How to Get a Freelance Visa in Dubai?

How to get a freelance visa in Dubai

Table of Contents

What is Dubai Freelance Visa?

The Dubai freelancing visa is a residency permit that permits anyone to reside and work in the city. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, company founders, and investors are the target audiences.

One of the best areas to work as a freelancer is Dubai. In Dubai, you can operate as a freelancer without obtaining authorization from anyone. You can set up your own company, As a result, you will be qualified to apply for a freelancing visa. Dubai offers freelance visas for talented and skilled individuals who wish to work and live in Dubai. Freelance visas are being offered by a number of free zones in Dubai.

The freelance visa is also known as the entrepreneur visa or the sole establishment visa. It is different from an employment visa, which requires sponsorship from an employer. A freelance applicant does not need any sponsor and he/she can easily get a license to conduct business within the free zone.

Dubai also stated in 2018 that it would grant a unique online freelancer visa for persons who want to work for themselves or part-time. The freelancer visa is valid for 1 year and can be extended once a year.

To apply for a freelance license in Dubai, you must have professional experience in one of the following categories:

  1. Service provider (e.g., IT technician)
  2. Online business (e.g., social media marketer)
  3. Consultant (e.g., legal consultant)
  4. Creative (e.g., graphic designer)

Who Should Apply in Dubai for a Freelance Visa?

The UAE government has made it possible for foreigners to obtain a freelancing visa in Dubai and begin working as independent contractors. The Dubai freelancing visa and permission are valid for 1 year and can be reissued for another year.

The new law allows expats who live in the UAE to work as freelancers, as long as they meet some specific criteria, and have the required skills which enable them to become self-employed professionals.

If you want to apply for a freelance visa, you need to have at least five years of experience in your field or any other sector. The freelance permit will allow expats to work in any industry of their choice, without being subjected under an employer or a firm.

The most important aspect of this new visa is that it allows you to have a bank account in Dubai and be able to receive payments for your services.

The government welcomes highly skilled and qualified people who want to work as freelancers in Dubai. The following groups of professionals can benefit from this initiative:

  • Teacher
  • Accountant
  • Lawyer
  • IT person
  • Architect
  • Engineer
  • Writers
  • Designers and illustrators
  • Photographers and videographers
  • Social media influencers
  • Artists
  • Programmers and IT specialists
  • Content creators

What are the freelance visa Dubai requirements? 

Freelance visas are a type of visa that allows individuals to work as independent contractors in the UAE. The process for applying for a freelance visa is relatively simple, and. 

There are several freelance visas Dubai requirements associated with it, but they aren’t as strict as other types of immigration requirements. Some notables include: 

1. You must have an active bank account in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 

2. You must be legally residing in Dubai or its surrounding areas 

3. You cannot be married or have any children under the age of 18 living with you at home 

4.You must have a valid passport 

5. You must be able to prove that you have enough money for your stay in Dubai 

6. You can support yourself and your family during your stay in Dubai 

Benefits of Freelance Visa in Dubai

Dubai is a cosmopolitan society and the government is always encouraging new talent to come and work here. The freelance visa in Dubai is the latest type of visa launched by the Dubai Government. It allows people to work as a freelance in Dubai while engaging in certain activities that are approved.

There are several benefits of having a freelance visa in Dubai, like:

No need to have a sponsor. A freelance visa holder can work under his own name and does not require having any sponsor.

Flexibility: A freelancer can work according to his own schedule and there is no restriction on working hours or place of work.

Freedom: A freelancer can offer services to more than one company without any legal hindrance.

Multiple streams of income: There are many companies that require freelancers and you can offer your services to them at competitive rates, thus you can increase your income manifold.

100 percent foreign ownership: The freelance visa allows 100 percent foreign ownership and makes it much easier for freelancers or self-employed people to work and live in the UAE legally and carry out their business activities.

