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


The rise of freelancing has opened up numerous opportunities for individuals seeking more flexibility and freedom in their work. Dubai, known as a global financial and commercial hub, offers an advantageous environment for freelancers to establish their own businesses.

One popular option for freelancers in Dubai is obtaining a Freelance Visa. This visa allows individuals to work independently and legally in the city. To obtain a freelance visa in Dubai, there are certain steps that need to be followed, such as registering with the relevant authorities, submitting necessary documents, and meeting specific requirements.

Dubai’s freelancer-friendly ecosystem and supportive infrastructure make it an attractive destination for freelancers from around the world. The city provides access to a diverse market, networking opportunities, and a favorable business environment.

By embracing the freelance lifestyle in Dubai, individuals can tap into the city’s thriving economy, leverage their skills and talents, and enjoy the benefits of being their own boss.

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

What Does It Mean to Have a Freelance Visa in Dubai?


Freelancers from India have the opportunity to apply for freelancing permits in various free zones in Dubai and other parts of the United Arab Emirates. These free zones offer a streamlined process for obtaining a freelancing visa without the need for a sponsor or employment with a UAE company. This provides Indian freelancers with the freedom to work independently and explore opportunities in Dubai.

Two notable authorities in Dubai’s free zones are the TECOM Group and twofour54. These entities are responsible for issuing freelancing licenses and permits, enabling individuals to work as freelancers on a full-time basis within their designated free zones.

By obtaining a freelancing license or permission through these authorities, Indian freelancers can establish their presence in Dubai’s dynamic market, access a wide range of business opportunities, and benefit from the supportive infrastructure and services offered within the free zones.

This streamlined process allows freelancers to pursue their professional goals in Dubai without the traditional requirements of sponsorship or being recruited by a UAE-based company. It provides Indian freelancers with the flexibility and independence to thrive in the UAE’s vibrant business landscape.

Attention; Dont forget about freelance permission


Once you have obtained the freelance permission in Dubai, you can proceed to apply for the Dubai freelancing visa. This visa serves as a residency permit in the United Arab Emirates, allowing you to legally live and work in the country along with your family members.

The Dubai freelancing visa offers a flexible range of durations, typically ranging from one to five years, depending on your specific circumstances and requirements. With this visa, you can enjoy an extended period of time to establish your freelancing career and explore the opportunities available in Dubai’s dynamic business environment.

Not only does the Dubai freelancing visa grant you the right to work as a freelancer, but it also provides you and your family members with the ability to reside in the UAE legally. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of living in Dubai, such as access to healthcare, education, and other amenities, while pursuing your freelancing career.

Permits to work as a freelancer in the UAE may be obtained by UAE nationals, citizens, residents, and even non-residents. Also, you can learn more about how to get a residency Dubai visa.

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

What Exactly Does It Mean to Have a Freelance License or Permit in Dubai?

If you are an Indian citizen seeking to work as a freelancer in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is necessary to obtain a freelancing license in Dubai. This license enables you to legally engage in freelance work within a specific industry, operating within designated free zones.

Freelancing in Dubai is regulated by free zones, which are designated areas that offer special economic and legal frameworks to encourage business growth and attract foreign investment. These free zones provide a conducive environment for freelancers to operate and offer various benefits such as 100% ownership, tax advantages, and simplified business setup processes.

To work as a freelancer in Dubai, you would need to choose a free zone that aligns with your industry and apply for a freelancing license through the respective free zone authority. Each free zone may have specific requirements and procedures for obtaining a freelancing license, so it is essential to research and follow the guidelines provided by the relevant authority.

Use “GoFreelance” to get a freelancing license

For instance, Indian citizens may use GoFreelance to get a freelancing license in Dubai, allowing them to engage in various activities related to design, technology, the media, and the education sector.

Similarly, many free zones each provide their visitors with a unique and extensive selection of activities from which to pick. Also, this freelancing license is required to apply for a freelance visa in Dubai. Nevertheless, citizens of the UAE and non-residents of the UAE have various requirements to meet in order to get a Dubai freelancing visa:

Residents of the UAE

To work as a freelancer in the UAE, even if you are residing in the country on a visa sponsored by your spouse or parents, you will need to obtain a Freelance Permit. This applies regardless of your current visa status. If you have previously worked full-time in the UAE and now wish to work as a freelancer, you can also apply for a freelancing permit.

While being employed by a company in Dubai or the UAE exempts you from the sponsorship requirement, you will still need to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your current employer. This NOC serves as their consent for you to work as a freelancer. It is essential to have the support and approval of your employer before pursuing freelancing.

Additionally, UAE or Dubai citizens do not need to forfeit their residency status in order to obtain permission to work as a freelancer. They can maintain their residency while engaging in freelance work.

The process of obtaining a Freelance Permit involves fulfilling certain requirements, such as submitting the necessary documentation, demonstrating your professional qualifications, and paying the applicable fees. It is recommended to seek guidance from the relevant authorities or consult with professionals familiar with the process to ensure compliance with the specific procedures and regulations.

By obtaining a Freelance Permit, you will have the legal authorization to work independently as a freelancer in the UAE, enjoying the benefits of self-employment and the freedom to pursue your chosen professional path.

For Non-UAE Residents


As mentioned earlier, freelancing permission and visa are open to individuals regardless of their residency status in the UAE. This means that even if you are not a current UAE resident, you can still apply for a freelance visa in Dubai. This provides an excellent opportunity for individuals who wish to establish their freelance careers in the vibrant city.

