Freelancing is becoming more common in the UAE, especially with the younger generation. The Government initiatives and various cost-effective freelance permits issued by the various Freezones are supporting the new trend. There are a host of Freelance Visas available for self-employed people to start their business in UAE.
The Freelancer License Permit is of great interest for many individuals who are keen on working as individuals and not under any company. Additionally, The Freelancer Permit enables them to have legal support for their job identity and gain credibility among clients.
Accordingly, Dubai’s work scenario is changing with the younger generation taking on the work floors, and the work culture from regular 9-5 office work is shifting to a more flexible work life.
Generally, the Freelance Permit is aimed at promoting freelancers to expand their network, gain more acceptance and establish their own companies in Dubai for the future.
Latest Freelance Visa and Green Visa in UAE
UAE has amended the Freelance Visas to create opportunities for talents and also help businesses manage their workforce effectively.
It creates immense opportunities in the market and also the availability of talent for businesses to easily hire. Companies in the region can avail a large pool of Freelance talents across various business activities.
Freelance Visa Cost in UAE
The Freelance visa cost for a freelance permit from a Free Zone in UAE is around AED 11,000. It is expected to see a drop in fee rates as the Free Zones become more competitive.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has announced license costs for new business setup and freelance permits for as low as AED 1,000.
The new visas are not linked with the employment contract and are aimed to create more flexibility for ex-pats to stay in UAE for a longer duration. Hence, they can continue for 90 to 180 days after the loss of their current employment and invest in economic activities in the region through a business establishment of their own.
UAE announced a new residence visa category that allows residents to sponsor their parents and children (up to 25 years). It is targeted at high skilled people, investors, entrepreneurs, top students, and graduates.
The Green Visa holders in UAE will be self-dependent and would not be attached to a company sponsorship. Also, they can sponsor parents and children up to 25 years old.
The Green Visa will be open for most categories from investors, and entrepreneurs to SMEs. talented people, scientists, students, etc. The new Visa categories are aimed at boosting the economic opportunities, attracting global talent to UAE, and also making UAE a permanent home for the ex-pats and their families.
What are the benefits for the Freelancers?
Following are the main benefits of getting a freelance visa in UAE:
- Flexibility to work anytime from anywhere
- Gain Self-Sufficiency
- Work-life Balance
- Lower the expenses and raise the Profit
- Option to carry out multiple projects simultaneously
- Building one’s own Brand
- No Office Space Required
Benefits for Companies Hiring Freelancers
- Low hiring cost compared to permanent employees
- Multiple options available to choose freelancers
- Freedom to hire industry-specific experts
- Possibility of international hiring
What are the top Freelancing Professions in the UAE?
Following are the top freelancing professions:
- Web development and designing
- E-learning and Guest Lecturing
- Copy-writing and guest blogging
- Sales & Marketing
- Graphics Designing
- Mobile App Development
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Computer-Aided-Design and 3D Modelling
- Language translation and interpretation
- Legal services
How to Apply for a Freelance Permit in Dubai?
Following are the steps to apply for a new freelance permit in Dubai:
1. Fill the Application form for Freelancing
2. Submit the Business Plan, Copy of Passport, Qualification Certifications
3. No-Objection Certificate to transfer Residence Visa to Freelancer Visa
4. Bank Statement to prove Bank Records
What is the Procedure to obtain a Freelancer License in Dubai?
Following are the steps to get a Freelance License in Dubai:
- Apply to the relevant Freezone where you intend to hold a license or freelance visa
- Submit an application for interim approval along with the business plan, passport copy, and the reference letter
- In case of approval, you will receive a customer confirmation letter from the respective Freezone authority
- Sign the confirmation letter and resubmit along with the other documents indicated above for the final approval
- Make all the payments such as the freelance permit fee, employee visa sponsorship fees, and first installment for rent or office space (optional) and other charges (if any)
- Sign the Freezone Sponsorship Agreement and collect the Freelance Permit along with the freelance visa
- On acquiring all the certifications and clearance, you can avail the Flexi-desk & business facilities within the Freezone and start your Freelance business in the UAE legally.
Which are the Major Freezones that offer Freelance Permits in UAE?
1. RAKEZ Free Zone
The RAKEZ Freezone offers cost-effective Freelancer Permits to the entrepreneurs of various business categories such as designers, media, art, etc. Currently, it is for Media Professionals and Education professionals. There is a list of activities specified by the RAKEZ Freezone that you can apply for.
