UAE Offers Visa to Freelaners : How to Apply for UAE Freelance Visa
Introducing UAE Freelance Visa: Types, Eligibility, and Cost
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently launched freelance visas to attract talented individuals from various industries to the country. Several free zones across the UAE, such as twofour54, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Design District, and Ajman Free Zone, provide a diverse range of freelance visas for both residents and foreigners looking to work in the UAE. Regardless of the free zone chosen for visa application, individuals are permitted to work throughout the UAE within their respective fields.
To acquire a freelance permit, applicants must pay AED 7,500, excluding the visa cost, according to the Dubai Development Authority. Additionally, the Creative City Media Free Zone in Fujairah offers up to three activities and four visas, including one visa free of charge, under the freelance category. This free zone also provides Flexi-desk and PRO services, catering to professionals in media, events, consultancy, education, communication, marketing, and music.
Umm Al Quwain Free Zone is another option for freelancers, offering permits for self-employment. Ajman Free Zone provides freelance visas in 40 different categories for AED 6,000 and flexible co-working spaces. Members of this free zone are eligible for two residence visas and family sponsorship.
Here is a breakdown of how and where freelancers can obtain 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 introduced the ‘Talent Pass,’ a three-year visa for freelance work. Dafza also offers office space rental for professionals in the fields of media, education, art, technology, marketing, and consultancy. Various licenses are available under this category, including commerce licenses for import, export, and re-export, a general commerce license, an industrial license for light manufacturing activities, packaging and assembly, an e-commerce license for online trading of goods and services, and a license issued in partnership with the Department of Economic Development.
- Banking/Finance Professionals: Professionals specializing in accounting, auditing, tax consultancy, and Shariah review consultancy for Islamic financial institutions can apply for a freelance visa with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development.
- Media: Dubai Media City provides freelance visas for professionals working in various media-related fields. There are approximately 45 categories available, including actors, aerial shoot photographers, animators, artists, audio/sound engineers, brand consultants, cameramen, choreographers, commentators, composers, content providers, copywriters, directors, editors, events planners, graphic and furniture designers, journalists, market analysts, presenters, print media specialists, web designers, web developers, and others. In Abu Dhabi, twofour54 offers freelance visas for individuals in the media, production, and entertainment industries, valid for two years. Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone also offers freelance permits for media professionals, starting from AED 6,100.
- Educationists: Professionals such as education advisors, e-learning advisors, executive coaches, researchers, and trainers can apply for freelance visas through Dubai Knowledge Park. The application can be made through gofreelance.ae, with fees of AED 2,750 for a one-year visa and AED 5,000 for a three-year visa. Other required documents include a freelance license, Establishment Card (AED 2,000), a UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport, and passport photo. Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone also provides freelance permits to educationists, starting from AED 6,100.
- IT Professionals: Freelancers specializing in web and mobile development, software development and architecture, IT and telecommunication networking, data science and analytics, and customer service can apply for a freelance visa. The application process is available through gofreelance.ae, with fees of AED 2,750 for a one-year visa and AED 5,000 for a three-year visa. The required documents include a freelance license, Establishment Card (AED 2,000), a UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport, and passport photo.
- Designers: Freelance visas can be obtained by apparel designers, concept designers, fashion stylists, image consultants, fashion artists, hairstylists, interior designers, object designers, personal shoppers, textile designers, visual merchandisers, and wedding planners through Dubai Design District. The application process is the same as mentioned above.
How to Apply for UAE Freelance Visa
To obtain a freelance visa, professionals have the option to apply via gofreelance.ae, with fees of Dh2,750 for a one-year visa or Dh5,000 for a three-year visa. Alongside the application, applicants must provide additional documents, including a freelance license, Establishment Card worth Dh2,000, a valid UAE phone number, proof of valid medical insurance, the original passport, and a passport photo.