In order to apply for the freelancing visa, non-UAE residents are REQUIRED to get the Freelance License Dubai. So those who are moving to Dubai from Pakistan should go for getting this visa.

What Permissions Come With a Freelance Visa in Dubai?

As previously mentioned, freelancing permission and visas are available to individuals regardless of their residency status in the UAE. This means that even if you are not currently a resident of the UAE, you can still apply for a freelance visa in Dubai. This opens up exciting possibilities for those looking to pursue their freelance careers in the dynamic city.

Obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai allows individuals to legally work as freelancers and engage in their chosen professional activities. It offers the flexibility and independence to work on various projects and collaborate with clients within the UAE and internationally. Whether you are a writer, designer, consultant, or any other type of freelancer, Dubai provides a thriving business environment and a wide range of opportunities.

Applying for a freelance visa typically involves meeting certain requirements, such as providing proof of relevant qualifications, experience, or a portfolio of work. It may also require sponsorship from a free zone or a company registered in a free zone. The specific process and requirements can vary, so it is recommended to consult the relevant authorities or seek professional assistance for a smooth application process.

By obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai, you can tap into the city’s diverse business landscape, connect with potential clients and partners, and take advantage of the numerous resources and support available to entrepreneurs and freelancers. Dubai’s strategic location, modern infrastructure, and entrepreneurial ecosystem make it an ideal destination for freelancers seeking growth and success in their professional endeavors.

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

What Are The Free Zones?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has implemented Free Trade Zones (FTZs) to offer tax benefits and customs duty advantages to businesses and professionals operating in specific areas. These FTZs also provide opportunities to obtain permits or licenses for freelancing.

Within the UAE’s free zones, administered by relevant authorities, individuals can obtain licenses to work independently in various sectors and professions. These licenses cover a wide range of industries, including media, investments, media trades, and more.

Freelancers looking to establish their businesses or pursue their professions in the UAE can explore the options available in these free zones. Each free zone has its own regulations and requirements, so it is essential to research and understand the specific guidelines set by the respective authorities.

What Regions Are Home to These Free Zones?

Free zones in the United Arab Emirates provide attractive opportunities for freelancers, and several of them offer freelancer permits in Dubai. Here are some notable free zones in the UAE:

  1. Twofour54: Located in Abu Dhabi, Twofour54 is a media and entertainment free zone that supports freelancers in the creative industry, including film, television, gaming, and digital media.
  2. Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development: This authority in Abu Dhabi offers freelancer permits for various sectors, allowing individuals to operate as independent professionals in the emirate.
  3. Dubai Development Authority (DDA): DDA is responsible for regulating and promoting the development of free zones in Dubai. It provides permits and licenses for freelancers in different industries.
  4. Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone: Located in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, this free zone offers a range of permits and licenses for freelancers in sectors like manufacturing, trading, consulting, and more.
  5. Fujairah Creative City: Situated in Fujairah, this free zone focuses on the creative and media sectors. Freelancers in fields such as design, advertising, publishing, and media production can benefit from its services.
  6. Umm Al Quwain UAQ Free Trade Zone: Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone provides freelancer permits for various industries, allowing individuals to conduct their freelance activities within this free zone.
  7. Ajman Free Zone: Located in Ajman, this free zone offers freelancer permits for individuals in different sectors, including trading, consulting, e-commerce, and service-based professions.

SHAMS Free Zone, also known as Sharjah Media City GoFreelance, is a program established by the Dubai Development Authority and the TECOM Group. It encompasses several key free zones in Dubai, including:

  1. Dubai Media City: Known as a thriving media hub, Dubai Media City offers a supportive environment for freelancers in the media and creative industries. It provides state-of-the-art infrastructure, networking opportunities, and access to industry-specific amenities.
  2. Dubai Internet City: As a leading technology hub, Dubai Internet City is an ideal destination for freelancers in the digital and tech sectors. It offers a range of facilities, resources, and support services tailored to the needs of freelancers in these industries.
  3. Dubai Knowledge Park: Catering to the educational and professional development sectors, Dubai Knowledge Park provides freelancers with opportunities to offer training, consulting, and other knowledge-based services. It offers specialized facilities and a collaborative ecosystem for freelancers to thrive.
  4. Dubai Design District: Commonly known as d3, Dubai Design District is a creative community that supports freelancers in the design and fashion industries. It provides a dedicated space for designers, artists, and creatives to showcase their talents and collaborate on projects.

What Exactly Is A Talent Pass?

The Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA) has introduced a license called the “Talent Pass,” which is similar to the Dubai freelancing license. This license is designed for individuals interested in pursuing a freelance career in various fields such as arts, culture, education, media, marketing, consulting, or technology.

To begin the process, individuals need to obtain their Talent Pass, which requires an annual renewal. Once the Talent Pass is granted, applicants become eligible to apply for a residence visa. With the residence visa in hand, individuals are then free to seek employment opportunities within the sectors specified by the Talent Pass.

The Talent Pass offered by DAFZA provides freelancers with the necessary legal documentation to work independently and live in Dubai while engaging in their chosen field. It offers a pathway for individuals to establish themselves as freelancers and contribute to the vibrant business landscape of the city.

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?

While obtaining a Freelance Visa in Dubai is generally a straightforward process, it is important to note that the application procedure can be lengthy and challenging. Before you can submit an application for a freelancer visa in Dubai, there are several steps that need to be completed on your part.

Firstly, you need to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria and gather all the required documents, which may include proof of your professional qualifications, educational certificates, and relevant work experience.

