What is a Freelance Visa in Dubai and how to get a Freelance Visa in Dubai? (Complete Guide)

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The scope of opportunities for freelancers has greatly expanded. Because this freelancing can be considered as a more accessible benefit, more flexibility and a source of quality skills. There are a lot of people moving to Dubai when they realize Dubai’s high flexibility, and that they can start their own businesses easier than other countries. Since 2019, freelancers in the Emirate have been legalized. Media professionals, designers, artists, musicians, sport coaches, and tutors can now obtain a permit and provide services legally anywhere in the UAE. These freelancers can get a free visa in Dubai and live in the UAE forever. Dubai is one of the world’s hubs of business, the best place to start your free business and below we will examine how you can get a freelance visa in Dubai.

What is a Freelance Visa in Dubai and how to get a Freelance Visa in Dubai? (Complete Guide)

What is a freelance visa In the UAE?

In November 2020, the UAE announced that not only UAE nationals, but UAE citizens, residents and non-residents could also apply for a free license in the UAE. Freelancers could live and work legally in the country and even bring their families or independents with them.

A freelance visa in the UAE is a type of residence visa that allows you to live in the country. A freelance visa is a personal visa in the UAE, meaning there is no company or sponsor behind you.

A work permit for a freelancer is a visa issued on the basis of a free license and there’s differences between freelance visa and work visa so we suggest you read about Dubai work visas and permits on our site.  A few licensing authorities- mainly free zones granted such a work permit in the UAE. Any UAE with a free zone can issue a freelance license and a visa.

Your freelance visa acts perfectly like a residency visa. A pink stamp will be struck on your passport and valid for 2 or 3 years.

For residents, freelance permit

If you are a Resident of Dubai on a family or spouse visa, you will need a freelance permit to start your work. Full-time professionals can also be freelancers with the freelance permit in Dubai.

For non-residents, freelancer visa

If you’re not resident in the UAE, you have to apply for a freelancer visa that is a residency permit which allows the person to live and work in the Emirate as a freelancer. You also have to apply for a residence visa.

Freelance license in the UAE

A free license in Dubai and the UAE is a license issued to a free person who can work legally anywhere in the country. If you are a freelancer, you may not need a residence visa, if your visa is under your spouse or a company, but you will need a free permit.

In other words, a freelance visa is optional. But a freelance permit is for those who want to practice publicly and pay a fee for it.

What is a Freelance Visa in Dubai and how to get a Freelance Visa in Dubai? (Complete Guide)

How to get a freelance visa in Dubai?

There are some steps to get a freelance visa in Dubai we mentioned below:

  • Getting the freelance permit

As you may know you can get UAE residency by buying property in Dubai, but you must obtain your freelancer permit from one of the free zones in the UAE, which will help you get your residency visa as well.

You will need the following documents for Getting the freelance permit in the UAE:

  • Resume or CV
  • Recent photo
  • Passport and visa copy (Valid for at least 8 months)
  • Bank reference letter
  • NOC from your UAE sponsor
  • Proof of academic qualification certificate (For those applying in education sector)
  • Portfolio or sample for your work (For those applying in media sector)

Do their application form and attach your passport and visa. Then wait for 5 to 7 days to get their answer by email. In addition, you need to visit the business center in Dubai knowledge park, Dubai media city or Dubai Internet city to show your original passport, sign the documents and complete the payment for your freelance permit.

  • Getting the establishment card

After receiving permission, you will be given access to TECOM’s business service platform called AXS from where you can benefit from the services of government and many companies. In it, you can apply for your establishment card at an extra charge.

To request for the card, you need your freelancer permit and a UAE mobile number.

  • Getting the employment visa in Dubai

When you receive your establishment card you could apply for an employment visa in Dubai. So you have to have your original passport, a passport photo, valid medical insurance and visa, along with the card.

