How Much For Freelance Visa In Dubai

There are some visa types that a person who is not a U.S. citizen can apply for that allow for temporary entry into the country and possible employment based on individual criteria. One such visa is the E1 Treaty Investor visa, which allows for those who invest in a business in the U.S. to legally live and work in the country indefinitely if they choose to do so. This seems like an excellent option for those considering applying for this type of visa as they may wish to enter the country on a permanent basis but only need to do so temporarily, although there are some requirements associated with this type of visa in order to be approved.

Over the last two years, I’ve spent over $7,000 on visa applications and interviews. I knew that with a little preparation, I could spend less and have a better application. There’s a lot of conflicting information online about visas for the UAE and it seemed nobody had all the answers. The purpose of this article is to help you understand which visas are available, how much they cost and how to get one. We will base our discussion today on – AA. But, other resources which you can find on our website include some frequently asked questions such as: cheapest freelance visa uae and freelance visa for sale in dubai

How Much For Freelance Visa In Dubai

There is a time when you need to take that plunge and travel the world. It can be the toughest decision, but one worth taking. The most obvious thing is money and finding a job in Dubai or wherever else you plan on traveling. However, securing a job in Dubai might seem like mission impossible if you’re not from the area.The best advice I could give you is to look in the right place. Dubai is best known for construction which is why when large projects are in progression, there are a lot of Europeans looking for jobs that can pay their living costs.

According to Dubai Development Authority, a freelancer permit costs Dh7,500 – excluding visa cost.



Under the freelance category, Creative City Media Free Zone in Fujairah, too, offers up to three activities and four visas including one visa free of charge. In addition, it also offers, Flexi-desk and PRO services. It caters for professionals working in the fields of media, events, consultancy, education, communication and marketing, music and entertainment, design and technology.

Umm Al Quwain Free Zone also offers permits to freelancers.

Ajman Free Zone offers freelance visas for Dh6,000 in 40 categories and flexible co-working spaces. Members are eligible for two residence visas and family sponsorship.

Below is how and where freelancers can get visas in the UAE:

  • Talent Pass

The Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (Dafza), Dubai Culture and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) have launched ‘Talent Pass’ – a three-year visa for freelance work in addition to renting office space by Dafza for professionals in the field of media, education, art, technology, marketing and consultancy.

This includes commerce licences for import, export and re-export; a general commerce licence; industrial licence for light manufacturing activities and packaging and assembly; e-commerce licence for online trading of goods and services; a licence issued in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, which allows companies registered at the Dubai Airport Free Zone to apply for the Department’s license without the need for an office space for working outside the free zone; and a services licence.

  • Banking/finance professionals

Professionals in the field of accounting and auditing, analysing and reviewing accounting and auditing systems, Shariah review consultancy for the transactions of Islamic financial institutions and consultations in the fields of tax can apply for the freelance with the Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development.

  • Media

Professionals working in various fields related to media can also obtain a freelance visa in Dubai through Dubai Media City. There are around 45 categories that professionals can apply for. It includes actor, aerial shoot photographer, animator, artist, audio/sound engineer, brand consultant, cameraman, choreographer, commentator, composer, content provider, copywriter, director, editor, events planner, graphic and furniture designers, journalists, market analyst, presenters, print media specialists, web designers, web developers and other professionals.

In Abu Dhabi, twofour54 offers freelance visas within the media, production and entertainment industries with a validity of two years.

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone also offers freelance permits to media professionals, starting from Dh6,100.

  • Educationists

Under this category, education advisors, e-learning advisors, executive coaches, researchers and trainers can apply for the freelance visa with Dubai Knowledge Park.

Professionals can apply through for a one-year visa for Dh2,750 and a three-year visa for Dh5,000. The other documents required are a freelance licence, Establishment Card for Dh2,000, UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport and passport photo.

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone also offers freelance permits to educationists, starting from Dh6,100.


  • IT professionals

Freelancers working in the field of web, mobile, software development and architecture, IT and telecommunication networking, data science and analytics and customer service can apply for the freelance visa.

Professionals can apply through for a one-year visa for Dh2,750 and a three-year visa for Dh5,000. The other documents required are a freelance licence, Establishment Card for Dh2,000, UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport and passport photo.

  • Designers

Apparel designers, concept designers, fashion stylists, image consultants, fashion artists, hairstylists, interior designers, object designers, personal shoppers, textile designers, visual merchandisers and wedding planners can obtain freelance from Dubai Design District by furnishing all required documents.