Remember, when you travel to Dubai, you must bring some stuff with you to your new house. So it is a good idea to know the best movers and packers in Dubai. Following these procedures will allow you to get your Dubai Freelance Visa:

Collect all of the Documents

When applying for any permits or visas, the first crucial step is to gather the necessary paperwork. While the list may not be exhaustive, the items mentioned hold significant importance. The Dubai government is continually working towards streamlining the visa application process, but it is essential to note that incomplete or incorrect paperwork may lead to the denial of your visa application.

It’s important to be aware that additional documents may be required at each stage of the process. Therefore, being prepared with the relevant paperwork can help expedite the overall procedure.

Request A Dubai Freelance Permit

As mentioned earlier, along with the required documents, obtaining a Dubai freelancing permission is necessary to apply for a freelance visa. The TECOM Group has introduced the GoFreelance initiative in Dubai.

For Indian residents, the initial step in the application process is to visit the GoFreelance online application form homepage. There, they will need to fill out the form and commence the application procedure. Following the submission, a confirmation email will be sent along with a one-time password (OTP) to the provided phone number.

It is important to provide accurate information and follow the instructions carefully during the online application process. Keep the confirmation email and OTP safe, as they will be required for future steps in the application process.

Attention; Don’t forget about your  key documents

To obtain the Dubai freelancing permit, it may be necessary to visit one of the designated locations, such as Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Media City, or Dubai Internet City, and submit your original passport and any required documents. The entire process typically takes around five to seven business days to complete.

Indian citizens will also need to pay the applicable fee for working as a freelancer in Dubai. Once the application process is successfully completed, your Dubai freelancing permit will be sent to you via email.

It’s important to follow the instructions provided by the authorities and ensure that all necessary documents are submitted accurately and within the specified timeframe.

Fill out the application for a Dubai Establishment Card


Before applying for an establishment card, it is necessary to obtain a freelancing permission. Once you have obtained the permission, you will need to visit the AXS website to pay the fees, complete the application, and submit your Dubai freelancing permit and phone number.

To obtain the establishment card, you can complete an online application on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) website. It is important to follow the instructions provided on the website and provide all the necessary information and documentation required for the application process.

By following these steps and completing the required procedures, you can proceed with obtaining your establishment card for freelancing in Dubai.

Submit your Application for a Freelance Visa in Dubai

Once you have gathered all the necessary paperwork, the final step is to submit your application for the freelancing visa. The GoFreelance website provides a platform where you can submit the required documentation to obtain a freelancer visa for Dubai.

Visit the GoFreelance website and follow the instructions provided to complete the application process. Make sure to carefully fill out all the required fields and upload the necessary documents as specified. Double-check that all the information provided is accurate and up-to-date.

Entry permits for Indian people would be sent to them within seven to ten working days. Also, it is better to know what is life for Indians in Dubai like before coming to Dubai.

Entrance permission to get Freelance Visa in Dubai

Once you have obtained the entrance permission, you can proceed to apply for a long-term visa, also known as a resident visa, in Dubai. Visit the GDRFAD (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai) website to access the application for your Dubai resident visa.

Fill out the application form, ensuring that you provide accurate and up-to-date information. Be prepared to pay the required application fees and submit all the necessary documents as per the guidelines provided.

The application will undergo a review process by the relevant authorities, and if approved, you will be granted a resident visa. This visa allows you to live and work in Dubai for a specified duration. As a resident visa holder, you may also have the opportunity to sponsor your spouse and other family members, enabling them to join you in Dubai.

Keep in mind that the specific requirements and procedures may vary, so it is essential to consult the official GDRFAD website for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the application process for a Dubai resident visa.

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

What Advantages Come With A Freelance Visa In Dubai?

Once you have obtained the entrance permission, you can proceed to apply for a long-term visa, also known as a resident visa, in Dubai. Visit the GDRFAD (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai) website to access the application for your Dubai resident visa.

Fill out the application form, ensuring that you provide accurate and up-to-date information. Be prepared to pay the required application fees and submit all the necessary documents as per the guidelines provided.

The application will undergo a review process by the relevant authorities, and if approved, you will be granted a resident visa. This visa allows you to live and work in Dubai for a specified duration. As a resident visa holder, you may also have the opportunity to sponsor your spouse and other family members, enabling them to join you in Dubai.

Keep in mind that the specific requirements and procedures may vary, so it is essential to consult the official GDRFAD website for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the application process for a Dubai resident visa.

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

How much does a freelancing visa in Dubai cost?

In Dubai, it is possible to get a variety of visas, each of which has a unique cost associated with both the first application and subsequent renewals. You may obtain more information about this visa extension by reading the article “How to renew or extend a tourist visa in Dubai“, which you can do if you have already traveled to Dubai and want to remain there for a longer period of time than the one allowed by your visa.

Four different sorts of fees must be paid to get a freelancing visa or to renew an existing one. Here is a rundown of the prices for each option:

UAE Freelance permit cost

The initial fee for the Dubai resident visa and subsequent renewal fees amount to approximately 7500 dirhams. It is important to note that the resident visa needs to be renewed annually.

UAE Establishment card cost


The initial fee for the Dubai resident visa and all subsequent renewal fees amount to a total of 2000 dirhams. The visa needs to be renewed on a yearly basis.

UAE Work visa cost

This visa is available in two different options. The three-year visa is priced at 2,750 dirhams, while the five-year visa costs 5,000 dirhams. It is important to note that these visas need to be renewed every three to five years, at minimum, to maintain their validity.

