How To Apply For Freelance Visa Dubai – Costs & Benefits

  • Post category:UAE

Living in the UAE is a desirable alternative for freelancers since Dubai and Abu Dhabi are regarded as the best places to live and work. For those freelancers who want to live and work in the United Arab Emirates, the government has recently introduced the Dubai freelancer visa for residents and foreigners.

freelance visa dubai


Freelance Visa And Work Permits For Residents

If the candidate resides in Dubai under the visas of their spouse and parents, they will require a freelance permit before he may begin working. Professionals in the UAE who work full-time are allowed to work for themselves.

However, the business or sponsor needs to provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC).

Freelance Visa For Non-residents

Unless they are already UAE citizens, applicants must apply for a freelance visa, which is a residence permit that allows them to live and operate as freelancers in the emirate.

They also need to submit an application for a residency permit.

The Dubai Talent Pass

To draw and keep international talent, the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (Dafza), Dubai Culture, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) have introduced the Dubai Talent Pass, a three-year visa or freelance license. This is to increase the number of freelance workers and focus on the art, media, technology, marketing, culture, education, marketing, and consulting businesses in Dubai.

Green Residents For Freelancing And Self-employment

Given the significant global growth of freelancing and the idea of flexible work arrangements, the new Green Residence for Freelancing and self-employment offers a 5-time residency for freelancers and self-employed individuals without needing a sponsor or employer in the UAE.

The requirements are:

  • Obtaining a permit to operate as a freelancer or as a self-employed employee from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
  • Minimum education requirements, such as a bachelor’s degree or specialized diploma.
  • An annual self-employment income of AED 360,000 (USD 9,800.99) for the last two years, or
  • The applicant must show that they are financially stable throughout the duration of their stay in the country.


A digital nomad visa issued in another country is similar to a Dubai freelance permit. However, there are a few significant distinctions between the two options for temporary residency. For instance, a freelancing license allows one to work for an employer in Dubai, but a digital nomad visa only covers activities carried out by the remote worker for an employer outside.

Certain income requirements apply to a digital nomad visa as well, and they vary based on the length of stay and whether or not the applicant moves with family. On the other hand, there is an application cost for the Dubai freelancing visa.


  • Media

A wide range of professions, including copywriters, illustrators, graphic designers, market analysts, scriptwriters, social media influencers, web developers, etc., are eligible to apply for permits as media professionals.

  • Education

If one works as a research assistant, e-learning advisor, etc., one can obtain a visa and freelance permit for the education sector.

  • Design

Concept, costume, interior, and jewellery design are just a few design-related services eligible for the freelance visa.

  • Technology

Regarding technology, professional services like software development, web development, data science, customer support, etc. qualify the applicant for the registration of a freelance business in Dubai.


  • Copy of passport and residency visa
  • Application Form
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC)
  • Bank Reference Letter
  • For the education sector, the applicant will require proof of their academic qualifications that have been verified and authorized by the UAE consulate or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • A portfolio of the work is required for the media industry.


  • Filling the application

The applicant should fill application and attach copies of their passport and visa. They should wait 5-7 days to receive an email confirming the clearance.

  • Make the payment

Then, in order to show the original passport, sign the paperwork, and finish the payment for the freelance permit, the applicant must go to the business center located in Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Media City, or Dubai Internet City.

Processing typically takes ten to fifteen business days. The applicant will receive an email with the permit after it has been authorized.

  • Obtaining the establishment card

The applicant can access TECOM’s business service portal, AXS, after receiving the permit. From there, they can access a variety of corporate and government services. This is where they must apply for the Establishment Card, which comes with an extra cost.

The applicant will need a UAE mobile number and their freelancing permit in order to apply for the card.

  • Obtaining the work permit

After getting the establishment card, the applicant is eligible to apply for a Dubai residency visa. They’ll need the card, their original passport, a passport photo, and, if required, proof of current health insurance and a valid visa for this.

