Acquiring a Dubai freelance visa grants you the opportunity to engage in business activities within the UAE and offer your professional services to clients in full compliance with the law. The UAE has introduced freelancing visas for a diverse range of categories with the aim of attracting creative minds to the country. By obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai, you can conduct business in the UAE and lawfully provide professional services to consumers.
Numerous free zones in the UAE including Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Ajman Free Zone, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Design District, Fujairah Creative City Free Zone, and Ras Al Khaimah Economic Free Zone, offer freelancer visas for individuals within the country. The freelance visa is accessible at cost-effective rates, enabling you to engage in diverse business activities.
However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that obtaining your UAE residency visa is also necessary. With this visa, individuals can work in their respective fields anywhere in the UAE, regardless of the specific free zone they apply for. It’s essential to bear in mind that the Dubai freelance visa is exclusively applicable for registration within the media, tech, education, and creative industries sectors.
Dubai Freelance Visa Cost
When considering acquiring your freelance employment visa (distinct from your residency or UAE residence visa), it’s crucial to be aware of the Dubai freelance visa cost. As of 2023, the freelance visa cost begins at 20,000 AED, and it remains valid for 2 years. However, the setup expenses may vary depending on the specific free zone you choose for registration. Additionally, if your freelance visa falls under the Dubai Development Authority, there might be supplementary costs for a freelance permit.
The Dubai Development Authority is a government body involved in economic development, urban planning, and real estate. This freelance permit, valid for three years under their authority, can be renewed every three years and includes an immigration card and insurance coverage.
Dubai Freelance Visa Requirements
To work independently or as a freelancer, you must fulfil Dubai Freelance Visa requirements, secure a permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. Meeting certain qualifications is necessary, including holding a minimum bachelor’s degree or specialist diploma in education.
Moreover, you must demonstrate a minimum self-employment income of AED 360,000 per year for the past two years or provide proof of financial capability to sustain yourself during your stay. These requirements ensure that individuals seeking to work on their own in the UAE meet the necessary criteria for obtaining the permit.
For the Dubai Freelance Visa, certain essential paperwork needs to be completed and fulfilled.
- A fully filled-out application form
- Passport copy
- Passport size photo
- Latest CV
- Two professional references with contact and details
- Academic certificates verified and attested by either the UAE Consulate or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- A job offers or a letter of intent that outlines your personal and professional background, as well as work experience
- If necessary, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your sponsor
Dubai freelance visa benefits
There are numerous Dubai freelance visa benefits such as:
- It allows you to work for diverse businesses, making it an ideal career path if you wish to work in various industries without committing to a proper job.
- The affordability of the freelance visa in Dubai enables you to offer your services at competitive rates, attracting more opportunities as freelancers can easily enter the market with low initial costs and no office space requirements.
- Having a freelance visa and permit grants you access to the free zones business hub, enabling you to work as an independent contractor for businesses across the UAE.
- You can use the freelance visa to invite family members to join you in Dubai, but you cannot sponsor employees under your visa for independent work.
- Starting your freelance career becomes convenient with the official marketplace website, where you can find a variety of jobs and assignments. You can reach out to organizations and individuals seeking independent contractors with your specific skill sets.
Types of Dubai Freelance Visa
There are various types of Dubai freelance visa, lets discuss few of them below in this article:
1. Dubai Freelance visa for residents
For residents of Dubai who wanted to engage in freelance activities, they were generally required to do so under the sponsorship of their current employer or through setting up their own company, such as a sole proprietorship or a freelance permit within a free zone (if applicable).
2. Dubai Freelance visa for Non-Residents
As of September 2021, Dubai offers a “Freelance Permit” for non-residents, enabling foreign nationals to work independently as freelancers in the emirate. It allows legal engagement in their expertise area without a local sponsor. Eligibility depends on profession, qualifications, and experience. Required documents include passport, academic certificates, resume, licenses, and certifications. Permit duration is 6 months to 3 years, renewable if eligibility and regulations are met.
3. Dubai Talent Pass
Dubai ‘Talent Pass’ is a three-year visa introduced by Dafza, Dubai Culture, and GDRFA, exclusively for freelancers in fields like media, education, art, technology, marketing, and consultancy. It allows renting office space in Dafza. Available licenses cover import, export, re-export, general commerce, light manufacturing, packaging, assembly, e-commerce, and services. Registered companies in Dubai Airport Free Zone can apply for the Department of Economic Development’s license without requiring an office space outside the free zone
4. Banking Finance Professionals
Freelancers specializing in accounting and auditing, analysis and review of accounting systems, Shariah review consultancy for Islamic financial institutions, and tax consulting can apply for freelance opportunities with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development.
