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Freelance Visa for Dubai

Freelance Visa for Dubai

If you get a freelancer visa in Dubai, you will benefit from 0% corporate and personal tax and 100% repatriation of profits. Working as a self-employed person, freelancer, or digital nomad is now possible from almost anywhere in the world, including UAE. Compared to other countries, the UAE has created the legal framework for those who can work remotely back in 2019. UAE authorities now offer Dubai freelance visa to certain categories of people.

The freelance visa in Dubai addresses independent contractors only and can have a longer validity period unlike the digital nomad visa. Below, we invite you to discover more about the freelance visa costs in Dubai and its requirements. You can reach out to our law firm in Dubai for support in applying for it.

 Quick Facts  
Types of freelancers addressed

– artists,

– sportsmen,

– designers,

– banking and IT professionals,

– education specialists,

– media persons

Availability for foreign professionals (YES/NO)

Yes, foreign citizens can apply

Activities permitted

– education,

– marketing,

– IT,

– consultancy,

– event management,

– editing,

– copywriting,

– design, etc.

Eligibility conditions for applicants

– academic qualifications,

– degrees,

– recognized prizes, etc.

Special requirements for foreigners (YES/NO)


Residence permit requisites for foreigners (YES/NO)

Yes, residence permits must be obtained

Dubai free zones available

– Dubai Media City,

– Dubai Knowledge Park,

– Dubai Airport Free Zone,

– Dubai Design District,

– Dubai Internet City

Availability in other emirates (YES/NO)

Yes: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaim

Possibility to relocate with family (YES/NO)


Sponsorship requirements (YES/NO) Only if sponsored by an employer or family member living in UAE
Application fee (approx.)

AED 20,000

Validity period

From 2 to 10 years

Timeframe to obtain a freelance visa

3-4 days

Advantages of freelance visa

– easy to obtain,

– cheap alternative to an investment visa,

– no personal income tax,

– access to a large business market

Freelance visa application services (YES/NO)


Documents for obtaining a freelance visa 

– valid passport,

– application form,

– updated CV,

– recent photo 

 Steps for obtaining the visa

– documents drafting,

– filing for the visa,

– applying for the establishment card 

 Difference between freelance visa and permit

 The freelance visa is the residence document, while the permit enables the holder to complete his/her work in Dubai.

 Time frame to obtain a freelance permit 10 to 15 days 
 Availability of multiple types of visas (YES/NO)

 Yes, there are several types of Dubai freelance visas.

 Types of visas

– talent pass for Dubai Airport Free Zone,

– media freelance visa for Dubai Media City,

– designers visa for Dubai Design District,

– educational freelance visa for Dubai Knowledge Park

Possibility to be obtained by Dubai residents (YES/NO) 

Yes, the Dubai freelance visa is also available for those who already live in this Emirate. 

 Authorities to obtain it with

– Dubai Development Authority,

– free zone authorities

 Access to Green Visa (YES/NO)

Yes, the Green Visa is a new type of freelance permit. 

 Validity of Green Residence Permit  5 years
 Sponsorship requirements for a Green Visa (YES/NO)

 No, the Green Residence Permit is a self-sponsored one.

 Possibility to be obtained by digital nomads (YES/NO)

Yes, the freelance visa is the equivalent of a digital nomad visa from several points of view. 

 Possibility to use the freelance permit to sponsor incoming relatives (YES/NO)


 Access to permanent residency (YES/NO)

 Yes, access to Dubai permanent residence is available.

 Other immigration services

– support in renewing freelance visas and permits,

– assistance in applying for free zone passes,

– guidance in applying for permanent residency

The freelance visa for sale in Dubai

Here are the main categories of independent contractors that can apply for a Dubai freelance visa in 2024:

  • people working in the education sector;
  • designers;
  • sportsmen and artists;
  • people working in the media sector;
  • IT professionals;
  • banking professionals.

Also, another difference between a freelance and a digital nomad visa is that freelancers can generate income in Dubai. Moreover, the freelance visa in Dubai has a low cost. You can discuss with our lawyers about the freelance visa price in Dubai. 

Foreign citizens who want to obtain freelancer visa in Dubai must prepare a set of documents and file them with the Dubai Development Authority.

Another important aspect of the freelancer visa in Dubai is that it can be used in various free zones in Dubai. The authorities of these free zones impose specific conditions for the issuance of the respective passes, including when it comes to costs. This means one who is interested in freelance visa price in Dubai can choose a cheap visa, depending on where he/she wants to apply for immigration to Dubai.

