The Start of Great Things for Your Career
- The Start of Great Things for Your Career
- What is the Freelance Permit and Freelance Visa in Dubai?
- Dubai Freelance Visa Requirements
- How to Apply for the Freelancer Visa and Permit in Dubai
- Benefits of the Freelance Visa in Dubai
- Freelance Visa Dubai Cost
- Apply for a Dubai Freelance Visa
Did you know that in 2021 around 10, 306,569 people applied for entry permits, including freelance visas to Dubai? Dubai is one of the most vibrant cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and has an exciting and volatile economies in the 21st century.
While Dubai has opened its doors to ex-pats, including investors and working freelancers, you need the right visa to work in Dubai. With a freelance visa Dubai, you will be able to operate in your capacity and legally provide services to clients in Dubai and other cities in the UAE.
If you are planning to work in Dubai as a freelancer, here’s what you need to know about the Dubai freelance visa.
What is the Freelance Permit and Freelance Visa in Dubai?
In November 2020, The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) announced that UAE nationals and non-residents could apply for a freelance license.
The freelance permit or license is issued under the TECOM Group and allows one to work as an independent professional contractor in the UAE. The permit will identify you as a sole practitioner and allow you to conduct your consulting business in your birth name instead of a brand name.
The permit is renewable each year and was made to increase diversification and create more job opportunities in the business sector. The permit also eliminates the need to employ more workers on a contract basis.
The license is best for individuals who are on their parent’s or spouse’s visa and require a license to work as a freelancer. However, if you aren’t sponsored by your parent or spouse, you will have to apply for a freelance visa.
The visa is a permit that will allow you to live and work in Dubai. The visa is renewable after every three years. It will allow you to work with any company in the UAE, including the free trade zones such as Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone, Dubai Media City, Khaimah Economic Free Zone, Ras Al, Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 or Dubai Knowledge Park.
If you qualify for the visa, you can also apply for visas for your family members, sponsor an unmarried daughter or sponsor a son who is under 25 years old.
Dubai Freelance Visa Requirements
Though there are no strict terms or requirements you need to meet to be eligible for the freelancer’s visa, there are some documents that you must have before applying for the visa. These documents include:
· A copy of your passport or visa (valid for at least eight months)
· Recent photo
· Visa and a copy of Emirates ID if you are a resident
· Your CV or resume
· No objection letter or certificate from your sponsor if you are a resident
· Your portfolio, if applicable
If you want to work in the education sector, you must also provide proof of your academic qualification. This has to be certified by the UAE Consulate in their country of origin or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Suppose you are a freelancer in the media sector. You need to provide a sample or portfolio of your work.
How to Apply for the Freelancer Visa and Permit in Dubai
Thanks to the digital age, you simply apply for a permit or visa online with only a few steps. To get the visa, you will first apply for the license or permit. Here is what you need to do before applying for freelance jobs in Dubai.
1. Apply for the Permit
You can apply for the permit online through approved websites. The process is simple and all you have to do is to fill out the application form and upload the necessary documents. Remember to confirm that you submit the right documents and information.
Suppose you plan to work in the tech sector. In that case, you can apply for a permit from the Dubai internet city, Dubai Knowledge part for the education sector and Dubai Media City for the media sector.
2. Follow Up
Once you submit your application, you will get a notification on your email informing you when the application has been approved. This can take at least 10 to 15 days. Once your application has been approved, you will go to the business centre in Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City or Dubai Knowledge Park.
Here, you will sign the documents and pay the application fees. When that is done, your permit will be ready and you can receive it via email.
3. How to Apply for a Freelance visa in Dubai
After receiving your permit, you will get access to TECOM’s business service platform. This platform is also known as AXS and works in partnership with Dubai Development Authority (DDA).
Through the platform, you will have access to several corporate and government services and you can apply for your first establishment card on the site. This will also have some additional costs.
Lastly, you can apply for a freelance employment visa, which will be valid for three years from the date of issuing.
4. Complete the Residency Visa Procedures
If you successfully submit your freelance visa Dubai application and are approved, you will get an entry permit to Dubai in 5 to 7 working days. The entry permit is valid for 60 days from the date of issue.
Also, you will need to complete other residency visa procedures, such as submitting your medical tests. When you complete all these procedures, your visa will be signed and is also valid for only three years.
Benefits of the Freelance Visa in Dubai
Freelancers who wish to live and work in the UAE can now do so even without an office. To work as a freelancer in the country, you must have a work permit, residence visa and get access to job opportunities.