UAE Residency visa cost

If you are applying for a three-year visa from outside the UAE, the standard visa fee is 3,330 dirhams, while the expedited visa fee is 3,900 dirhams.

For applicants applying for a visa from within the United Arab Emirates, the standard visa fee is 4,960 dirhams, and the expedited visa fee is 6,340 dirhams. Both visas will be valid for three years.

Therefore, the total cost of renewing your freelancing visa each year is 11,525 dirhams.

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

Who is eligible to work as a freelancer in Dubai and UAE?

The answer to that question is anybody. In Dubai, there is a great opportunity for anyone to pursue their dream of working for themselves and achieving financial independence. It is important not to get discouraged or believe that you cannot find the job of your dreams in Dubai. With the right mindset, determination, and research, you can explore various avenues and opportunities to make your freelance career a reality in the vibrant city of Dubai.

Find your dream job as a freelancer

We recommend that you check out our complete guide on how to get a job in Dubai, which can be found on our website. With the assistance of a comprehensive list of occupations that the Emirate recognizes, almost everyone can locate a suitable job to engage in freelance work in Dubai.

In most cases, having a degree or prior experience is optional and not a requirement for freelancing in Dubai. However, it’s important to note that freelancing is limited to specific sectors or industries in Dubai. Only certain activities are legally permitted for freelancers to engage in. Here are some examples of activities that are allowed for freelancers in Dubai:

  1. Writing and journalism
  2. Design and creative services
  3. IT and software development
  4. Consulting and advisory services
  5. Marketing and advertising
  6. Translation and interpretation services
  7. Photography and videography
  8. Event planning and management

Before starting your freelance work, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations and guidelines pertaining to the activities you wish to engage in.

Employed in the media

You have the option to engage in up to three different activities when obtaining a work permit from Dubai Media City. Here are some examples of activities that you can choose from:

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

These are just a few examples, and there may be additional activities available based on the specific regulations and guidelines of Dubai Media City. It’s important to research and understand the requirements for each activity before applying for a work permit.

Employed in education

When applying for a permission from Dubai Knowledge Park, you are limited to choosing only one position to engage in. Here are some examples of positions available for participation:

  • Education adviser
  • eLearning adviser
  • Executive Coaching
  • Researcher
  • Trainer

These options represent a range of roles related to education, training, and research. It’s important to review the specific guidelines and requirements set by Dubai Knowledge Park for each position before submitting your application.

Working in a technological field

When obtaining a permission from Dubai Internet City, you can select only one role to engage in. Here are some available options:

  • Freelancer in the fields of web, mobile, and software development, as well as architecture
  • Freelancer in information technology and communications networks
  • Independent contractor in data science and analytics
  • Customer service freelancer

These options encompass various roles within the technology and communication sectors. It’s important to review the specific guidelines and requirements set by Dubai Internet City for each role before proceeding with your application.

Working in design

When obtaining a permit from Dubai Design District, you can choose only one role to participate in. Here are some activities you may consider:

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

These options cover a range of creative and design-related professions. Ensure to familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines and requirements set by Dubai Design District for the chosen activity before proceeding with your application.

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

Benefits of working as a freelancer in Dubai

For many people, the dream of being their own boss and starting their own company may seem unattainable. However, recent changes in the working landscape of the UAE have made obtaining a freelance visa much easier. This development has encouraged individuals to take the next step in pursuing their ambitions and realizing their entrepreneurial goals. With simplified processes and opportunities for freelancers, the UAE is creating an environment that fosters creativity, innovation, and self-employment.

Around 65 percent of the region’s freelancers reside in Dubai, making the city a center for independent workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). You should not be concerned about the major cost of living in Dubai since we have analyzed all the aspects of it for you, and you are entering the United Arab Emirates with full awareness of the cost involved.

What will you get when you receive your Freelance Visa in Dubai?

A significant number of freelancers in Dubai find employment in various fields such as internet and software development, architecture, health and fitness, social media, and graphic design. It is interesting to note that approximately 62% of independent contractors are male, while the remaining 38% are female. The majority of freelancers fall within the age range of 21 to 30.

Freelancing in the United Arab Emirates offers several benefits, including:

  1. Self-time management: Freelancers have the flexibility to manage their own time and set their own schedules.
  2. Control over workload: Freelancers have the freedom to choose the projects they work on and the clients they collaborate with.
  3. Pursuing personal interests: Freelancers can follow their passions and work in areas that align with their interests and skills.
  4. Increased vacation time: Freelancers have the ability to take longer holidays and plan their breaks according to their needs.
  5. Professional autonomy: Freelancers have control over their professional lives, allowing them to shape their careers in their preferred direction.
  6. Location independence: Freelancers have the freedom to work from anywhere and establish a home in any desired location.
  7. Visa opportunities: Freelancing can provide opportunities to obtain a visa to live and work in the UAE.
  8. Ability to support a family: Freelancing offers the potential to provide financial support for oneself and one’s family.

These benefits make freelancing an attractive option for individuals seeking independence, flexibility, and a better work-life balance in Dubai and the UAE.

Get a Freelance Visa in Dubai and live your dreams

Living in a country that consistently ranks among the safest in the world is a compelling factor for many individuals. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the best locations globally for starting your own business.

Recent statistics indicate that more than 60% of individuals relocating to the UAE would prefer not to bear the cost of a visa if it were possible. The benefits of freelancing in Dubai and the UAE make it clear why many working professionals are considering applying for a freelancing visa. The opportunities for professional growth, flexible work arrangements, and the ability to tap into a vibrant market make freelancing in Dubai an attractive option. Additionally, the UAE’s strong infrastructure, business-friendly environment, and supportive government initiatives further enhance the appeal of pursuing freelancing in this region.

