What Is The Cost of Freelance Visa In Dubai & How To Get It Easily?

showing laptop on table with a person doing freelancing

With the growing internet influence across the World, freelancing is becoming more popular in modern times. Freelancers are providing services in all sectors of life through the Internet and are gaining momentum worldwide, especially in the UAE. In this scenario, a huge demand for freelancers arises, and the UAE government has responded by introducing freelance visas. 

A freelance visa allows freelancers to work and live in Dubai. You do not require any sponsor or a work contract from a company to get a freelance license. If you have a freelance license, you can apply for a Dubai freelance visa. Both UAE nationals and non-residents, regardless of their nationality, can get this freelance permit to work as freelancers in Dubai.

In this article, we have discussed the types, benefits, requirements, and costs of freelance visas in the UAE. Along with this, we have mentioned the application process to get a freelance visa in Dubai.

Types of Freelance Visas In The UAE

To create more job opportunities, the UAE has opened up freelance licenses for everyone, including UAE nationals, citizens, residents, and non-residents. Here are the types of freelance visas in the UAE.

1. Freelancer Permit For Residents:

If you live in Dubai on your spouse’s or parent’s visa, getting a freelancer permit is all you need to start working. If you work full-time in the UAE, you can switch to freelancing by getting a freelancer permit. For that purpose, you need to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your current sponsor or employer.

2. Freelancer Visa for Non-Residents:

If you are a non-resident and interested in freelancing in the UAE, you need a freelancer visa. This visa grants you permission to reside and work in the emirate as a freelancer. Along with this, you have an option to apply for a residence visa in the UAE.

3. The Dubai Talent Pass:

Dubai Talent Pass is introduced by the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA), Dubai Culture, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The Dubai Talent Pass is a three-year freelance visa, designed to attract and keep global talent, focusing on industries like art, media, technology, marketing, culture, education, and consultancy in Dubai. It’s part of Dubai’s plan to enhance its freelance workforce.

4. UAE Green Visa For Freelancers:

The UAE Green visa for freelancers is a 5-year residency option. What’s special about it is that you can apply without a job or sponsor. To qualify for a green residence for freelancers, just meet these requirements:

1. To work as a self-employed freelancer in the United Arab Emirates, you must obtain a permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

2. You must hold at least a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent specialized diploma at the academic level.

3. You must have earned an income of at least 36,000 AED annually from self-employment for the past two years.

5. GoFreelance:

With the GoFreelance program, you can explore freelancing opportunities in Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park, and Dubai Design District. You can bid on projects and grow your network using the Marketplace, a special platform for freelancers. This visa is available for business activities in education, media, tech, and design.

To apply, go to the official GoFreelance website, click on “Apply,” and complete the simple process in three easy steps. Upon successful registration, you will get a work permit and freelance visa in the UAE. The permit holders also have the option to apply for family and dependent visas.

Benefits of a Freelance Visa in UAE

A freelance visa in the UAE has many benefits, which are highlighted below:

  • A Freelance visa gives you the flexibility to work for different companies. Acquiring a freelance visa in the UAE is a great choice for your career if you prefer working in any industry without committing to a 9-to-5 job.
  • For the freelance visa, you may charge much less because getting a freelancing visa in the UAE is very affordable. With low initial costs and no need for office space, more freelancers can join the market in the UAE.
  • With a freelance visa and permit in Dubai, you can use the business hub in the free zone and work independently for various businesses across the UAE.
  • With a freelance visa in Dubai, you can bring your family to live with you. However, keep in mind that you cannot sponsor employees using your permit for independent work.
  • You can start your freelance journey by exploring the official marketplace website for different jobs and assignments. You can approach the organizations and individuals that are seeking independent contractors with your specific skill sets.

Freelance Visa Requirements In UAE:

Here are some necessary requirements to get a freelance visa in the UAE.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Your age must be more than 18 years.
  • You must be eligible for the passport.
  • You must be educationally qualified with a certificate or diploma.
  • You have earned AED 360,000 annually.
  • You need to acquire a medical fitness certificate.
  • You have to prove that you have no criminal records.

Documents Required

  • A form to be filled out for the freelance visa.
  • A clear copy of your passport.
  • A passport-sized photo.
  • An updated resume (CV).
  • Educational qualifications verified by either the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the UAE Consulate.
  • Two professional recommendations  (including contact information).
  • An intent letter expressing your interest or a job offer containing details about your work experience personal, and professional background.
  • If needed, your sponsor should provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC).
  • The relevant Free Zone authorities will assess your application and accompanying documents.