With several freelancing careers to choose from, you need to identify your interests and learn the requirements and opportunities available. Regardless of your linework or career, you will enjoy various benefits, including:
1. Quick and Easy Setup
You can apply for a freelance visa in Dubai directly from the Department of Economic Development (DED) or from the free zone of your choosing. Some of these free zones include:
• Ajman Free zone
• Dubai Media City
• Dubai Design District
• Fujairah Creative City
• Umm, Al Quwain Free Trade Zone
• Dubai Knowledge Park
• Dubai Studio City
• Ras Al Khaimah Economic Free Zone
• Dubai Production City
• Abu Dhabi’s twofour54
The zone you choose will depend on your industry, sector and activities you will be engaged in. Since the cost varies, it is crucial that you choose the free zone that suits your needs.
Applying via the free zone is easier and you can get 100% repatriation of profits and 0% corporate and personal tax. Also, you will get the permit in only seven to ten days. There are several options for residents and non-residents in Dubai.
The city has several free zone options that offer permits at different rates and can allow an ex-pat and their dependents to get the visa they need.
2. Wide Variety of Opportunities
The freelance visa allows you to explore working in a different field. Though you may need an additional qualification to qualify to work in some industries, the visa will allow you to work with government agencies and also provide services to private individuals or companies.
Since you will be working as a private contractor, you can explore all available opportunities that you qualify or have the skills for.
3. No Need for a Physical Office
Being a freelancer allows you to work from home or any other convenient location. You will not need to be confined to an office on the mainland or a free zone. You will be your own boss and can choose who to work with.
Without the need to pay rent or hire an office, your cost of operations will be much lower and this can also enable you to offer services at a much lower rate and have a competitive advantage.
4. Sponsor Your Dependents
Though freelancing may not be a reliable or steady job, you can still get the chance to move your family to Dubai. If you have a freelance visa and able to meet the set income or salary requirements, you are you will be able to sponsor family members or employees if you are setting up a company.
Note that it is easier for a man to sponsor their spouse and children than a woman. However, if the woman is working in some professions, such as the medical industry, they might have an easier time sponsoring their dependents.
5. Quick Access to a Corporate Bank Account
Apart from easily getting a visa and license, getting your corporate bank account is also a breeze. The UAE has several large renowned financial institutions. These include both local banks and global financial institutions.
These institutions readily welcome investors and freelance. Additionally, if you are in a free zone, you will have access to some of the most relevant banks that match your needs.
6. No Objection Certificate (NOC) from a Local Sponsor Necessary
With the freelance visa, you will not need to have a NOC from a local sponsor. This is one of the major reasons why freelancing is growing in the UAE. Several free zones do not require freelancers to have a NOC, even if they have just arrived in the UAE or have been around for some time.
7. No Auditing or Book-Keeping
Keeping up legal, financial records can be very challenging without a qualified accountant. Fortunately, since freelancers do not necessarily run large companies, they do not have to submit official accounts or be subject to an audit.
You will still be able to raise an invoice and receive payments without serious book-keeping or a lot of paperwork.
8. A Chance to Upgrade to a Company
Though freelancing is easier to manage, you can never pass up an opportunity to expand and grow your career into something even bigger. Freelancing can be the first step toward setting up a business in Dubai.
The good news is that the freelancing visa will still allow you to upgrade your business to a full company setup with employees, an office, assets and more. All you will need to do is to upgrade your freelance business licence to a company licence.
When you upgrade, you can apply for multiple visas and also sponsor more people. The free zone can allow you to set up a company without having share capital upfront.
Freelance Visa Dubai Cost
The cost of the visa depends on the regulations of the free zone you choose and the requirements of your business. Additionally, the kind of permit you have will also determine how much you pay.
For a freelance permit that is valid for one year, you can expect to pay AED 7,500. If you need an establishment card that is valid for one year, you will pay AED 2,000. On the other hand, you may need to pay AED 4,960 if you are applying for an employment visa in Dubai that is valid for three years within the UAE.
If you need an express freelance employment visa valid for three years outside the UAE, you will pay AED 6,340. Lastly, a normal visa will cost you AED 3,330 and an express freelance visa that includes charges for the Emirates ID, visa stamping and medical test can cost you AED 3,900.
When paying for these charges, you have to sign the documents in person. Note that, while it may be affordable to pay for the permit and visa in Dubai, you must have some financial backup.
This is because you may have to spend several months building your career and portfolio. You may also want to consider other types of visas, such as investor, business and residency visas.
Apply for a Dubai Freelance Visa
Kick off your career with a freelance visa Dubai and enjoy the amazing business and career opportunities that Dubai offers. If you are looking for a freelance visa, talk to us and learn more about Dubai free zones and how to apply for the visa.