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

What is permissible for a freelancer in Dubai?

As a freelance worker in Dubai with a freelancing permit, you can enjoy several privileges based on your profession. These privileges include:

  1. Providing services to private customers: You have the opportunity to offer your services directly to individual clients, catering to their specific needs and requirements.
  2. Offering services to multiple companies: You are not limited to working with just one company. Instead, you can collaborate with multiple organizations, expanding your client base and diversifying your projects.
  3. Generating invoices and receiving payments: You have the authority to issue invoices for the services you provide and receive payments from your clients or companies you work with. This enables you to manage your finances and ensure timely compensation for your work.
  4. Collaborating with government organizations: Depending on the nature of your profession, you may have the opportunity to collaborate with various government entities on specific projects or initiatives. This can open doors to new opportunities and enhance your professional network.

These privileges provide freelance workers in Dubai with the flexibility, autonomy, and potential for growth and success in their chosen fields.

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

Dubai’s requirements for becoming a freelancer

When applying for a freelance visa in Dubai, the educational background requirements for many professions are not strict. Instead, you need to ensure you have the necessary paperwork ready and submit a comprehensive application. The following documents are typically required:

  1. Copy of your passport: Provide a clear copy of your passport, including the relevant pages with personal information and visa stamps.
  2. Visa and Emirates ID copy (if you are a UAE resident): If you are already a resident in the UAE, include copies of your valid visa and Emirates ID.
  3. Letter of support from an existing sponsor (if you are a UAE resident): If you are currently sponsored by an employer or individual in the UAE, obtain a letter of support from them stating that they have no objections to your freelance activities.
  4. Recent photo: Attach a recent passport-sized photograph to your application.
  5. Curriculum vitae (CV): Prepare a comprehensive CV that outlines your professional background, education, skills, and any relevant experience.
  6. Portfolio of past works (if applicable): If you have previous work samples or projects relevant to your chosen freelance field, include a well-organized portfolio showcasing your capabilities and expertise.

A freelancing visa is a residence visa that permits you to dwell in the nation. To begin a freelance career in the UAE in a manner that is both legal and recognized by the government, you will be need to get either a Dubai work visa and permit or a freelancing license in addition to a freelance visa.

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

Where can you get a UAE visa and freelancer permit?

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there are multiple authorities that can issue freelancing permits and visas, giving you various options to choose from. Whether you apply for a freelancing visa in Dubai or any other emirate, the general criteria remain the same across all regions of the UAE.

The differences lie in the types of business opportunities available to freelancers and the associated costs. Each authority may have specific regulations and licensing options tailored to different industries or professions.

It is important to research and compare the licensing options and prices offered by different authorities to determine the best fit for your freelance business. Consider factors such as the specific activities you wish to engage in, the level of support and services provided, and the costs associated with obtaining and renewing the license.

By understanding the distinctions between the various licenses and considering your specific requirements and goals, you can make an informed decision on where to apply for your freelancing permit and visa in the UAE.

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

Who is responsible for issuing freelancer visas in Dubai?

To be eligible for a freelancing visa in Dubai, you need to obtain permission from one of the following authorities, including:

  1. Free zone in Dubai South (currently on hold): This authority offers opportunities for freelancers to obtain a visa. However, please note that the availability of this option may vary, so it is recommended to check the latest updates and regulations.
  2. Dubai Development Authority’s GoFreelance: Under the supervision of the Dubai Development Authority, GoFreelance is a platform that facilitates freelancing opportunities. It provides a wide range of freelancing categories, including design, education, media, and technology. Each category comprises various activities, giving you options to find a suitable match for your freelance work in your visa application.

If you are seeking a low-cost freelancing visa in Dubai, considering Dubai South and exploring the opportunities provided by GoFreelance can be a good starting point. However, it is important to stay updated on the specific requirements, regulations, and availability of these options, as they may be subject to change. Consulting with the respective authorities or seeking professional advice can help you navigate the process more effectively.

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

Avoid scams for Freelance Visa in Dubai

It’s important to be cautious when encountering advertisements online or elsewhere that promise opportunities to earn money without leaving your country or offer services to acquire a freelancing visa. While there may be legitimate organizations providing assistance in obtaining a freelance visa, there are also scams and fraudulent schemes.

To protect yourself, it’s recommended to exercise vigilance and be discerning in your decision-making. Avoid making hasty decisions or falling for enticing offers without thoroughly researching and verifying the legitimacy of the organization or service provider. Be cautious of websites and social media platforms that promote quick and effortless ways to obtain a freelancing visa.

When exploring opportunities, it’s advisable to rely on reputable sources such as official government websites, authorized visa agencies, or seek guidance from legal professionals specializing in immigration matters. They can provide accurate information, guidance, and assistance to ensure a smooth and legitimate process of obtaining a freelancing visa.

Important cautions while getting Freelance Visa in Dubai


To ensure you avoid making mistakes, it is important to heed the following cautions:

  1. Be cautious of businesses or individuals promising job offers and permanent residence in exchange for a significant payment. Such claims are often illegal and can be indicative of fraudulent activities.
  2. Provide accurate and truthful information when applying for a visa. Avoid falsifying information or being influenced by visa operators who may encourage dishonest practices.
  3. Be wary of companies claiming that purchasing and reselling their goods will result in easy and quick profits. Such claims can be unlawful and may indicate fraudulent schemes.
  4. Exercise caution when websites or platforms facilitating freelance work online request access to your personal email and social media accounts. Protect your personal information and only provide it to trusted and legitimate platforms.