Following are the main benefits of RAKEZ Freelance Permit:
- Cost-effective packages
- 1 and 2-year packages
- Access to modern business centers
- Network with like-minded professionals
- Eligibility for UAE Residence Visa
RAKEZ Terms and Conditions
The following terms and conditions are applicable for the RAKEZ freelance permit.
1. The Freelancer will act as a sole practitioner to undertake the permitted business from RAKEZ
2. A Freelancer should conduct business in his name as opposed to a company name
3. Existing sponsor’s NOC has to be provided by the client if opting for a permit without Visa
4. Freelancers shall not be eligible to open a corporate bank account
5. No Memorandum of Association, Certificate of incorporation, or Partner list shall be issued under the freelance permit
6. Freelancers shall not be eligible to appoint any staff to obtain an additional visa under the permit
7. The Freelancer can select only 1 activity per permit
For any assistance on business setup or Issuance of Freelance Permit in RAKEZ, Contact Us!
2. Fujairah Creative City Freezone
Fujairah Creative City Freezone offers multiple packages for business setup in all categories.
They also offer a Freelancer Company Package that is ideal for start-ups with 4 Visas. It offers all the advantages of a regular company set-up.
Following Services Included:
1. Trade license validity from 1-3 years
2. Establishment card (1-3 years)
3. Up to 3 Visas
4. Processing time: 1 working day
5. Flexi-Desk facility (Such as online support, internet access, signboard, PO box, conference room subject to availability and booking, PRO services)
3. Freelance Visa from Ajman Free Zone
Ajman Freezone offers convenient packages for Freelancers to start their business easily. Acquiring a freelance permit will allow one employment visa.
Following are the Required Documents for the Freelance Visa from Ajman Free Zone:
- Passport Copy
- Valid UAE residency Visa copy (if applying for a license without Visa)
- Sponsor’s No Objection Certificate (if applying for a license with Visa)
- Portfolio/Sample of works or qualification certificate
Rent for the business center, License for the respective category, Maintenance General Services
4. Go Freelance Program by Tecom Business Center
The Go Freelance is an initiative launched in partnership with Dubai Creative Cluster Authority to encourage freelancing opportunities.
The annual fees of Dh 7,500 include the freelancer permit and access to the Tecom Business Center. UAE residents can get a permit for an annual fee of Dh 7,500 from Dubai’s Tecom Group and can freelance in the field of education and media sectors to start.
An additional payment of Dh3,250 will enable you for a three-year visa under Tecom.
Above all, Candidates can register for the simple 3 steps of online registration for the freelance permit in Tecom by visiting the website gofreelance.ae
5. Dubai Silicon Oasis – DTEC for IT
Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (DTEC) is the largest Tech Entrepreneur Centre in the region.
Dtec provides technology start-ups with the ultimate work environment with a Flexi-desk facility, license, and visa services, world-class tech infrastructure labs, testing centers, meeting rooms, conference rooms, and a host of other recreational facilities.
Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (DTEC) offers start-up packages with which an individual can set up their business and work on IT projects by utilizing the facilities available in the free zone.
6. twofour54 Abu Dhabi
twofour 54 is a media Freezone located in Abu Dhabi focused on the media and entertainment industry. This free zone offers Freelance License Packages for creative minds looking for an entrepreneurial venture or working independently.
twofour 54 also offers a host of Company Formation Packages for entrepreneurs in the media and entertainment sector.
The companies registered in twofour 54 enjoy a host of benefits such as
- 100% company ownership for foreign nationals
- No import tariffs, personal income tax, or corporate taxes
- The easy and cost-effective business setup process
- Affordable office space solutions
- Onsight vocational training academy offering media-related courses
- World-class studio production and post-production facilities
- State-of-the-art infrastructure, and internet connectivity
- Unique campus environment with facilitated business networking
- and many more.
The freelancers in the twofour54 business community are also eligible to use the common facilities and take part in business networking activities in the Freezone.
The Freelancing culture is still at a very early stage and the marketplace for Freelancers is very niche and is expected to grow in the coming years. There are a couple of online aggregators in UAE such as Nabeesh.com, freelancer.com, etc., that act as an interface between freelancers and clients.
Also, many small and medium companies are considering freelancing as a prospective option to reduce the hiring cost and avoid visa, medical insurance, and PRO experiences.
For any assistance regarding the Issuance of the freelance visa in UAE, reach out to us today itself!