In Dubai, individuals working in diverse media-related domains have the opportunity to acquire a freelance visa through Dubai Media City. There are about 45 categories to choose from, encompassing roles such as actors, photographers, animators, artists, sound engineers, brand consultants, cameramen, choreographers, composers, content providers, copywriters, directors, editors, event planners, designers, journalists, market analysts, presenters, web developers, and more.
6. Dubai Educationists
Dubai Knowledge Park offers a freelance visa category that caters to education advisors, e-learning advisors, executive coaches, researchers, and trainers. Interested professionals can apply for this visa, with options for a one-year visa or a three-year visa. In addition to the visa application, the required documents include a freelance license, Establishment Card, a UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport, and a passport photo.
Freelancers specializing in web, mobile, software development and architecture, IT and telecommunication networking, data science and analytics, and customer service have the option to apply for the freelance visa.
Along with the visa application, the necessary documents include a freelance license, Establishment Card, a UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport, and a passport photo.
Apparel designers, concept designers, fashion stylists, image consultants, fashion artists, hairstylists, interior designers, object designers, personal shoppers, textile designers, visual merchandisers, and wedding planners can secure a freelance visa from Dubai Design District by providing all necessary documents.
Dubai Freelance Visa Scams
As with any popular destination, there may be instances of Dubai Freelance visa scams, including those related to freelance visas. Scammers might take advantage of individuals looking to work as freelancers in the city by offering false promises or fraudulent services. Here are some common red flags to watch out for to avoid falling victim to Dubai freelance visa scams:
1. Unrealistic Promises
Be cautious of individuals or agencies that promise you a visa without meeting the standard eligibility criteria or without the proper documentation.
2. Unregistered Agents
Verify the credentials of any immigration consultant or agency you choose to work with. Ensure they are registered with the appropriate government authorities to handle visa applications.
3. Requests for upfront fees
Avoid paying large sums of money upfront before any service is rendered. Genuine immigration services typically charge fees after providing their services.
4. Misleading Information
Be wary of any information or claims that sound too good to be true or contradict official visa regulations.
5. Unofficial Channels
Only deal with authorized government departments or official websites for visa-related matters. Avoid using unofficial or unverified channels.
6. Pressure Tactics
Scammers might use high-pressure tactics to rush you into making decisions or providing personal information.
7. Lack of transparency
Genuine visa agencies or consultants should be transparent about their services, fees, and the entire visa application process.
Dubai Freelance Visa Conversion into full Company
While some individuals prefer a freelancing lifestyle, managing only the work they can handle, others view freelancing as a stepping stone towards building their own business and establishing a company. When the time comes to take that leap, assistance is readily available. Upgrading a freelance business license to a company license is a straightforward process, making it convenient for those looking to expand their ventures.
Frequently asked questions
1. What is the age limit for freelance visa in Dubai?
In Dubai, individuals who are 18 years and above are eligible to apply for a work visa. However, the UAE labor law strictly prohibits anyone under the age of 15 from engaging in employment within the emirate.
2. Who is eligible for freelance visa in Dubai?
The Dubai freelance visa falls under the category of UAE residency, allowing individuals to reside and work alongside their family members in the UAE for a duration of 1 to 5 years. These permits are accessible to UAE nationals, citizens, residents, as well as non- residents.
3. Can we work on freelance visa in Dubai?
As per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE), the recently freelance permit in Dubai is open to individuals of all skill levels. Once the permit is granted by the relevant authorities, freelancers have the flexibility to work from any location within the UAE or even from any part of the world.
4. What are the rules for freelancing in Dubai, UAE?
To become self-employed or acquire a freelance permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, individuals must meet certain criteria. These include having a minimum bachelor’s degree or specialized diploma. Additionally, applicants should have earned a minimum annual income of AED 360,000 through self-employment in the last two years, or they need to demonstrate financial solvency during their stay in the country.
Get Dubai Freelance Visa with us
Dubai presents an excellent opportunity to set up your business, and our team is ready to assist you in obtaining your freelance visa. Working with a trustworthy and reputable company is crucial to ensure you acquire the correct and legitimate freelance permit in the UAE. As a leading specialist in Dubai company formation, we offer a range of visa solutions and valuable business support services designed specifically for freelancers.
Let our team of experienced consultants assist you in every step of the process, from choosing the right free zone to applying for your residence visa and obtaining your freelance license. We are here to answer any questions you have regarding your Emirates ID and employment visa. We’ll handle the entire procedure on your behalf. Contact us today for all the further details.