In addition to being cautious, you can also benefit from the following advice to secure a freelancing visa in Dubai:

  1. Ensure that any commercial agreements between freelancers and companies include specific information, details about the business, and mutually satisfactory terms.
  2. If you encounter a scam artist or fraudulent individual, cease communication immediately and report them to the appropriate authorities, such as the State Audit Institute.

By being vigilant and following these precautions and advice, you can better protect yourself from scams and fraudulent activities and increase your chances of obtaining a legitimate freelancing visa in Dubai.

Never trust any business contractors

When utilizing freelancing platforms, conducting research is crucial to ensure that the job offered is reputable and worthy of your time and effort. Take the following steps to verify the legitimacy of the firm:

  1. Conduct a search on the National Economic Register’s website using the name of the company. This can provide you with valuable information about the firm, such as its registration status and history.
  2. Carefully review business contracts before entering into any agreements. Some contracts may be designed to deceive freelancers and exploit their finances. Thoroughly examine all sections of the comprehensive agreements, paying close attention to the payment terms and conditions.

By conducting thorough research and reviewing contracts diligently, you can safeguard yourself against potential scams or unfair practices. It is essential to have a clear understanding of all the details before engaging in any freelancing arrangements.

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

Beginning a career after getting Freelance Visa in Dubai

It’s crucial to understand your duties as a freelancer in Dubai and educate yourself on freelancing visas, health insurance, and how to manage your own company in the UAE.

Understanding you’re applying for the correct free zone, knowing the tax structure, and picking the ideal industry are all part of creating a firm. On the other hand, if you have the appropriate knowledge at your disposal, you will undoubtedly be successful. Before starting your career, you need to know the top 10 real estate developers in Dubai to find a good house for yourself.

Freelance Visa in Dubai; The most simple way to start a business

Freelancing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers individuals the opportunity to work as independent contractors and operate their own businesses legally. Unlike traditional employment, freelancers work for themselves and are not employed by a specific company.

To engage in freelancing in the UAE, it is important to obtain the necessary permission or freelancing license, rather than a trade license required for establishing a new company. This distinction allows you to work under your own name and operate as a sole practitioner. The process of obtaining permission to work as a freelancer may vary depending on the specific requirements of the licensing authority.

Starting as a freelancer is a common path for entrepreneurs, and as your business grows, you may choose to transition to a corporate structure. This allows for flexibility and scalability as your freelancing venture evolves.

By understanding the distinction between freelancing and establishing a new company and following the appropriate procedures, you can embark on your freelancing journey in the UAE and take steps towards building your own successful business.

Preventing Visa Scams: What You Need to Know

To protect yourself from potential scams related to freelancing opportunities and licenses in the United Arab Emirates, it’s important to take additional preventive measures. Here are some pointers to help you choose the best freelancing opportunities:

  1. Verify the authenticity: Before pursuing a job offer, conduct thorough research to ensure its legitimacy. You can search for the company’s name on the website of the National Economic Registry (NER) to gather information and determine if they are a legitimate business.
  2. Review contractual agreements: Each contractual agreement between the freelancing firm and yourself should contain accurate and detailed information about the business specifics and terms that satisfy both parties’ interests. Ensuring that the agreement covers essential aspects helps establish its legitimacy and protects your rights.
  3. Exercise caution with personal information: Be cautious when sharing personal information with freelancing platforms or employers. Only provide the necessary information required for the job or license application process. Avoid sharing sensitive data, such as your personal email or social media account credentials, unless it is directly relevant and necessary.
  4. Seek legal advice if needed: If you have any doubts or concerns about a freelancing opportunity or agreement, consider seeking legal advice. Consulting with professionals who specialize in UAE business laws can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Pay more attention to fraud

When it comes to contracts in business, especially as a freelancer, it’s important to approach them with caution and thoroughness. Pay close attention to every transaction and agreement related to a project, ensuring that all details, especially payment terms, are clear and well-defined.

If you encounter someone attempting to defraud you, it’s crucial to immediately cease all communication with them and report the scam to the State Audit Institute. You can submit a complaint about fraudulent actions on their website, providing the necessary information to assist in their investigation.

By being vigilant, proactive, and reporting any fraudulent activities, you contribute to maintaining a safe and secure environment for freelancers and help protect yourself and others from potential scams.

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

The UAE Government Helps Freelance Business Owners

To achieve success in your career strategy, it’s important to possess the right skills, determination, and business acumen. However, embarking on a freelance journey alone can be challenging and isolating, and not everyone may be suited for it.

The good news is that you are not alone. The decision to work as a freelancer in Dubai is actively supported by the government of the United Arab Emirates. Both the Abu Dhabi government and the authorities of the UAE recognize and applaud the achievements of local entrepreneurs and businesspeople.

This support and recognition create a conducive environment for freelancers to thrive and succeed. It signifies that your efforts as a freelancer in Dubai are appreciated and valued. By leveraging the opportunities and support available, you can enhance your chances of achieving your career goals and making a positive impact in the freelance industry.