Compete with businesses: It enables self-employed professionals to compete with businesses in their market space on an even footing while enjoying many benefits such as access to bank accounts, health insurance, and other benefits.

Easy Travelling: You’ll be able to work from places other than your official address, like a café or a coworking space.

Other benefits:

A. The business structure is very simple

B. It’s low-cost and easy to set up

C. There are no limitations on your earnings

D. You can be your own boss and manage yourself

E. The documentation process is quite simple

F. You can bring your family with you

G. You can enjoy tax-free earning

H. You don’t need an office space to work from

What are Freelancer Visa categories?

Freelancer Visa Dubai categories are a way to streamline your visa process. The UAE has different Freelancer Visa categories, and they are: 

Employer (Tier 1) 

This visa category is for those who employ foreign workers to do work in their business. 

Investor (Tier 2) 

This visa category is for those who wish to invest at least US$2 million in Dubai, or have a partner or relative who wishes to invest in Dubai with you. 

Intra-Company Transfer (Tier 2) 

This visa category allows you to transfer from another country and start working in Dubai immediately. You must have a job offer from an employer who is already located in the UAE. 

Student (Tier 4) 

This visa category allows you to study at universities and colleges in Dubai for up to eight months without paying tuition fees. 

Business visa (B1) 

This visa is issued to those who wish to work in Dubai as independent contractors and not on a full-time basis. The B1 visa allows you to work for up to 90 days, but you may extend this period if you wish. You must also have a bank account, or have been approved by the relevant financial institution. 

Entrepreneur (E1) 

An entrepreneur visa (E1) is an individual who has been granted an entrepreneur visa by their country of origin. They are not allowed to work in any other profession while working on this visa, but they may apply for a different type of visa after four years if they wish to do so. 

Investor (E2) 

An investor visa (E2) grants access to the UAE for business people who want to invest in property or start businesses there. The applicant must have £500,000 worth of assets outside the UAE before he or she can apply for this type of visa. They have three years after landing in Dubai before they must leave if they wish to obtain permanent residency status within the UAE. 

Tourist visa 

This type of visa is for people who are traveling to Dubai for tourism purposes only. They cannot work in Dubai, but they can apply for a residence permit. 

Transit visa 

This type of visa is issued to individuals who are visiting Dubai for the purpose of transit to a third country or region. They cannot work in Dubai and must return to their country before their visa expires or be issued with a new one upon departure from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). If they remain in the country after their current visa expires, they will not be allowed to enter again without first obtaining another one from the UAE authorities. 

Retirement visa 

If you’re planning on retiring in Dubai and living there full-time for an extended period of time (more than 90 days), then a retirement visa may be right for you. This type of visa allows individuals who plan on staying in. 

Freelance visa Dubai activities 

A freelance visa in Dubai is an excellent way for you to take advantage of the many benefits that Dubai offers. This visa allows you to work in Dubai without having to worry about working visas, permits, or other issues. 

Media activities 

You can work as a journalist, reporter, or editor in Dubai. You will be required to register with the Media Authority of Dubai (MAD) and obtain an electronic media license to work in Dubai. You can also work as a freelancer and receive payment for your work from any source including newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, websites, and other media outlets. 

Education activities 

You can work as a teacher or lecturer at educational institutions such as colleges and universities. Some of these institutions are accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR), others are recognized by the education authorities of their country, and some are not accredited by either MOHESR or another country’s education authority. 

Tech activities 

You can work as a software engineer in Dubai. There are no restrictions on what kind of software you can write or develop but you will need to register with the Software Development Industry Association (SDIA) and obtain a license before you can legally work in this industry. You may also want to consider obtaining an engineering degree from one of several universities located throughout Dubai. 

Design activities 

If you’re interested in graphic design, you can find companies that hire freelancers for this type of work. If you want to design products or even graphic designs for clients, then it’s useful to have a portfolio of your previous designs so that potential clients can see what kind of work you’ve done before. 

