Working in the UAE has many advantages, new residents recognize that there is extraordinary openness when it comes to working in the UAE; whether it’s working as a freelancer or establishing your own business. The rise in the ‘gig economy’ has led the government to implement the Freelance Visa making it easier for self-employed workers to operate in the country.
In this article, you will learn everything in regards to Getting a Freelance Visa in Dubai and the UAE. In addition, here you will find all relevant information about how to get the visa, its advantages and price. That is to say, make sure to learn how important is this visa for self-employed workers who want to become legal freelancers. Let’s observe:
- Becoming a legal freelancer in the UAE
- How do I get a freelancer permit?
- Free zone options
- Advantages of having a Freelance Visa
- Who is eligible for the UAE Freelance Visa program?
- How to apply for a Freelancer Visa
- Step 1
- Step 2
- Why ConnectFreelance?
- How can ConnectGroup provide you with a Freelance Visa?
1. Becoming a Legal Freelancer in the UAE
The ’new normal’ is not a new pandemic-related way of life, in the USA, 58 million Americans worked as freelancers in 2019 (Forbes). Similarly, the removal of the physical space for companies has led the business owners to ask themselves how a workplace will look like in the future; this will probably lead to a rise of the demand for freelancers.
However, a recent survey called ‘Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa in 2021’; exhibited that 60% of the UAE residents would rather be self-employed than work physically in a company if they had the chance. In November 2020, the ADDED (Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development) made an announcement that every UAE resident; including non-residents may apply for a freelance visa.
Likewise, self-employed freelancers can now legally reside and live in the country. In addition, all applicants do not must work in an office space, and they may apply for residency visas for their family and themselves. Individuals must apply for a work permit and a residence visa, the requirements for non-residents and residents are listed below.
For UAE non-residents:
If you are residing in the UAE on your parent’s or spouse’s visa, you only need a freelancer permit to legally start working. But full-time workers may also become freelancers if they obtain the permit. To apply for this permit, the applicant must have physical proof of your relevant skill sets; in addition to the business’ employer in case, they are looking to start freelancing as a side-hustle.
For UAE non-residents:
If the applicant is not residing in the UAE, they must apply for a freelancer visa or a residency permit that authorizes them to legally reside and work in Dubai and the UAE.
2. How do I Get a Freelancer Permit?
The Free Zones offering freelance permits are listed below:
- Umm Al Quwain Free Zone
- Dubai Production City
- Abu Dhabi’s twofour54
- Dubai Studio City
- Ras Al Khaimah Economic Free Zone
- Dubai Knowledge Park
- Ajman Free zone
- Dubai Design District
- Fujairah Creative City
- Freelance Visa in Dubai Media City
Covid-19 has made difficult for some citizens to find a job so we wrote a guide to find jobs in the UAE.
The cost of Getting a Freelancer Visa depends on the regulations of the Free Zones and your company’s requirements, it ranges between AED7,400 and AED19,500. Another variable for the prices is if you need a 1-yer or a 3-year visa, or just a permit to legally work in the UAE. However, if the applicant is already living in the UAE, they do not need to cancel their current visa and get a new one. In addition, the holders must renew their visas annually.
3. Free Zone Options
- Abu Dhabi: applicants may get a freelance visa from twofour54 by logging onto their website. That is to say, the Free zone authority halted all license fees for the first 2 years in the media zone, therefore, the applicant must only pay for the health insurance and their visa registration.
- Dubai: the DDA (Dubai Development Authority) and the TECOM group launched an initiative called GoFreelance, their current registration is open under four areas:
- Design (Dubai Design District)
- Technology (Dubai Internet City
- Education (Dubai Knowledge Park)
- Media (Dubai Media City)
The cost of this package is AED7,400 and if you need a residence visa, we will help you through the approval process and meanwhile; to also work in any of our facilities.
- Ras Al Khaimah: this economic Free Zone ranges from AED6,000 to AED8,000, it includes access to a residency visa, business centers, and a range of additional services. Call any of our representatives to receive a full list of activities and information about the registering process.
- Fujairah: this city offers many options for self-employed individuals; however, this is one of the cheapest Freelance Visa and it starts at AED5,800. In addition, it offers a P.O box, free internet access, flexi desk, and online support for anyone who wishes to establish in the city.
- Ajman: the AFZA package usually starts at AED5,900 plus an Emirates ID, basic health insurance and a residence visa. All individuals may apply under several activities such as three-years valid visas and Hub facilities.
- Umm Al Quwain: this free zone is specially designed for individuals in the media, film, and technology industries. If you decide to obtain a license in this free zone, you will become a registered freelancer eligible to practice your chosen profession with full legal support.
4. Advantages of having a Freelance Visa
Getting a Freelance Visa in Dubai has many benefits and advantages. Firstly, it grants the option for employees to work for multiple companies. If the applicants’ plan is to work in any of the Free Zones mentioned above and does not want a 9-to-5 job; becoming a registered freelancer in Dubai or the UAE may suit better for you.
In addition, since the UAE Freelance visa is so affordable, you can offer your individual services at much lower prices; allowing you to compete in the market. For example, the GoFreelance package offers a low-cost setup and the office space is not mandatory, therefore it allows many freelancers to start working hassle-free.
