower than that of most Western countries. This makes it an attractive place to live and work.

A freelance visa in Dubai allows you to pursue your goal of working independently and living in one of the world’s most exciting cities. There are no restrictions on the type of work that can be undertaken as long as it is legal.

With its favorable conditions, it is no wonder the UAE is fast becoming a hub for freelance workers worldwide.

If you have a specific skill that can make you a good income with a freelancer permit, you should be happy to know that you are on the right track already!

There are several things to consider before applying for a freelance permit, so we don’t want you to wait any longer. We can help you figure out which type of visa is best for you and guide you through the application process step-by-step.

Freelance visa vs freelance permit in Dubai

A freelance visa in Dubai is a special visa that allows foreign nationals to live and work in the UAE as freelancers. It will enable people from all over the world to get a residency visa in the UAE by working as a freelancer instead of working for a company.

The freelance permit is for holders of UAE residency visas. Think of a freelance permit as permission from the government to work as a freelancer instead of being obligated to work for another company.

The freelance visa holders can have access to the free zones in Dubai, such as:

  • Dubai Design District
  • Dubai Internet City
  • Dubai Media City
  • Dubai Knowledge Park

These are particular areas for a freelance license holder. These places have independent business laws. Foreign investors and people in business can also fully own their businesses in these areas.

Similar places exist in the Emirates, like Abu Dhabi, Ajman, and Ras Al Khaimah as well. So you can get your freelance permit and access a free zone in one of these emirates.

See also: Check this Dbd guide on – How to check UAE visa status online, where we have shared a detailed step-by-step guide with images.

What are the requirements of freelance visa in Dubai?

The requirements for a freelance visa in Dubai are not difficult to meet if you already have a residence visa there. You need to prove that your talent is enough for the market in Dubai.

After you get your freelance permit, you also need a freelance visa. To apply for a freelance visa in Dubai, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • A clear copy of your passport
  • The most recent photographs
  • Proof of proficiency in your skill
  • Declaration of appointment with applicant’s signature and acknowledgment sponsor’s acknowledgment if you are being sponsored
  • Bank reference letter

How to apply for a freelance visa in Dubai?

After you have obtained a freelance permit, follow these steps to get a UAE freelance visa:

Step 1: Choose the free zone for your stay in Dubai.

Step 2: Submit your freelance permit along with your application form, copy of original passport, photo, CV, bank reference letter, and NOC to the free zone.

Step 3: Wait for their approval and visit the business center to sign the documents.

Step 4: Pay all pending fees. The visa fees, excluding the permit, are AED 3330 for 1-year validity and AED 4960 for 3-year validity.

How much does a freelance visa cost in Dubai?

The visa cost will also be impacted by how long you want to live in Dubai. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE allows a freelancer visa with up to 3 years of validity.

A freelance permit in the country costs AED 7,500 at least. The freelance permit costs much more than other visas you can apply for in the UAE for residence and work.

Along with the freelance permit fees, you need to pay AED 10 as a “Knowledge Dirham” and AED 10 as “Innovation Dirham” per transaction. [1]DDA, “Freelancer permit, https://dda.gov.ae/en/registration-licensing/setting-up-a-business/freelancer/freelancer-license-registration-sole-professional-license”

You also need to pay AED 2,000 for an establishment card that is valid for one year.

Additionally, you need to pay for a freelancer visa after paying for a freelance permit. It costs AED 4,960 for three-year validity if you apply from within the UAE.

If you are applying outside the UAE, you must pay AED 3,330.

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What can I do with a freelance permit in UAE?

Getting a freelance visa in the UAE allows you to practice your chosen profession or engage in commercial trading activities. You can also provide professional services to companies or individuals as freelancers in the UAE.

There is a long list of professions freelancers can apply for and are eligible for the respective permits in Dubai. Some of these professions include:

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Business Consultants
  • Engineers
  • Event Managers
  • Graphic Designers and social media managers
  • Interior Designers
  • Lawyers
  • Marketing Professionals
  • Medical Professionals
  • Online Marketers
  • Sports coaches
  • Tutors

What you should realize is that as long as you have a useful skill to demonstrate, you have a decent chance of receiving a freelance visa. However, you also need to have proof of your competency, as it is one of the requirements of a freelance visa in Dubai.

What are the benefits of a UAE freelance visa?

A freelance visa in Dubai comes with numerous benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • You do not need to have a separate office space in Dubai.
  • You can work from your home in the UAE.
  • You are your own boss and have complete control over your work hours.
  • You can choose your workload. You can take up as many or as few projects as you want.
  • You can apply for a multiple-entry visa, which allows you to travel in and out of the UAE as often as you like.
  • Thanks to zero income tax, you can keep all your money.

Besides these, there are many more benefits to living in the UAE when you are self-employed.

There are clear blue skies all year round, and you can take a break after your busy schedule to visit various beaches and architecture. For this, you can check our Dbd guide on the top 10 best places to visit in Dubai.

FAQs on freelance visa Dubai

Is there any freelance visa in Dubai?

Yes, there is a freelance visa in Dubai. It is available for those proficiently in a skill that can generate enough income.

What is freelance visa in Dubai?

A freelance visa in Dubai is a type of visa that allows foreign nationals to live and work in the UAE as freelancers. With the freelance license, you will not need an employer in the UAE to get a job.

Can freelancer apply business visa in Dubai?

A freelance visa is similar to a business visa in the sense that you can conduct business as you like. If you want to apply for a business visa, you can do it.

Is freelance work legal in Dubai?

Yes, freelancing is legal in Dubai. However, you will need to obtain a freelance visa in order to work as a freelancer in the UAE.

What is the cheapest freelance visa UAE?

The freelance permit costs AED 7500 for all people. The freelance visa also costs an additional amount and allows you to be a UAE resident. [2]DDA, “Freelancer permit, https://dda.gov.ae/en/registration-licensing/setting-up-a-business/freelancer/freelancer-license-registration-sole-professional-license”

How long is a freelance visa valid in Dubai?

A freelance visa in Dubai is valid for one to three years. After the visa expires, it can be renewed.

Can I apply for a freelance visa if I already have a full-time job in Dubai?

Yes, you can apply for a freelance visa even if you already have a full-time job in Dubai. There are several free zones that you can work in.

Final thoughts

If you are a skilled professional looking to work in Dubai, a freelance visa in Dubai is the perfect option for you. It is expensive but worth the price for self-employed people with talent.

There are several advantages to this sort of visa. You can work from home, choose your workload, pay no income tax, and more. You can also travel in and out of the UAE as often as you like.

We are confident you will like working in the free zone as a freelancer in Dubai. Not just work, you will also love the atmosphere in Dubai for living.

If you meet the UAE freelance visa requirements, obtaining a freelance license in Dubai is straightforward.

Once you have your visa, you can enjoy all that the UAE has to offer, from its sunny weather to its world-class malls and attractions.

If you found the information in this Dbd guide helpful, help us share the word with other freelancers.

About the author

Sarika Patel
Sarika Patel
Immigration Attorney, UAE

Sarika Patel is an experienced immigration expert with a Master's degree in Law from the University of Dubai. For the last two decades, she has been living in Dubai, and throughout this time, her focus has been on providing helpful information and advice to those seeking to immigrate or gain a visa in Dubai. Sarika is passionate about helping people navigate the often complex and confusing world of immigration, visa rules, and laws in the UAE.


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