Design activities can be a great way to make some extra cash while working on your designs or illustration projects! 

How to Apply for Freelancer Visa in Dubai?

Dubai Tourism has launched a new initiative that will facilitate the issuance of renewable 6-month-long visas for professionals who are either working remotely or have their own startups in Dubai. The initiative is open to individuals from all nationalities and it offers independent professionals an opportunity to be based in Dubai for work purposes.

How to apply for a freelancer permit:

1. Know to whom you are going to apply for your freelance visa

2. Be confident that you have the right qualifications and documents that will help you get a freelance permit

3. Get your portfolio ready and make sure it reflects the best of what you can do.

4. Find a sponsor who is willing to support your application.

5. Send your application along with all required documents to the proper authority.

6. Track your application online.

7. Wait for a response from the relevant authorities.

8. Schedule an interview, if required.

9. Pay all applicable fees and follow up on payment status.

10. Receive your freelance visa within three to four weeks.

Documents Required

In order to apply for a freelance visa in Dubai, you need to provide:

1. Original passport and valid visa.

2. No Objection Letter from your sponsor or Employer must be attested by the chamber of commerce, ministry of foreign affairs, and UAE embassy in your home country.

3. A copy of the UAE residence visa (front and back)

4. Photocopy of trade license (applicable for company sponsorship).

5. Canceled cheque of a bank account in your name (applicable for company sponsorship).

6. Attested educational certificate (an attested university degree or higher education qualification is required from your home country and further attestation from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

7. Professional Qualifications Certificate if you are an engineer, doctor, accountant, etc.

8. Proof of experience certificates for engineers, doctors, architects, etc. (from previous employers).

9. Attested Memorandum and Article of Association (MOA) if you are a director of the company sponsoring you on a freelance visa (from the Economic Department).

10. CV/Resume clearly mentioning work experience in the relevant field to be attested by the Chamber of Commerce & Ministry Of Foreign Affairs in UAE.

 11. 2 photos with white background.

Cost of Freelance Visa Dubai

Your Freelance Visa cost will be calculated based on the following parameters:

1. A number of years you are looking to get the visa for. The visa can be vailed for a period of 1 (one) or 2 (two) years, but cannot be renewed for more than 2 years at one time.

2. Your nationality. The cost varies based on the nationality of the applicant.

3. The number of dependents that you are planning to have on your visa (if any). Dependents include spouses and children aged 18 and below.

4. Application processing charges are applicable over and above the official fees charged by GDRFA-D, which is AED 7,000 per year of renewal (i.e., a total of AED 14,000 if you want to renew your visa for 2 years).

What Is the Cheapest Freelance Visa In UAE? 

The cheapest way to get a freelance Visa in UAE is through an agent. If you don’t have a visa and are from another country, you can apply for the visa yourself. This is not advised because it could take up to 90 days, and it will cost you money and time. You should also make sure that you have enough experience to prove that you are qualified for this type of visa before applying for one through an agent, as they are required by law to provide proof that you have experience working in their country before issuing a visa. 

The cheapest freelance visa in UAE is the Tier 1 (General) visa. This visa is issued to those who wish to work in the country as a freelancer or independent contractors. 

The cost of this visa depends on the country you’re applying from, but it’s typically around AED 920 per person and takes about five weeks to process. 

If your employer doesn’t have a branch in the UAE, they can also apply for temporary worker status so their employees can work while they wait for their applications to be processed. 


The UAE, in general, is quite a favorable destination for freelancers, with plenty of organizations and companies open to hiring overseas talent. It’s all about knowing where to look and how to approach these potential clients. Here are just a few tips to guide you through the process.

The freelance visa is issued to foreign nationals working for a foreign employer or family member in Dubai. The UAE’s economic growth has seen a rising demand for both skilled and unskilled workers. UAE immigration law permits the entry of thousands of foreign skilled workers every month to fill job vacancies within the country.

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