Remote Work Visa UAE: Requirements, Cost, & Eligibility 
  • March 06, 2023

Remote Work Visa UAE: Requirements, Cost, & Eligibility 

The UAE introduced a visa category, the "Remote Work Visa", in 2021, aimed at attracting remote workers and freelancers from around the world to work and live while being employed by a company outside the country. In this blog post, we'll discuss what the UAE remote work visa is, who is eligible, and the benefits.


What is the UAE Remote Work Visa?

The UAE's remote work visa, also known as the "virtual work residency program," is an excellent opportunity for digital nomads, remote workers, and freelancers who want to experience living in Dubai while still working under their current job for companies outside the UAE.

The one-year remote visas allow foreigners to enter the UAE under self-sponsorship and can be renewed annually. This visa enables remote workers and freelancers to enjoy the benefits of living and working in Dubai, including access to its world-class infrastructure, tax-free income, and a vibrant lifestyle. Recently, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security announced that it is optional to be inside the country to apply for a remote worker visa. However, the applicant must enter the country within 60 days of visa issuance to complete further procedures. 


Reasons to get a remote work visa 

Ø Tax-free income: 

Dubai has a tax-free income policy, which means that remote workers and freelancers can keep more of their income and enjoy a higher standard of living.

Ø World-class facilities: 

This visa provides applicants with a resident ID card with access to rent accommodation, banking facilities, book co-working spaces and many other facilities. 

Ø Access to global business opportunities:  

Dubai is a global business hub, providing remote workers access to an extensive network of potential clients and collaborators. 

Ø Sponsor family: 

Individuals with remote work visas can sponsor their spouse and family residence permits.

Ø Ease of travelling: 

Remote workers can freely travel in and out of the country during the one-year visa duration.


Who is Eligible for the UAE Remote Work Visa?

All applicants can apply for a remote working visa inside or outside the country. Individuals can visit on a regular tourist visa, experience the location, and apply for the one-year program later. However, individuals must be employed overseas by a company and have proof of employment. 

Here are the requirements for applicants:

1. Must be at least 18 years old

2. Valid passport with at least six months 

3. Health insurance with UAE coverage

4. Must earn a minimum monthly salary of $5,000 (or its equivalent in a different currency)

5. Employment contract with a company outside the UAE or be self-employed

6. Salary slip and bank statement for the preceding three months

7. For Employees: One-year contract from the current employer as proof of employment

8. For business owners: Proof of one year or longer ownership of the company


How to apply for a remote work visa?

Applications for remote work visa procedures depend on the emirate. In Dubai, all applications, including renewals, will be reviewed and processed by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai (GDRFAD).

In Abu Dhabi and other Emirates, the processing is through Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) portal. After submitting the application, it will undergo review by authorities, which would take around five to seven days.

Application process:

1. Check the eligibility requirements 

2. Fill out the forms with all necessary documents

3. Submit the application forms and upload the required documents, including a valid passport, proof of income, and valid health insurance. 

4. Wait for the application to be processed. The processing time may vary, but it usually takes around 5-7 days.

5. Once the visa is approved, individuals can start working remotely in the UAE.


Remote Work Visa Cost

The remote work visa cost starts from USD 287 per person in Dubai. In addition, individuals need to pay for medical insurance, visa processing fee, medical, sponsorship of family, and Emirates ID. 

The UAE is an attractive destination for professionals from all over the world. If you're interested in applying for the UAE remote work visa, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria.

How can Ascent Partners help?

Ascent Partners is a boutique consultancy providing 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.