Freelance Licence & Visa in the UAE: Eligibility, Validity, Cost, Benefits & More
  • January 18, 2024

Freelance Licence & Visa in the UAE: Eligibility, Validity, Cost, Benefits & More

Freelancing in the UAE is picking up, providing a mutually beneficial arrangement for workers and employers. HR consultants and recruiters note a growing trend among newcomers to the UAE, particularly in the technology and business consultancy sectors, who opt for freelance and short-term contract engagements.

Compared to a year ago, freelance visas in the UAE have transformed the job market, resulting in numerous advantages for workers and local organizations. Professionals are attracted to the inherent flexibility of freelancing, while companies capitalize on the cost benefits associated with hiring short-term employees.


What is a Freelance Licence and Freelance Visa?

A freelance licence in the UAE, also known as freelance permit, grants the privilege to work in Dubai, whereas a freelance visa serves as a documentation of residency.

According to the law, individuals intending to publicly offer services, raise invoices as well as execute contracts in the UAE are obligated to possess this permit. Those supported by a spouse or a company are eligible for exemption from obtaining a freelance visa.

The expense for a freelance permit in Dubai may fluctuate based on the visa category and the Emirate of your intended residence. To illustrate, obtaining a 2-year freelance visa in Dubai could cost around AED 12,000 - AED 15,000.


What Freelance Visas does the UAE offer?

A Freelance Visa pertains to specific categories of occupations, including artists, athletes, designers, banking, IT professionals, education specialists, and media professionals. It is applicable to various sectors such as education, marketing, IT, fittness, consulting, event management, copywriting, design, and more. Non-residents with assets, particularly in real estate generating rental income, can also obtain a freelance visa in Dubai. Moreover, those who wish to explore opportunities and adopt the lifestyle in Dubai can also secure a freelance visa.

To make a well-informed decision, take into account the following options:

Dubai Mainland

If you're a freelancer aiming to advance your career in the dynamic UAE market, a freelance visa in Dubai Mainland could be the key to unlocking a future with limitless opportunities. The mainland freelance visa in Dubai is a legitimate arrangement that permits freelancers to operate as independent professionals in diverse sectors within the mainland. This visa provides flexibility by not confining you to a particular geographic area and allowing you the freedom to cater to clients throughout the entire UAE. A freelance visa cost in Dubai Mainland starts from AED 12,000.

Dubai Free Zone

Freelance permit in the UAE are currently offered in numerous free zones situated in Dubai. These permits enable professionals in media, technology, and education to provide their expertise on a consultancy basis, even if they hold a full-time position elsewhere. This visa is valid for two years in Dubai and it allows you to sponsor your dependents. The cost of a freelance visa and freelance licence in Dubai Free Zone starts from AED 16,000.

Sharjah Free Zone

Freelancers like working in Sharjah Free Zones in the UAE because Sharjah represents the rich culture and history of the country. Even though these free zones cover more than just media activities, they are focused on supporting local media talent by encouraging new ideas and providing necessary skills. A freelance visa and licence cost in Sharjah free zone starts from AED 14000.

There are also other free zones that issue freelance visas in the UAE and among them are , Umm Al Quwain Free Zone, Ajman Free Zone, Fujairah Creative City.They also issue freelance permits for UAE citizens and foreigners who must first obtain residence permits.


What Documents will You Require to Obtain a Freelance Visa in the UAE?

- Passport copies (yours and any dependents)

- Passport-sized photographs

- Educational certificates or professional qualifications

- Portfolio showcasing your work

- Business plan detailing your freelance activities

- No Objection Certificate (NOC) if you're currently employed in the UAE

- Health insurance coverage documents

(These requirements can change depending on the situation)


What Documents will You Require to Obtain a Freelance Licence in the UAE?

- Passport copy

- Visa copy (if applicable)

- Passport-sized photos

- Proof of address

- Professional qualifications and experience certificates

- Business plan (some free zones may require this)

- No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your current employer (for those who are already employed in the UAE)

(These requirements can change depending on the situation)

 To apply for a freelance visa and permit, get an expert guide from Freedom2Work.

Contact one of the most premier one-stop portal for freelancers in the UAE to get the latest pricing for the freelance visa and permit.

How Can Ascent Partners Help?

Obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai allows you to conduct business in the UAE and legally provide professional services to clients. Ascent Partners provides bespoke, end-to-end corporate services ranging from company formation to accounting, bookkeeping, and compliance services for entrepreneurs looking to set up their next venture in the UAE. We work alongside to strategise, startup, and scale businesses in the UAE and the broader region.

With a combined experience of 50+ years, our expert consultants provide reliable and unparalleled guidance throughout all strategic phases of a business' evolution.