  • Getting residence visa in Dubai

After submitting a free visa application, you will be allowed to enter the country for one week, valid for 60 days. After arriving in Dubai, you must complete the rest of the procedure, such as a medical examination. Once your residency visa has been stamped, you have taken all steps to start a freelance life in Dubai.

How much does it cost to get a freelance visa in Dubai?

Different visas can be obtained in Dubai, each with different fees for obtaining and renewing the visa. If you have travelled to Dubai and want to stay longer than your visa restriction in Dubai, you can read the article how to renew or extend a tourist visa in Dubai and get information about this visa extension. There are 4 types of fees for getting a freelance visa or renewing it. We will check the cost of each one below:

  • UAE Freelance permit cost

It costs about 7500 dirham to be issued and renewed. It needs to be renewed annually.

  • UAE Establishment card cost

It costs 2000 dirham to be issued and renewed. It needs to be renewed annually.

  • UAE Employment visa cost

There are 2 types of this visa. The three year valid visa costs 2750 dirham and the five year valid visa costs 5000 dirham. They have to be renewed every 3 and 5 year.

  • UAE Residence visa cost

If you are applying from outside of the UAE and it is valid for 3 year, the cost will be 3330 dirham for normal visa and 3900 dirham for express visa. If you are applying within the UAE and then it is valid for 3 years, the cost will be 4960 dirham for normal visa and 6340 for express visa.

Therefore, the total cost of renewing your freelance visa is 11525 dirham every year.

What is a Freelance Visa in Dubai and how to get a Freelance Visa in Dubai? (Complete Guide)

Who can be a freelancer in Dubai and UAE?

The explicit answer to that question is, anyone. If you want to be independent and work for yourself, you have a very good chance in Dubai. Don’t be confused and don’t think you can’t or don’t know how to find your favorite job in Dubai. We suggest you review our complete guide on how to get a job in Dubai on our website. With the help of a large list of approved professions in the Emirate, almost anyone can find a suitable position to freelance work in Dubai for themselves. A degree is not required in most cases and previous experience is not compulsory.

You can freelance in Dubai in only certain parts, the activities mentioned below, are permissible for freelancers in Dubai.

Employed in the media

You could choose to do up to 3 activities. Dubai Media City will issue this work permit. Below are some of these activities.

  • Actor
  • Aerial Shoot Photographer
  • Animator
  • Artist
  • Audio/ sound Engineer
  • Brand Consultant
  • Cameraman
  • Choreographer
  • Composer
  • Content provider

Employed in education

You could only choose to do 1 position. Dubai Knowledge Park will issue this permit. Below are the activities you can choose.

  • Education adviser
  • eLearning adviser
  • Executive coaching
  • Researcher
  • Trainer

Employed in tech

You could only choose to do one position. Dubai Internet City will issue this permit. Below are the activities you can choose.

  • Web, mobile, software development and architecture freelancer
  • It and telecommunication network freelancer
  • Data science and analytics freelancer
  • Customer service freelancer

Employed in design

You could only choose one position to do. Dubai design district will issue permit. Below are some activities you can choose.

  • Apparel designer
  • Concept designer
  • Costume designer
  • Fashion designer
  • Fashion stylist
  • Image consultant
  • Hair stylist
  • Interior designer
  • Jewelry designer
  • Makeup artist

Advantages of being a freelancer in Dubai

For a lot of people, it’s an unattainable dream to be your own boss and set up your own business. With changes made to the UAE’s workplace, getting a freelance visa has become more accessible. It tempts people to move on to their dreams. According to reports, Dubai is a hub for freelance workers in the UAE, with about 65% of the region’s freelancers in the city. And don’t worry about the major cost of living in Dubai, because we reviewed all the items for you and you are knowingly entering the UAE and not surprising your fee.

Many freelancers work in the field of websites and software development, architecture, health and fitness, social media and graphic design. Of the freelance workers working in Dubai, about 62% are men and 38% are women. Interestingly, most of them range in age from 21 to 30.