Our Dubai lawyers can assist in applying for any type of residence permit. In case you need other types of services, for example company incorporation assistance in Singapore, we recommend our partners – OpenCompanySingapore.com.

New type of permit available

A new freelance permit was announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) to be available starting with 2023 for people of any skill level who want to apply for freelance work in UAE. They can work from any location within UAE or anywhere else in the world.

Steps in applying for a Dubai freelance visa

There are specific procedures when it comes to obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai and they imply:

  1. gathering the papers;
  2. applying for the freelance visa;
  3. applying for the establishment card.

It should be noted that freelance visa price in Dubai is different from that of the establishment card. So please bear in mind this aspect when starting the application procedure. You can rely on our law firm if you need advice or support during the application phase.

Here’s an infographic on this topic:


Types of freelance visas in Dubai

There are 4 types of freelance visas that can be obtained by those who want to relocate to Dubai. These are:

  1. the Talent Pass that is issued for the Dubai Airport Free Zone;
  2. the media freelance visa issued for the Dubai Media City;
  3. the educational freelance visa issued in Dubai Knowledge Park;
  4. the designers visa issued in Dubai Design District.

The freelance visa for sale in Dubai is also available for IT professionals. Our lawyers can offer details about freelance visa price in Dubai. 

There are also other free zones that issue such visas, and among them are Dubai Internet City, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Free Zone, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City. Abu Dhabi twofour 54 free zone, Um Al Quwain Free Zone, and Fujairah Creative City also issue such permits for UAE citizens and foreigners who must first obtain residence permits. Feel free to address your questions in thise sense to ourimmigration lawyers in Dubai who can offer more details about the freelancer visa in Dubai.

Documents required to apply for a freelance license in Dubai in 2024

When applying for a Dubai freelance visa, you will need to file the following documents:

  • your resume;
  • a recent picture;
  • a copy of the passport and the visa.

An important aspect to consider is that the minimum validity of the passport when applying for such a visa is 8 months compared to the 6 months usually required for other types of visas.

Also, when seeking to work in education, proof of qualifications acknowledged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country is required. If you decide to apply for a freelance visa, our immigration lawyers in Dubai can offer all the information you need to file your application correctly, including details about the freelance visa costs in Dubai.

The sponsorship letter for a freelancer visa in Dubai

Sponsorship or a No Objection Certificate is required for those who come to Dubai to join their spouses or partners, or who come here based on full-time employment. For entrepreneurs it is possible to obtain the certificate from one’s own company.

The renewal of the freelance permit in Dubai is no longer subject to this certificate. The procedure of obtaining the visa depends on the free zone you decide on, however, it usually takes 10 to 15 days to obtain it.

If you need more information on specific conditions associated with obtaining a freelance license for Dubai, do not hesitate to enquire with our law office.

You may also bring your spouse and children with you if you hold an investment visa in Dubai. Additionally, if you have decided to open a company in Dubai, you can also add at least one executive member of your staff on this visa. Feel free to address our local lawyers for in-depth information on the sponsorship requirements that apply when you bring employees here.

What are the differences between the various types of freelance visas?

As you can read above, you can apply for a freelance permit and choose to work from various free zones. These visas are usually granted based on your experience and the type of activity you want to undertake. However, there are also other differences between them, such as the application fee and the documents required to prove one’s qualifications. The validity of the visa can also be shorter or longer.

The Talent Pass, for example, is issued for independent work by the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (Dafza), Dubai Culture, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The free zone issues the freelance permit for professionals in the media, education, art, technology, marketing, and consulting fields.

Among the licenses one can obtain here are:

  • for import, export, and re-export activities;
  • for general business purposes;
  • for industrial and light manufacturing operations;
  • for e-commerce, packaging, and assembly of goods.

Should you want to apply for a Dubai freelance visa or one of its free zones, our lawyers can guide you. They can also offer you information about the freelance visa cost in Dubai.

Obtaining a residence card in Dubai

After entering the UAE in order to apply for freelance permit in Dubai, you will first be issued a residence card that will be valid for 60 days until your license is released. During these 2 months, you should verify all the requirements you need to meet to settle here, such as medical exams.

Digital nomad visa vs. freelance visa in Dubai

The Dubai freelance permit is the equivalent of a digital nomad visa issued in other countries around the world. However, there are some important differences between the two types of temporary residency options. For example, a digital nomad visa covers only activities conducted by the remote worker for an overseas employer, while the freelance license enables one to work for an employer in Dubai.