Professionals can apply through for a one-year visa for Dh2,750 and a three-year visa for Dh5,000. The other documents required are a freelance licence, Establishment Card for Dh2,000, UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport and passport photo.


Freelance Visa in Dubai

Since 2019 freelancers have been legalized in the UAE.  Tutors, sport coaches, musicians, artists, designers, media professionals can now obtain a permit and provide services legally anywhere in the UAE. They can get a Dubai freelance visa and live permanently in the UAE. 

Freelancer visa can be provided by multiple authorities. The choice is big. Check how to pick the right Dubai freelance visa for your personal business.


What is a freelance visa in UAE

Freelance visa is a UAE residency visa, which allows living in this country. It’s kind of a self visa in UAE – meaning that there is no company or sponsor behind you. 

The visa is issued based on a freelance permit – a work permit for a freelancer. Such a work permit in the UAE can be granted by a few licensing authorities – mainly free zones. Almost every Emirate has a free zone which can issue a freelance license and a visa.

Your freelancervisa will look like a normal UAE residency visa – a pink stamp in the passport, valid for 2 or 3 years. 

Freelance license UAE

Freelance license in Dubai and UAE is a permit issued to a freelancing individual, that allows to work legally anywhere in the country. If you are a freelancer, you may not need a resident visa (if your visa is under your spouse or a company), but you need a freelance permit. 

In other words, a freelance visa is optional, but a freelance permit is mandatory for anyone who wants to practice publicly and charge a fee for it.

Who can be a freelancer in Dubai and UAE

The short answer is – anyone! If you want to be independent and start working for yourself, you have a great chance to try!

Thanks to a huge list of approved professions, nearly any person can find a suitable option for freelance work in the UAE. 

Educational certificates or degrees are not required in most cases. Previous freelance experience is not mandatory.

Benefits of being a freelancer in UAE

Without doubt, freelancing has lots of advantages:

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

Being one of the safest countries in the world, UAE is a great place to start off your freelancing journey. According to research, over 60% of UAE residents would like to become freelancers if they get a possibility. 

What can a freelancer in Dubai legally do

Regardless of your profession, when becoming a freelancer and obtaining an official freelance permit, you are allowed to:

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

Requirements to become a freelancer 

As mentioned above, there are no strict requirements in terms of professional background for the majority of freelancers. You just need to collect certain documentation and apply. 

Generally, the required documents would be:

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

A freelance visa is a residence visa that allows you to live in the country. You will also need a work permit or freelance license to start legally freelancing in the UAE, along with a freelance visa.

Where to get UAE freelance permit and visa

UAE has dozens of business registration authorities. You have multiple options: freelance visa in Dubai or another Emirate. 

Regardless of the place where your permit and visa is issued, you have the same rights to work all over the UAE. The difference between various licensing authorities is in the business activities which they provide for freelancers, and the costs. 


Freelancer visa in Dubai can be done by getting a freelance permit in the following authorities:

DWC / Dubai South Free Zone (currently on hold)

If you are looking for a cheap freelance visa in Dubai, Dubai South will be the best option. 

GoFreelance under Dubai Development Authority

Gofreelance offers the biggest range of freelancing activities. They are divided into 4 groups: design, education, media and technology. Each group has a number of activities where you can definitely find a good match for your work permit in UAE. 

Be aware that some companies licensed for manpower supply sell work permits and visas under their sponsorship naming it freelance permits. In reality they just provide visas and labour cards in their company without an actual government permit for you to conduct freelance activities. 


The Emirate of Abu Dhabi also has 2 options for freelancers. 

Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development freelance permit

It offers 48 activities for freelance in Abu Dhabi. The license and visa can be granted to any foreigner. Abu Dhabi freelance license cost can be checked here.

If you have an employment visa in Abu Dhabi, you will need to provide a No Objection Letter from your employer to get the freelance permit. 


Twofour54 is a creative hub in Abu Dhabi, which hosts a number of companies in the media, entertainment and production sector. 

If you want to get your freelance permit under this free zone, note that it is mandatory to partner with one of the companies located there. That company will need to provide a letter of intent to you, stating that it is planning to work with you for particular projects. This letter is required by twofour54 for the approval of your freelance permit there. 

Shortly, freelance in Abu Dhabi through twofour54 is possible only within this free zone and its partner companies. 