We have an article of things you must know when you are a freelancer in dubai
Getting a Freelance Visa in Dubai and the UAE allows self-employed individuals to access any of the Free Zone business centers and to work independently for the different industries. Similarly, you can sponsor family members to come and live with you in the UAE; likewise, the visa and work permit holder cannot sponsor their employees.
5. Who is eligible for the UAE Freelance Visa program?
You are eligible to obtain Freelance Visa if you are working for the sectors listed below:
If the applicants are pursuing professions such as advertising, journalism, training, education advisor, web development, or acting; they are eligible for Getting a Freelance Visa in Dubai. In addition, have in mind that if you are working for the educational sector, Dubai Knowledge Park is what suits you, if you are working in the Tech Sector; Dubai Internet City will issue your permit and Dubai Media City for the Media sector.
6. How to apply for a Freelancer Visa
The process of Getting a Freelance Visa in Dubai is usually a simple process that does not require lots of steps. However, in order to apply for the GoFreelance’s visa; the individual must apply for the license or freelance permit in order to be registered as a freelancer in the country.
7. Step 1
Apply online: All individuals that want to apply for the freelance permit in the UAE must apply through You can apply for the freelance permit in the UAE through the GoFreelance website. Choose the option to apply and fulfill the application form, and then submit all the documents.
Documents required for Getting a Freelance Visa in Dubai:
- Recent photograph.
- Valid visa and passport copies (at least 8 months valid)
- Bank reference letter.
- NOC from your national sponsor.
Most importantly, if the individuals are applying to the educational sector, they must submit valid proof of their academic qualifications; which must be certified by the UAE consulate in your country or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, if the individual is applying to the media sector, they must submit a sample of your work or a portfolio.
In case you are applying in the tech or education sector, you must choose only one of both when you are in the process of Getting a Freelance Visa in Dubai.
No objection letter from your sponsor: If the applicant is residing in the UAE on their parent’s or spouse’s visa, they must submit an NOC (No-objection Certificate) before applying for the permit. That is to say, if you are employed in Dubai or the UAE, you will need an NOC from your employer. However, all applicants do not require the No-objection Certificate when you renew your Freelance work visa.
8. Step 2
Follow up the application: If your application was submitted online via the GoFreelance website, you will receive a notification after it has been approved; this can take up to 2 to 3 weeks. Subsequently, you must visit the business center in the zone you have chosen where you must sign the documents and pay all fees. After that, you will receive your permit via email.
Apply for the Freelance Visa: you receive access to TECOM’s business service once you have received your freelance permit. This platform allows applicants to assist themselves with several government-corporate services. However, in this platform you may also apply for the UAE establishment card, which will cost additionally an additional cost.
After they received their establishment card, the applicants may apply for Getting a Freelance Visa in Dubai under the Dubai Development Authority; which is valid for a 3-year period.
Complete the residency visa procedures: once the applicants submitted their application for the visa, they will receive an entry permit in 4 to 7 working days. Once they receive their entry permit (which is valid for 3 months from the date of issue), they must complete some visa procedures such as their medical tests. However, when the medical process is completed, the Freelance Visa will be stamped and it will be valid for up to 1 to 3 years.
9. Why Connect Freelance?
ConnectFreelance is part of ConnectResources, we are the best agency in the United Arab Emirates, we have more than two decades of experience in assisting businesses to get services and talent that suits them.
Connect Freelance assists exceptional talents such as; personal trainers, online tutors, ITs, graphic designers, photographers and videographers, accountants and other creative individuals who want to start residing in the UAE.
Learn about the differences between an employee and a freelancer.
The Freelance permits, freelance visas, and establishment visas have different costs:
- Freelance permit (Valid for one year): AED 7,500
- Establishment card (Valid for one year): AED 2,100
If you want to apply for the freelance visa in Dubai (valid for 3 years) and you reside in the UAE:
- Normal: AED5,000.
- Express: AED6,400.
If want to apply for the freelance visa (valid for 3 years) and you are outside the United Arab Emirates:
- Normal: AED3,400.
- Express: AED4,000.
We have a more in-depth article about the Freelance Visa’s Cost.
In addition, have in mind that the prices mentioned above include the charges for your: Emirates ID, Visa Stamping, and your medical tests.
10. How can ConnectGroup provide you with a Freelance Visa?
In case you have made your mind in regards of Getting a Freelance Visa in Dubai; the next step is to find a business setup partner that suits best for you or your company. By doing so, you will start obtaining the benefits of working in the UAE hassle-free. With ConnectGroup by your side, you can establish you or your business in any of the UAE free zones.
We work side-by-side with all types of businesses in the UAE since 1998. We are authorized to work in Dubai and the UAE by the Ministry of Labor (MOHRE).
After you obtain your Freelance Visa process, you should request our other services to benefit you or your business’s growth. For instance, you can use our recruitment services and fin the employees you need in an efficient way. Or if you want to improve your Human Resources department, you can ask for HR consultancy and payroll services.
Would you like to contact ConnectGroup to receive more useful information and tips about the Freelance Visa?
To sum up, you can email us on email@example.com if you have any inquiries or you want any additional information. Or you can also call us on +97143316688, and you will talk to one of our representatives who will answer all of your questions.