Start your business with the help of the government

The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a range of support and assistance to entrepreneurs aiming to establish successful businesses in the country. Some of the key initiatives and benefits provided include:

  1. Business Forums and Accelerators: The UAE government organizes forums and accelerators specifically designed to help sole proprietors and startup companies. These platforms provide valuable guidance, mentorship, networking opportunities, and resources to foster business growth and success.
  2. Support for Freelancing Services: The UAE government actively encourages and supports companies interested in utilizing freelancing services. This acknowledgment of the freelance industry’s importance contributes to the growth and development of freelancing in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and other regions of the UAE.
  3. Entrepreneur Visa: The introduction of the entrepreneur visa has had a significant impact on the freelancing landscape in the UAE. This visa enables entrepreneurs to establish their businesses and operate as freelancers within the country. As a result, an increasing number of tax-free zones have started issuing freelancing licenses, providing freelancers with advantageous conditions and opportunities to thrive.

These initiatives demonstrate the UAE government’s commitment to fostering a favorable environment for entrepreneurship and freelancing. By leveraging these resources and support systems, entrepreneurs and freelancers can enhance their chances of success and contribute to the vibrant business ecosystem in the UAE.

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

7 Reasons To Get A Freelance Visa in Dubai

Let’s see why you should go for Freelance Visa in Dubai:

1. Application Is Simple

There are two main avenues for applying for a freelancing permit in Dubai: directly through the Department of Economic Development (DED) or through one of the various free zones located throughout the country.

If you choose to apply directly through the DED, the application process is relatively straightforward. Your business name will typically be your own name, and the issuance of your license can be expected within a timeframe of seven to ten days.

Alternatively, you can opt to establish your freelancing business in one of the free zones in Dubai. Each free zone has its own regulations and procedures for obtaining a freelancing permit. However, these free zones offer additional benefits such as 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and simplified company setup processes.

Whether you choose to apply through the DED or a free zone, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements, documentation, and procedures involved in the application process. This will ensure a smoother and more efficient process for obtaining your freelancing permit in Dubai.

2. Offering a diverse selection of job opportunities


In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), freelancing offers a wide range of business opportunities across various fields. The Department of Economic Development (DED) allows individuals to obtain freelance licenses for the majority of specified business activities.

Whether you are involved in creative industries such as design, writing, or photography, or you specialize in technology, consulting, or education, there are ample opportunities to establish a freelance business in the UAE. The DED has outlined specific business activities that are eligible for freelancing licenses, covering a diverse range of sectors.

By obtaining a freelance license, you can legally operate your business as an independent contractor, offering your services to clients within the UAE and beyond. This flexibility allows entrepreneurs to pursue their passions and expertise while enjoying the benefits of self-employment.

However, it is important to review the specific guidelines and requirements set forth by the DED for each business activity. Ensuring compliance with regulations will enable you to establish your freelancing venture successfully and operate within the legal framework of the UAE.

Permission to work in both free zone and main zone

If you are considering obtaining a freelance permit from a free zone in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is important to align your business activity with the specific focus area of the chosen free zone. Each free zone in the UAE caters to specific industries and sectors, offering specialized facilities and support for businesses within those domains.

For instance, if your expertise lies in media-related fields such as writing, journalism, or creative services, Dubai Media City Free Zone would be an ideal choice. This free zone is designed to support and promote the media industry, providing a conducive environment for media professionals and freelancers.

On the other hand, if your specialization is in information technology or technology-related services, Dubai Internet City offers a dedicated ecosystem for businesses in the IT and tech sectors. This free zone provides infrastructure, networking opportunities, and support tailored to the needs of technology companies and freelancers.

For those involved in the education industry, Dubai Knowledge Park is a suitable option. This free zone focuses on education and offers an environment conducive to training, e-learning, and professional development services.

By choosing the appropriate free zone that aligns with your business activity, you can benefit from the specialized facilities, networking opportunities, and industry-specific support provided within the free zone. This can enhance your chances of success as a freelancer and open doors to potential collaborations and partnerships within your industry.

3. There is No Need for an Office Space

One of the major advantages of freelancing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the flexibility it offers in terms of work location. As a freelancer, you have the freedom to choose where you want to work, whether it’s from your home, a rented workspace, or even while traveling. This flexibility allows you to create a work environment that suits your preferences and work style.

Unlike traditional employment where you may be bound to a specific office or location, freelancers have the option to work from anywhere within the UAE. This means you can enjoy geographic independence and have the freedom to choose your workspace based on your convenience and personal preferences.

4. No Need for a Letter of Commitment from a Local Sponsor

Freelancing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is gaining popularity due to the relaxed regulations in most free zones regarding the requirement of a No Objection Certificate (NOC). In many government agencies, obtaining a NOC is a standard procedure that involves obtaining a letter of consent or approval from a regional sponsor, institution, or agency.

However, in most free zones, the need for a NOC is waived, making it easier for both long-term residents and newcomers to engage in freelancing activities. This means that freelancers can establish their businesses and operate without the additional step of obtaining a NOC from a sponsor or agency.

5. Sponsor Your Dependants


Having a freelancing visa in Dubai not only provides you with the opportunity to work independently but also allows you to sponsor your family. If you meet the required wage criteria and have successfully obtained a Dubai freelancing visa, you can act as a sponsor for your family members.

This sponsorship enables you to bring your family along and provide them with the necessary support and stability while pursuing your freelancing career. It allows you to have your loved ones by your side and create a fulfilling life for your family in Dubai.

Moreover, if you are starting your own business in the UAE, you have the option to sponsor individuals for work visas. This includes sponsoring dependents, such as spouses and children, as long as you meet the necessary wage requirements and work in specific professions designated by the authorities, such as the medical industry.

6. No Bookkeeping Obligations

Freelancers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have the advantage of not being burdened with the extensive paperwork and formal accounting requirements that are typically associated with owning a company. This allows them to focus more on the core aspects of their business and dedicate their time and efforts to growing their company, expanding their income, and exploring new employment opportunities.