  • Obtaining a residency permit

The applicant will obtain an entry permit within a week of submitting their freelance visa application, and it will be valid for 60 days after that date. They may need to consider further steps, such as medical examinations, upon arriving in Dubai.

After the residence visa is approved, the applicant can begin living and working as a freelancer in Dubai.


To sponsor the family, the applicant must:

  • Have a current residency permit
  • Minimum salary requirements: AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation
  • The application needs to be turned in within sixty days of your UAE residence visa being issued.

Additional requirements for the spouse and kids are:

  • To prove that they are currently married, the applicant needs to provide an authenticated marriage certificate.
  • To prove that they are currently married, the applicant needs to provide an authenticated marriage certificate.
  • If the applicant’s daughters are single and if their sons are under the age of 18, they may sponsor them. 
  • The applicant can sponsor an individual between the ages of 18 and 21 if they can provide proof that they are enrolled in school. But they have to go to the UAE at least once every six months.
  • If they can present an NOC from the biological parent, the applicant is able to sponsor stepchildren.


  • Freelance permit: The cost to obtain and renew a freelance work permit is AED 7,500. It must be renewed every year.
  • Establishment card: The fee to issue and renew an establishment card is AED 2,000. 
  • Employment visa: AED 2,750 for a 3-year validity period and AED 5000 for a 5-year validity period. Every three and five years, respectively, they must be renewed.
  • Residence visa: The cost of a resident visa, if you are applying from outside the United Arab Emirates, which is valid for three years, is 

AED 3,330 (Normal)

3,900 AED (Express)

The cost of a residence visa (valid for three years) will be as follows if the applicant is applying from within the United Arab Emirates:

4,960 AED (Normal)

6,340 AED (Express)

The freelancing visa would, therefore, cost a minimum of AED 11,525 a year.

The visa cost includes the Emirati ID, medical testing, and visa stamping but does not include health insurance.


  • Flexibility

It gives the freedom to work for several different companies. Becoming a freelancer in Dubai could be the greatest career option if the applicant wants to work in any of the aforementioned fields and doesn’t want a 9–5 job. 

  • Easy to apply

The applicant can apply directly to the DED or to any of the free zones for the freelance permit. The application procedure is easy, and it is often obtained in five to seven days.

  • No location required

Being a freelancer allows the applicant to work from anywhere. Thus, it is not necessary to lease an office. They can choose to use any of the facilities in the selected free zones, get a desk, or work from home.

  • Sponsor family

Though it’s not stable work, freelance work allows the applicant to stay with their family in the nation. They can sponsor their dependents in Dubai if they have a freelance visa. 

Reach out to us Relin Consultants – Leading Global Business Set Up Partners for further assistance with obtaining your Dubai freelance visa.


What requirements must one meet in order to apply for a freelancer visa?

The following documents are needed in order to apply for a freelancer visa: 1. Copy of Passport 2. A photograph 3. A filled-out application 4. First-year permit fee. 5. A resume and/or a certified copy of your diploma.

Who is eligible for a freelance visa?

Both a freelance permit and a visa are available for anyone wishing to begin working as a freelancer in the region. The main requirement for the primary applicant is a bachelor’s degree or specialist diploma. Additionally, they need to prove that within the last two years, they made at least 360,000 AED.

Can I work as a freelancer in Dubai and live in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, or any other emirate?

Yes, you are able to work in other Emirates provided you have a freelancing visa from a mainland company. For instance, because rent is less expensive in Abu Dhabi, some people choose to work there. Regardless of the free zone in which a person applies for a visa, they are able to work anywhere in the UAE in their particular field.

Do freelancers have to pay VAT?

Yes. It is important for freelancers to understand that if their work brings them profit, they have to register for VAT and follow the regulations.

With this freelance visa, is it possible for me to work with customers outside of the UAE?

Yes, people can work for clients both inside and outside of the UAE with a freelancing visa. Usually, they take on projects that allow them to operate remotely. Working with foreign customers is therefore simpler than it might seem. They can also leave the region for up to six months if necessary.