- Freelance Visa in Dubai – What is That and What Does It Give to Expats?

Freelance Visa in Dubai – What is That and What Does It Give to Expats?

Freelance Visa in Dubai

Life in the modern world is changing faster than ever. Now such a work form, as free-lance is becoming increasingly popular. Flexibility, the ability to independently manage own work time and space, the ability to act on own behalf, independence and freedom in choosing a lifestyle, the opportunity for temporary work, and organizing own free time attract many talented and active people all over the world. Millions of freelancers have already registered on popular platforms such as,, and; this is a free market where the success is determined by the qualifications, experience, and reputation of freelancers based on client reviews.

Given the popularity and prospects of Dubai, as a place with excellent opportunities for business development, ambitious and active foreigners often come to the conclusion that they should consider getting a license, a freelancer visa and move to Dubai, UAE to live and work there. In the article, we will discuss the main points regarding the issue of obtaining this type of document and getting residency visa in freelance status in Dubai.

The possibility of legal residence and work in Dubai as a freelancer

It's no secret that in terms of wages and business income, Dubai is on the list of world leaders, so many are considering the possibility of moving here. The migration policy of the country is such that, in no circumstances, foreigners can claim the citizenship of the country, but they can easily get a residence permit / visa, which gives almost the same set of rights as that of the citizens. Here are six basic ways to get Dubai residency:

  • Employment in Dubai – you can apply for a working resident permit when applying for a job in Dubai;
  • Study in Dubai – you can apply for a student residence permit when you enroll at the International University in Dubai;
  • Freelancer in Dubai – you can get a resident permit / visa as a freelancer after applying for a freelancer license in Dubai;
  • Investor in Dubai – you can open your own business and get a resident permit;
  • Residence permits for family members in Dubai – you can apply for a family residence permit if you have a freelancer license in Dubai, or you are a local investor;
  • Buying property in Dubai – you also get a residence permit when you buy a house, the cost of which is more than AED 1 million.

So, what is the meaning of a freelance residence permit, and how does it differ from other solutions?

How to get a freelance visa in Dubai?

To get a freelance residence permit in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, or Sharjah, you must be officially registered as a freelancer in one of the free zones; therefore, you must first get a freelancer license in Dubai.

  • Obtaining a freelancer license in Dubai.

    Most free zones in Dubai provide you with the possibility to get a freelance license. To do this, select the suitable type of activity, collect a set of necessary documents, and pay the established fee. A freelancer license in Dubai is issued for one year, after which it has to be renewed. This procedure is similar to the procedure for registering a company, but the cost of the freelance license is noticeably lower, physical office space is not required. Many free zones offer a Flexi-desk for freelancers instead of an office for running a small business, which will help to get access to the office and use various services, such as mail, administrator, conference room, etc. You can get a freelancer license in Dubai for one or several people and use your own company, open a separate bank account, create a separate legal address, etc. Freelancer license allows you to conduct business or work legally.

    The cost of a freelance license in Dubai and other Emirates depends on the type of activity and the jurisdiction chosen.

    Table – the cost of a freelance license in Dubai and other Emirates (as of 2018)

    Jurisdiction Price of the freelance license
    Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone (RAKEZ) from AED 15,000
    Fujairah Free Zone From AED 14,000
    Umm Al Quwain Free Zone From AED 13,000
    Ajman Free Zone From AED 11,000
    D-Tech FTZ (Dubai) From AED 7500
    Twofour54 (Abu Dhabi) From AED 2500
    DMCC FTZ (Dubai) From AED 20,000

    Each free zone in Dubai supports certain professional types of freelance industries, such as music, writing, acting, computer programming, web design, graphic design, translating, illustrating, etc. In order to obtain a freelancer license, an investor may be required to have some professional qualifications.

    If you do not want to delve into the local laws and registration procedures, you can use the services of our consulting company that will help you go through the whole procedure from charging to the end for a reasonable fee, saving you from potential troubles and problems.

  • Getting a freelance visa in Dubai

    A freelancer license in Dubai gives you the right to get a resident permit. To obtain this permission, you have to collect and submit a set of relevant documents*:

    • Filled in the application form;
    • Fresh photos;
    • CV;
    • Copy of passport with a validity of at least eight months.
    • Education documents certified by the UAE Consulate or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country. This is necessary for those applying for managerial positions or other specialized positions. In addition, it is necessary to obtain a residence permit.
    • Copy of a valid license in Dubai (freelancer).

    * Additional documents may be required.

    After collecting a set of documents and receiving confirmation from the registering authority, it is necessary to pay a fixed fee, which will vary in different FTZ.

    In Dubai, freelancers have the opportunity to get a unique go freelance Dubai package from the TECOM Group. This project is implemented in Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, and Dubai Knowledge Park.

    In the application process, you will need to go through three simple steps:

    • Apply and submit an online application
    • You receive an email notification when your application is approved. Then you can come to one of the business centers in Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park of Dubai Internet City to sign your documents in person and pay the fee.
    • Shortly after that, you will receive freelance permission by email.

    The fee for the freelance service package includes permission for a freelancer and access to the business center. If you have a freelance residence permit, if you want to work as a contract employee, you will need an additional work permit in Dubai whreby your visa status can remain as it is.


Getting a freelancer residence permit opens up many opportunities in one of the fastest growing economies in the world in Dubai. Having received a freelance visa in Dubai, you can legally live and work in any of the Emirates; you will be able to bring your family to Dubai and enjoy all the benefits of a safe and rich life.

We should note that is you are not unfamiliar with local law you can use the services of our company that provides professional assistance in resolving any issues related to obtaining permits, business registration, etc.

FAQs on freelancer visas in Dubai

  • What is the meaning of freelance visa?

    This is a type of residence permit in Dubai. It gives you the right to live and work in the country, as well as get resident permits for your family members.
  • Is freelancing allowed in UAE?

    Freelancing as a self-employed person is allowed in many free zones. To be able to work as a stand-alone self-employed specialist, you will need an appropriate license in Dubai, as well as in the case of registering a company in one of the free zones.
  • What is a freelance visa in UAE?

    This document gives you the right to work legally as a self-employed specialist, such as a consultant if you have the appropriate licensing status.
  • How can I start a freelance business in Dubai?

    To start a freelance business, you need to choose one of the jurisdictions (one of the free zones or mainland), choose a field of activity, collect a set of documents, pay a fixed fee and get a license. After that, you can start working in Dubai.
  • How much tax would I pay when living in Dubai?

    Residents of Dubai and other Emirates of the UAE are not paying any income taxes. The only tax you would need to pay is the 5% VAT, which you would need to pay only if your income from your activities in the UAE exceeds AED 375.000,- per annum.
  • How much is a freelance visa in Dubai?

    The cost of a freelancer residence permit depends on the specific jurisdiction and type of activity. It is clearly less expensive that a solution over establsing of your own company.
  • How can I get a freelance visa in Dubai?

    To do this, you need to get a freelancer license in Dubai. Then the residence permit / visa can be received.
  • Can I sponsor / get visas for my family when I have freelance visa?

    Yes, you can sponsor your wife and children under the freelance permit and residency.
  • Where shall I start?

    You get I touch with us and our advisors provide you the complete support on getting the freelance license and residence for you and your family.

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