Nearly every northern emirate provides options of getting a freelancervisa. Some free zones issue freelance licenses, others issue normal licenses calling them “freelance permits” due to low cost and special conditions. 

Freelance visa Umm Al Quwain

UAQ free trade zone is one of the easiest and cheapest options for freelance in UAE. It offers the best value for money for single entrepreneurs. Setup costs, freelance visa fees and annual renewal are the most affordable. 

Business activities are vast – there are options for any profession. External approvals or educational degrees are not required to set up this freelance license in UAE. 

Freelance visa Ajman

Ajman free zone promotes one of the cheapest freelance visas in UAE. Apart from the cost, this solution has one more benefit – one license can sponsor 2 resident visas. 

If you need a UAE freelance visa, share the costs of the license with a friend, and get yourselves covered for 3 years!

Business activities are reasonable, it is easily possible to find a good match that fits your experience. 

Freelance visa Sharjah

Another cheapest freelance visa in the UAE can be arranged through SHAMS free zone. 

The free zone offers a package for media professionals, where a single shareholder is eligible for 1 resident visa. Number of shareholders or visas cannot be changed. 

In fact, this solution is a standard business license, but it’s promoted as a freelance license due to a single shareholder condition and affordable cost. 

A similar solution is offered by the Hamriyah free zone too. It is a cheap business license with one shareholder and provision to apply for 1 UAE residency visa. 

Freelance visa Ras Al Khaimah

RAKEZ freelance visa is another way to get your work permit in the UAE. Majority of activities can be given only based on your attested educational certificate. 

If you live or work in Ras Al Khaimah, this option could be suitable for you. 

Freelance visa Fujairah

Creative City is a free zone in Fujairah which has packages for cheap freelance visas valid in the UAE. It does not have freelancer visa options as such, but some low-cost packages can substitute it. 

Don’t confuse their so-called package “Freelancer company” with a freelance license. That package is a normal commercial company solution, but its name can easily be taken for a freelance permit in Dubai or UAE.


  • How much is the cheapest Dubai freelance visa?The price of the freelance visa in Dubai is made up of the freelance permit cost + the actual visa fees. The cheapest cost of a freelance permit is 7,500 AED. Freelance visa under this permit is 2,000 AED for Establishment card, and 5,000 AED for the resident visa.
  • How can I work from home in Dubai?If your professional activity can be done from home, follow this step-by-step guide:
    • Open a freelance permit or license
    • Get your freelance visa done (if you need it)
    • Open a bank account
    • Advertise your services online and in community groups
    • Conduct your services via Internet
    • Sell your products using social media
    • Renew your freelance permit annually 
  • Can I sponsor my family under a freelance visa?Yes, you can. Once your visa is stamped in the passport, you can sponsor your dependents. Don’t forget that you will need an attested tenancy contract and legalized marriage/birth certificates to open family visas.
  • Can I trade under a Dubai freelance license?Normally freelancing means providing your professional services. If you want to trade, it’s better to get a trade license. The activity of the license should be trading of products.
  • Can I be a freelancer without a visa?If you want to live and work in the UAE permanently, you need to have a UAE residency visa. It can be opened under a freelance permit.
  • How long is a freelance visa valid?Typically, freelance visas in the UAE are valid for 2-3 years.
  • Can I be sponsored by a friend in Dubai?No, a friend cannot sponsor you under his visa. A cheap solution to get visas together with a friend could be to open a freelance company in the Ajman free zone. It is one of the cheapest options in the UAE. It will be eligible for 2 resident visas.
  • How to get a freelance visa in Dubai?Here is your step-by-step guide:
    • Decide what freelance job you can do
    • Apply for freelance permit
    • Get the freelance permit issued 
    • Get establishment card issued
    • Apply for entry visa 
    • Do status change (if you are in UAE as a tourist)
    • Go for Medical check 
    • Apply for Emirates ID
    • Get the visa stamped in the passport
    • Receive your Emirates ID
  • Can I open a corporate bank account with my freelance permit?Generally, a freelance permit allows you to operate as an individual and have a personal account only. However, some freelance setups look like a traditional commercial free zone licenses. For example, having a freelance license in Ajman Free Zone you are eligible for a business bank account instead of a personal one.
  • Do I have to pay VAT as a freelancer?If your turnover reaches 375,000 AED, you need to add 5% VAT to all your invoices, register with Federal tax authority and pay VAT quarterly.

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