Unlike traditional business owners, freelancers are not obligated to produce formal accounts or undergo regular audits, which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. This flexibility gives freelancers the freedom to concentrate on their work, deliver quality services to their clients, and maximize their earning potential.

7. A Bank Account for the Business

Setting up a functional bank account for your company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a straightforward process. The country boasts numerous reputable financial institutions that are eager to cater to the needs of independent contractors and freelancers.

Once you have established your presence in a free zone, you will have access to a bank that specializes in serving businesses in your sector. These banks are well-versed in the unique requirements and financial needs of freelancers, making them an ideal choice for managing your company’s finances.

Don’t forget to bring your important documents

When setting up a bank account and obtaining a license to work independently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is essential to have your Emirates ID. This identification document is a crucial requirement for various official processes.

Fortunately, when you establish your business in a free zone in Dubai, you can benefit from a streamlined service that connects you with the bank best suited to meet your specific needs. Free zones such as Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, and Dubai Knowledge Park cater to different industries and offer comprehensive support for freelancers.

These free zones provide a conducive environment for various sectors, including information technology, media, education, and more. By selecting the free zone that aligns with your line of work, you can access specialized banking services tailored to your industry requirements. This ensures that you receive efficient and effective financial solutions while enjoying the benefits of operating in a thriving business ecosystem.

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

Conclusion on Freelance Visa in Dubai and how to get a freelance visa in Dubai

Would you thrive in the independent contractor lifestyle? You will require a visa that allows independent contractors. In this article, we went over everything about Freelance Visa in Dubai and how to get a freelance visa in Dubai.

You will have the chance to work within the confines of your job capacity by acquiring a freelancing visa in Dubai. This will allow you to attend to the needs of your clients lawfully.

Also, after getting your visa, you will need to buy a house in Dubai. That’s where Iland Rea Estate will come to help you. We will assist you in finding the best property for sale in Dubai.

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

FAQs about Freelance Visa in Dubai and how to get a freelance visa in Dubai

Now that you know everything about Freelance Visas in Dubai and how to get a freelance visa in Dubai, it is time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions:

How Long Does It Take to Process a Visa for Freelance Work in Dubai?

If you are applying for a Dubai Freelance Visa from a location outside Dubai, it is essential to obtain entrance permission. This permission allows you to enter Dubai and proceed with the visa application process. The processing time for the entrance permit typically ranges from two to seven working days, provided that all the required documentation is in order.

Once you have obtained the entrance permission, you can proceed to apply for the Dubai Freelance Visa. The processing time for this visa may take between ten to thirty days, depending on various factors and the efficiency of the processing system.

During this period, it is important to ensure that you have submitted all the necessary documents and meet the eligibility criteria for the freelance visa. This may include providing a copy of your passport, visa and Emirates ID (if applicable), a letter of support from an existing sponsor (if you are a UAE resident), a recent photo, CV, and a portfolio of past works (if applicable). Following the proper procedures and submitting accurate information will help expedite the visa processing and increase the chances of a successful application.

What is an “Establishment Card”?

An establishment card, also known as the company establishment card (CEC) or company immigration card (CIC), is a crucial document for business owners operating in the free zone in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is issued by the competent authorities in the respective free zone or can be obtained online through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) website.

The establishment card serves as an official identification document for your company and contains essential information about your business. It is typically valid for a period of one year, and it is necessary to renew it before the expiration date to ensure the continuous operation of your business.

When Does the Dubai Freelance Visa Expire?


The validity of a Dubai freelancing visa depends on the type of visa you apply for. Generally, Dubai freelancing visas are issued with varying durations, typically ranging from one to five years.

What Is The Freelance Permit’s Validity In Dubai?

In Dubai, a fresh application for a freelancing visa needs to be submitted annually. This means that freelancers are required to renew their visa on a yearly basis to maintain their legal status and continue working as independent contractors.

How much is the least expensive UAE freelance visa?

The TECOM freelancing permit is an affordable visa option for independent workers in Dubai. The total cost of the visa is approximately 7500 AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham). However, it’s important to note that additional fees may be required during the application process for a freelancing visa in Dubai.

Do I Have to Pay Taxes in Dubai If I Have a Freelance Visa?


As a freelancer in Dubai, your liability for Value Added Tax (VAT) depends on your annual income. If your annual income is less than AED 375,000 (United Arab Emirates Dirham), you are exempt from paying VAT. This means that you are not required to register for VAT and you are not obligated to charge VAT to your clients.

However, if your annual income exceeds AED 375,000, you are required to register for VAT and charge your clients a VAT rate of 5%. You will also be responsible for submitting regular VAT returns to the Federal Tax Authority and fulfilling other VAT-related obligations.

It’s important to comply with the VAT regulations and accurately determine your VAT obligations based on your income. Consulting with a tax professional or contacting the Federal Tax Authority can provide you with detailed guidance and ensure that you meet all VAT requirements as a freelancer in Dubai.

Can I open a bank account?

Yes, as a freelancer in Dubai, once you obtain your independent contractor’s permission and visa, you have the option to open a personal bank account. This allows you to manage your personal finances and receive payments for your freelance work.

In addition to a personal bank account, depending on the free zone in which you have your freelancing permission, you may also have the opportunity to register a corporate bank account under certain circumstances. This can be advantageous if you plan to operate your freelance business under a separate legal entity or if you have specific banking needs for your business transactions.

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