Getting a UAE Freelance Visa and Permit: An Ultimate Guide

Changing workplace environments are becoming more common in the UAE. The government has changed policies to make freelance visas more affordable for the public so that more people can work as freelancers. 

Freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular career option in Dubai. 65% of freelancers in the Middle East live in Dubai, according to Research.

UAE Freelancing

There is a huge array of advantages to freelancing, including the opportunity to work on as many projects as you want, as well as greater flexibility in your working hours. It’s easy to understand why so many professionals in the UAE have chosen to become freelancers thanks to these numerous advantages.

A residence visa and a freelancer license are needed in the UAE, however, if you want to work as a freelancer. There are a number of companies offering visa solutions in the UAE, and although the government has been strict in regulating the industry, there are some that offer illegal visa options. You should be aware of these visa shops as a freelancer.

DBS Offers Freelance Residence Visa in Dubai

People who crave autonomy have a lot of options with a freelancing visa platform like Dubai Business Service.

With almost thousands of applicants, Mega platforms offer almost no end to the practice and earning opportunity for almost every skill.

DBS attempts to provide our clients with full liberty while they work. The joiners can work for themselves because we work for them.

What is a Freelance Permit and Visa?

In November 2020, the UAE announced to increase job opportunities in the country that freelance license applications were now open not only to UAE citizens but to residents and non-residents as well.

Freelancers may now legally stay in the UAE to work and live, as well as bring their families with them.

Freelancer Permit

Depending on your visa status, you will need either a freelancer permit or a spouse’s or parent’s visa if you’re a resident in Dubai on a spouse’s or parent’s visa. Permits can also be obtained by UAE full-time employees to become freelancers.

If your sponsor or employer doesn’t object, you’ll need a No Objection Certificate (NOC).

Establishment Card

Upon receiving your permit, you’ll gain access to DBS, the Dubai business services platform, where you can access a number of government or corporate services. An Establishment Card is required here, which comes with an additional fee.

Obtain your UAE mobile number and your freelancer permit before applying for the card.

Freelance Visa

For individuals who aren’t otherwise residents of the UAE, a freelancer visa is required, which serves as a residency permit allowing them to live and work in the UAE as a freelancer.

In addition, you must apply for a residency visa.

How do you Get a Dubai Freelance Visa?

Getting your freelance permit

To get your residency visa, you need to obtain a freelancer permit from Dubai.

In addition, eligible individuals can gain access to exclusive job opportunities, bid on projects, and build their networks.

Documents needed by applicants include:

  • CV/Resume
  • The photo was taken recently
  • The copy of the passport and the visa (valid for at least eight months)
  • Referral letter from the bank
  • The sponsor in the UAE has granted you their NOC
  • A certificate of academic qualification from the UAE Consulate in your country of origin (for applications in the education sector) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • You may want to submit a portfolio of your work. 

Your application form and passport and visa copies must be submitted and you will receive their approval via email in 5-7 days. Your original passport signed documentation, and funds for your freelance permit must then be brought to the Dubai visa center.

Generally, it takes 10-15 business days for the processing to be completed. Upon approval of the permit, it will be sent to you via email.

The Process of Getting a Residency Permit

Within a week after receiving your freelance visa application, you will receive a 60-day entry permit. After arriving in Dubai, you’ll need to look into medical examinations and other procedures.

You can then start freelancing in Dubai after getting your residency visa stamped.

Dubai Freelance Permit Or Visa:  Who Should Apply?

You can become a freelancer in Dubai in various sectors, including:

  • An education 
  • News/Media
  • Technology

The freelance visa in Dubai is for professionals such as acting, screenwriting, journalism, advertising, training, education advisors, customer service representatives, and web developers. On the DBS website, you will find a comprehensive list of the freelance activities you can do with this visa. 

If you work in the Tech and Media sectors, as well as the education sector, your freelance permit will be issued by Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, and Dubai Knowledge Park. 

Dubai Freelance Visa Benefits

Dubai freelance permits and visas come with several benefits. The flexibility of working for multiple companies is one of its main advantages. The best career move for anyone planning to work in one of the industries mentioned above and not want a 9-to-5 job is to become a freelancer in Dubai. 

As a freelancer in Dubai, you can also charge much less for your services because the freelance visa is so affordable. Dubai Govt. allows more freelancers to enter the market because setup costs are lower and office space is not required. 

An independent contractor visa and permit in Dubai also entitles you to work for various UAE companies and access to the free zone’s business center. 

As a resident of Dubai and a freelancer, you can even sponsor family members to live with you in an apartment or villa you’re renting. However, your freelance visa and permit do not permit you to sponsor employees. 

Freelance Visa Cost

Freelancer permits, establishment cards, and freelance visas are separately priced. 

  • Permit for freelancing: 7,500 AED
  • Card of establishment: 2,000 AED

Within the UAE, you can apply for the freelance employment visa (valid for three years) if you meet the following requirements: 

  • Normal: AED 4,960
  • Express: AED 6,340

You need to apply outside the UAE for the three-year freelance work visa in Dubai (which is valid for three years):

  • Normal: AED 3,330
  • Express: AED 3,900

In addition to the above charges, you will also have to pay for your Medical Test, ID, and a visa stamp.  

How Do You Set Up as a Freelancer in Dubai? 

Many free zones offer a freelancer permit, which is required to become a resident of Dubai and to sponsor your family. This permits you to be a self-employed individual in Dubai and the wider region.

It’s a varied list, some will depend on the profession and others on the industry sector and all can be done online, check them out and compare. The price can differ notably depending on the free zone, so it’s important to compare before choosing one so it suits your individual circumstances.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Be sure that you will be able to work as a freelancer before submitting an application. It is important to know the exact requirements because they can vary. Not preparing well could result in delays. Medical insurance can be quite expensive, so you will also have to arrange that for yourself.

Many freelancers also experience difficulties with payment. You may feel stressed and tight if you do not earn a regular income. This is especially true when you aren’t always paid on time. Some advise that you should stop producing work until the bills are paid before chasing money.

Additionally, you need to know whether you have the drive to do it alone and the self-reliance to do it.

It’s important to get to grips with accounting as well – it isn’t something everyone is naturally gifted at, but it is so crucial.

There’s really no better time to come up with an idea that makes you want to get up every day. You have to admit, working without a desk and stepping away from familiarity can be both liberating and daunting at the same time.

Usually, we find that our clients start out with great ideas and stay for the flexibility, creativity, and pride that comes with owning your own company. An average person spends nearly a third of their lives at work – wouldn’t it be nice if it were something we enjoyed doing on our own terms?

With more opportunities now available, there’s no time like the present to resolve your freelance visa issues.

The Support you Need to Succeed

The DBS believes in the power of freelance talent in transforming the economy by bringing diverse skills to the community. As a result, we have created a freelance visa package and simplified the process so you have everything you need to support an independent life.

 Through Marketplace, a platform introduced with the aim of supporting freelance talent, contractors can find jobs, bid on projects, and grow their network.

 Dubai offers freelancers the opportunity to become independent contractors.

Let’s see what you have to offer the world!

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