Steps to Apply for a Freelance Visa in Dubai Mainland:

Following are the easy steps to apply for a freelance visa in mainland in the UAE:

  • Choose the area or business activity you want to freelance in, like media, education, technology, etc.
  • In Dubai mainland, you need a freelance license from the Department of Economic Development (DED), unlike free zones where the authority issues the license. This includes providing required documents and meeting industry-specific criteria.
  • If you already live in the UAE with a different visa, like an employment visa, get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your current sponsor.
  • Make sure you adhere to all legal requirements, like having a valid passport, meeting the qualifications for your freelance work, and getting any required certifications.
  • Take a medical fitness test and get valid health insurance, which are necessary steps to get a residency visa in the UAE.
  • Submit your freelance license and necessary documents to apply for a residency visa, giving you the legal right to live and work in Dubai.
  • After your residency visa is approved, get it stamped in your passport. Open a bank account to make your freelance transactions smoother and easier with a residency visa.

How To Apply For a Freelance Visa in a Free Zone:

Following are the easy steps to apply for a freelance visa in a Free zone in the UAE:

  • Choose the field you want to freelance in, like media, education, technology, or design.
  • Apply for a freelance permit in your chosen field. The permit acts as a license for freelancers in the UAE. Here is the list of free zones that provide freelance permits, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Ajman Free Zone, Dubai Knowledge Park, Fujairah Creative City, Dubai Design District, and Ras Al Khaimah Economic Free Zone.
  • Gather the required documents mentioned above.
  • Submit your freelance permit application either through the relevant free zone authority.
  • Upon successful approval, you receive a freelance permit that gives you the legal right to work as a freelancer in Dubai.
  • The application typically needs your freelance permit/license, passport, medical insurance, UAE phone number, and passport-sized photos.
  • As part of the freelance visa application, you will need to take a medical fitness test and get health insurance.
  • When your application is approved and all the required fees are paid, a freelance visa will be issued to you that allows you to live and work in the UAE.

Dubai Freelance Visa Costs:

There are the four main components of the costs of getting and renewing your freelance visa in 2024, as given below:

1. Freelance Permit:

Freelance Permit for both issuance and renewal of the freelance visa in Dubai is the same and given below: 

Freelance VisaCost
IssuanceAED 7,500
RenewalAED 7,500

The Freelance Permit annual renewal is mandatory.

2. Establishment Card:

The cost of the establishment card in Dubai is the same for both the issuance and renewal, as given below:

Establishment CardCost
IssuanceAED 2,000
Renewal AED 2,000

The establishment card also needs to be renewed annually.

3. Employment Visa:

There are two options for the employment visa in Dubai with respect to visa validity, as explained below:

Visa ValidityCost
3-year AED 2,750
5-year AED 5,000

Renewal of the employment visa is required every 3 and 5 years, respectively. 

4. Residence Visa:

If you’re applying for a 3-year residence visa from outside the UAE:

Process TypePrice
Normal processingAED 3,330
Express processing.AED 3,900

If you’re applying for a 3-year residence visa from within the UAE:

Process TypePrice
Standard ProcessingAED 4,960
Express Processing AED 6,340

We Can Help You To Get Your Visa!

If you want to grab the opportunity of a freelance visa from any of the above categories, it is essential to work with a trustworthy organization to ensure the correct and valid issuance of a freelance visa in the UAE. Dubai is a great place to start a freelance business, and Now Consultant can help you get your freelancing visa in Dubai. 

We are experts in setting up businesses in the UAE, providing different visa options and valuable business support services designed for freelancers. Whether you are choosing your ideal free zone, applying for your residency visa, or getting your freelance license in the mainland, our specialists at Now Consultant are ready to help you.


What Is The Price Of 2 Year Freelance Visa In The UAE?

The price of a two-year freelance visa in the UAE is AED 2,750 for the first year and AED 5,000 for the second year.

What Is The Minimum Income Requirement For a Freelance Visa in Dubai?

The applicant for a freelance visa must have a minimum annual income of AED 360,000 earned through self-employment over the past two years or can demonstrate financial solvency during their stay.


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