Undoubtedly, or even thinking about becoming a freelancer in the UAE has many advantages, some of which we mention below:

  • Self time management
  • Ability to control workload
  • Doing what you like
  • Having longer holiday
  • Being your own boss
  • Ability to travel and live in any place
  • Getting UAE residence visa
  • Sponsoring family

Living in one of the safest countries in the world can be attractive to anyone. Emirates is one of the great places to start your own business. According to statistics, more than 60% of UAE migrants would like to have a free visa if possible. And with these advantages it’s easy to recognize why a majority of professionals in the UAE are considering getting a freelance visa in Dubai.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

What can a freelancer legally do in Dubai?

Based on your profession, when you are a freelance worker in Dubai and have been granted a freelance permit, you are permitted to:

  • Provide services to individuals
  • Provide services to businesses
  • Raise invoices and receive payments
  • Work with government agencies

Requirements to become a freelancer in Dubai

As mentioned above, there is no strict requirement for the background of professions. You just need to prepare some documents and apply for a visa.

The document you have to prepare, are:

  • Passport copy
  • Visa and Emirates ID copy (If you are a UAE resident)
  • No objection letter from a current sponsor (if you are a UAE resident)
  • Recent photo
  • CV
  • Portfolio of works (if applicable)

A freelance visa is a type of residency visa that allows you to live in the country. You will need a work permit or a freelance license alongside a freelance visa to start a freelance and legal career in the UAE.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Where to get UAE freelance permit and visa?

Emirates has many authorities that issue this permit and visa. You have several options: freelance visa in Dubai or another Emirate. Regardless of where your permit and visa are issued, you have the same requirements to get started across the UAE.

The difference between the licenses issued is between the business activities they provide for the freelancers and the fees that are paid.

Who issues a freelance visa in Dubai?

The following authorities issue freelance permits then you can get freelance visa:

  • DWC/Dubai south free zone (currently on hold)

Dubai south will be the best option for those who are looking for a cheap freelance visa in Dubai.

  • GoFreelance under Dubai development authority

Gofreelance suggests the biggest range of freelancing activities. There are four groups in this freelancing activities: design, education, media and technology. Every group has a several activities that you can absolutely find a good match for your work permit in the UAE.

Protect yourself from illegal freelancer visa solutions

You may have seen a lot of online advertising from companies, about getting a freelance visa or opportunities to make money without leaving your country. These companies offer easy freelance visa packages on platforms that people are eager to get a freelance visa in, such as websites and social networks. By seeing these opportunities offline and online, try to be aware and not make decisions early. To avoid mistakes, pay attention to the following warnings:

  • It is not legal that these companies promise you permanent residency and a job offer in return for a hefty fee.
  • Avoid lying or writing misinformation on the forms you fill out to get a visa and don’t be influenced by visa operators.
  • It is not legal for companies to promise you to make money quickly and easily in exchange for buying and selling their products.
  • It is not legal for freelance online platforms to ask you for access to your personal emails and social accounts.

In addition to being cautious, you can be more confident with the following suggestions and take advantage of the suggested opportunities to get a freelance visa in Dubai.

  • The important thing about working with freelance platforms is to research and make sure that the work you are offered is worthwhile. You can search the company’s name on the National Economic Register website and get their details.
  • Any contractual agreement between freelancers and the company requires detailed information, business details and conditions that satisfy both parties.
  • When you work as a freelancer, business contracts can be a gimmick. Read all the sections of the full-featured agreements and make sure of all the details, especially the payment sections.
  • When you find out you’re in touch with a fraudster, hang up the call and introduce them to the State Audit Institution immediately.


Does the freelance lifestyle suite a perfect fit for you? You would need a freelance visa. As you were with us, in this text we reviewed everything about the Dubai Freelance Visa. By obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai, you have the opportunity to work within the limits of your work capacity and legally serve your customers.

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