The resident freelancer visa in the UAE allows foreigners to live legally and work in the country for a long period of time – from 3 to 5 years, depending on the type of visa. It opens up many opportunities to expats and, unlike a standard work visa, is not tied to a specific place or company. It differs from a visa for investment in property in Dubai with more democratic conditions from the point of view of financial investments. In addition, there are different visa options for freelancers, from a standard 3-year-old to 5-year-old green, offering especially favorable and comfortable conditions. In this post, we consider all the nuances of obtaining a visa for a freelancer in the UAE, their types, advantages and main differences.

What is a freelancer visa?


First you should distinguish a resident visa for freelancers and permission for freelancer. Freelance permission is a license that allows you to work as an independent contractor and is extended every year. Such a license can be obtained in one of the free economic zones (FEZs) in the UAE. For instance, the Tecom group, together with the DDA development department, launched the GOFREELANCE program, which allows you to obtain permission to freelance in Dubai as simple as possible.

The license is ideal for those who are in the UAE on a visa of their spouse and plan to conduct legal freelance business in the UAE. Those who have not yet received residency, in addition to the license, will need to receive a freelancer visa – a residence permit, which is extended every three years.

Conditions for freelancers in Dubai

The free zone of Dubai Airport (DAFZ), the Dubai Culture and Art Office (DCAA) and the Main Directorate for Residents and Foreigners (GDRFA) launched the Dubai Talent Pass program, which allows you get a 3-year visa and a freelancer license. The program is aimed at freelancers working in the following fields:
  • art and culture;
  • education;
  • media;
  • marketing and consulting;
  • technology.
For example, you can apply for Dubai Talent Pass and get a freelancer visa for foreigners in the UAE if you work in advertising, journalism, web development, etc.

Green Visa

Another opportunity for wealthy and successful freelancers is a green visa. It is issued for 5 years and offers recipients a number of advantages. The senior real estate expert Ax Capital Aram Grigoryan says that an important feature of this visa is the fact that it does not require a local sponsor – unlike, for example, a working visa of the UAE resident. Another privilege of this type of visa is the fact that after the expiration of the visa you can be in the country for another six months – earlier this period was only one month.

A green visa is available to wealthy and educated freelancers who have a bachelor’s degree and confirmed income from AED 360,000 ($ 98,000), as well as qualified specialists, investors and partners of commercial activities.

What are the advantages of a freelancer visa in the UAE?

A resident freelancer visa gives expats many privileges:

  1. It will allow you to work in several companies. If you do not want the monotony of office routine and prefer to be a boss to yourself, the decision to become a freelancer in Dubai may be an excellent option.
  2. You do not need a special workplace, which will not only flexibly organize your time, but also save on renting commercial venues.
  3. Freelancers are not subjected to regular inspections as full -fledged companies, they do not need to submit financial reports, etc.
  4. You can work with companies in the UAE as an independent contractor, and also get access to the FEZ business centers.
  5. You can become a visa sponsor for members of your family – a spouse and children. However, you should keep in mind that Freelance Viza will not allow you to sponsor employees for your projects.

In addition, as a resident, you can open a personal and corporate account at a local bank and receive a consumer loan or a mortgage with a low interest rate.

You can also apply for a driver’s license, purchase medical insurance and access the leading clinics of the Middle East. Your children will be able to visit local and international educational institutions located in the UAE. And in some countries you can go without a visa.

Requirements for applying for a freelancer visa

To get a visa, you first need to get a freelancer license. To do this, prepare a package of the following documents:

  • an application;
  • a resume and portfolio;
  • a photo;
  • a copy of the passport.

If you have a sponsor, you will need a NOC – a no objection certificate.
For the freelance in the field of education, you will need confirmation of your qualifications, certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the UAE consulate in your home country.

Also, the list may include bank statements and letters of recommendation.

How to apply for a freelancer visa

You can apply for a freelancer visa in Dubai online, through the website of Gofreelance. Select the Go Apply option, fill out the form and submit the necessary documents. When the application is approved, a notification will come to your email. On average, the entire procedure takes 10-15 days.

Then you will need to come to the FEZ business center, sign documents and pay fees. After that, you will be sent a freelance permission by e -mail, and you will get access to the Tecom platform. Through it, you can apply for the Establin Card and finally freelance visa itself.

The list of documents necessary to apply for a freelancer visa includes:

  • an original passport;
  • a photo;
  • an establishment card;
  • a medical insurance and visa (if any).

After that, you will need to undergo a paid medical examination within 60 days, and you will receive a freelance visa.

How much does a freelancer visa cost in the UAE?

A freelancer visa will require certain costs:

  • permission for freelance costs 7,500 AED ($ 2040);
  • an establishment card – 2,000 AED ($ 550);

Both documents are valid within 1 year.

Dubai Talent Pass costs 9,500 AED ($ 2,590) per year.

The resident freelance visa in Dubai costs from 3,330 to 6,340 AED (from $ 900 to $ 1,730) depending on the application type (ordinary or express) and the application place (outside or inside the UAE). It must be renewed every 3 years.

A green visa will cost from 2,280 AED ($ 620).

Taxes for freelancers

Freelancers in the UAE do not have to pay income taxes, capital taxes and other fees typical for other countries. However, if your annual income exceeds 375,000 AED ($ 102,000), you will have to register in the tax management for paying VAT 5%.

To sum up

A freelancer visa is a great opportunity to work for yourself in comfortable conditions and friendly environment with low taxes, a nice climate, a high level of safety, access to quality medicine and entertainment. A freelancer visa is an affordable and quick way to get the UAE residency.

How can we help?

Are you planning to move to the UAE? AX CAPITAL, a professional real estate agency in Dubai, will advise you on the type of a resident visa for you and your family, select a comfortable property taking into account your wishes and take on all bureaucratic aspects when drawing up a deal. With us you will find a friend who is always on your side. Leave your enquiry or contact us by phone, and we will answer all your questions.