A digital nomad visa is also subject to specific income requirements depending on the duration of stay and whether one moves with the family or not. By comparison, the Dubai freelance visa is subject to an application fee.

The freelance visa cost in Dubai for 2024

Foreign professionals who want to move and apply for freelancer visas in Dubai must first get acquainted with its requirements. The total cost of such a visa is AED 20,000 to be issued and renewed. Also, another fee may apply. This is the AED 10 “Knowledge Dirham” for innovation.

The freelance visa in Dubai comes with many advantages. Should you need more information on the freelance visa price in Dubai, feel free to address our immigration specialists.

The Dubai Talent Pass and its cost

One of the freelance visas that can be obtained in Dubai is the Talent Pass. This type of visa is available in Dubai Airport Free Zone and is one of the most appreciated.

The Talent Pass is open to people who want to pursue a freelance career in the fields of arts, culture, education, media, marketing, consulting, and technology. The people must first acquire their Talent Pass, which is renewed annually. The applicant can also submit an application for a Dubai residence permit after receiving this type of visa.

With respect to the price of this freelance visa for Dubai, this is AED 20,000 (with AED1 = $0,27). However, there is one important aspect to consider about the prices to pay when securing such a permit: they are different from a validity and application procedure points of view. Our lawyers in Dubai can further expand on this subject.

How long does it take to obtain a freelance license for Dubai and what is its cost?

After gathering all the necessary paperwork, the following step is to apply for the freelancing visa. The license is issued within 5 to 7 working days, however, it is worth noting that there is also an express procedure which implies higher costs.

Here is how the cost of a freelance visa for Dubai is computed:

  • the cost of a one-year freelance permit is AED 20,000;
  • the price of a residence card valid for a year is AED 2,000;
  • the cost of a 3-year employment visa is AED 2,750;
  • the cost of a 5-year employment visa is AED 5,000.

The fees are as follows if you are applying for a 3-year residency visa in Dubai from outside the United Arab Emirates:

  • AED 3,330 for the normal procedure;
  • AED 3,900 for the express procedure.

Please be aware that the costs listed above for freelance permits include the cost of the Emirates ID card, and the medical test fees. Entry-visa fees have been abolished starting with 2023.

In order to apply for a long-term visa, you must first have an entry permit, which is the Dubai freelance visa price must be considered together with that of the residence card.

Our immigration lawyers in Dubai are at the service of all foreign citizens who want to move to the UAE and need support for obtaining a freelancer visa in Dubai. 

Introduction of the Dubai Green Visa

Starting with October 2022, the Dubai government introduced a new entry and residence system which provides for the possibility to relocate here faster. Alongside it, there is also a new type of residence permit called the Green Visa.

In essence, the UAE Green Visa is a new type of resident visa that differentiates employment and residency permits. With this new type of permit, highly qualified individuals, investors, business owners, and top students and graduates will be able to sponsor themselves.

The Green Visa was introduced to make it easier for persons who want to work and live in the UAE—investors, entrepreneurs, highly skilled individuals, top students, and recent graduates—to expand their self-residency status.

When obtained as a freelance license for Dubai, the cost of this visa is AED 2,280.

If you need information about the changes in the visa entry system and how to obtain a freelancer visa in Dubai, do not hesitate to contact us.

The 2024 Dubai Virtual Working Program

In order to qualify for the Dubai Virtual Work Visa, candidates need to:

  • own a passport that has a minimum validity of 6 months;
  • have a valid health insurance that is applicable to their UAE residency.

Depending on the applicant’s work situation, different requirements apply.  For employees, the following conditions must be met:

  • proof of employment with a one-year contract is necessary;
  • a minimum income of USD 3,500 a month.
  • the submission of last month’s salary slip and bank statements for the past 3 months.

For business owners, the conditions are:

  • filing evidence of ownership of the corporation for at least a year;
  • a monthly salary of USD 5,000 on average for employees;
  • submit bank statements of the company’s account over the last three months​.

Why apply for a freelancer visa for Dubai

The first benefit that comes to mind is that it is cheap to obtain a freelance visa in Dubai. However, there are also advantages one can obtain:

  • it has a validity of 1 or 3 years, depending on how long you intend to stay;
  • it gives one access to more than 6 free zones in Dubai only.

Furthermore, one can move here through a family reunification visa, if he or she has a spouse that already resides here.

If you are interested in immigration to Dubai by applying for a freelance visa for sale for Dubai, feel free to enquire about its requirements. Besides immigration services, our lawyers can also help you with company formation in DubaiContact us for support in obtaining your visa in order to move here as soon as possible!