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. The Freelance Visa in UAE will enable self-employed people to live and start their businesses in UAE.
The Freelance Permit is available in UAE from the Free Zones at a very low cost. It is beneficial for entrepreneurs who are entering the business and want to build a network before they start operating a full-fledged company. Freelance Permit in UAE will enable the individual to offer service in the selected business category.
Freelance Permit in UAE
It is valid for a 1 year period and is subject to renewal yearly. The Freelance Permit will help individuals to work on their own and deliver their services. Also, the Freelance Visa in UAE along with the Freelance Permit will help entrepreneurs to continue their stay in the country for 1 year or 2 years depending on the tenure and start operating the business.
The Freelancer License Permit in UAE is of great interest to many individuals who are keen on working as individuals and not under any company. Additionally, The Freelancer Permit in UAE enables entrepreneurs in the country 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.
Individuals who already have a UAE residence visa can apply for Freelance Permit from the Free Trade Zones in UAE. There is a wide range of business activities that are available for the individual to apply for the Freelance permit. Most common Freelance permits in UAE are issued for Marketing, IT Services, Accounting Services, Project Management, etc.
Entrepreneurs who do not have a UAE residence Visa can obtain the Freelance Visa along with the Freelance Permit from the Free Zone for an additional cost. The Freelance Visa in UAE permits the individual to legally live in UAE for a period of two years. The Freelancer must first take the Freelance permit in UAE and then proceed to apply for the Freelance visa.
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. The Freelance Visa in UAE 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 Permit along with the Freelance visa cost from a Free Zone in UAE is around AED 15,435. It is expected to see a drop in fee rates as the Free Zones become more competitive. In Dubai, the Dubai South Free Zone offers a Freelance permit for AED 7,000 for a selected list of business activities (without a freelance visa in UAE).
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. Similarly, Dubai Economy has a Sole proprietorship Professional License (Freelance Permit in UAE) for AED 7,000 and the Freelance Permit is issued from the Dubai Media City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Knowledge Park, etc., based on the specific business activity.
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.
Cost of Freelance Visa in UAE Free Zone & Mainland
The Freelance Visa cost in UAE depends on the specific Free Zone where the Freelance Permit is obtained from. For example, the Freelance Visa Cost of Dubai Economy’s Freelance Permit is around AED 2,750 for a one-year visa. Similarly, the Dubai Airport Free Zone has a Talent Pass – A Freelance Permit with a two-year Freelance Visa.
Individuals from the field of media, education, art, technology, marketing, etc., can avail of the Freelance Permit to work on their own. The cost of the Talent Pass is AED 9,500 and is renewable yearly. The Freelance Visa Cost is separate and it will be issued by the Dubai Airport Free Zone authority upon making the payment and submitting the required documents. The cost of a Freelance visa from Dubai Airport Free Zone for a 2-year period could cost approx. AED 7000.
Other Free Zones in UAE that offer Freelance permits are RAKEZ, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman Media City, etc. There are a lot of business activities that the individual can choose. Also, the cost of the Freelance Permit from Free Zones in Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, etc., is cheaper than the offering in Dubai.
UAE announced a new residence visa category that allows residents to sponsor their parents and children (up to 25 years). It is targeted at highly skilled people, investors, entrepreneurs, top students, and graduates. Freelance Permit holders with annual income from their self-employment of at least AED 360,000 in the past two years can qualify for the Green Visa.
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 economic opportunities, attracting global talent to UAE, and also making UAE a permanent home for ex-pats and their families.
What are the benefits for the Freelancers?
Freelance Visa holders in UAE have many benefits with regard to their Freelance Permit in UAE. The Freelance Permit provides them a sense of security and flexibility at the same time to conduct business in the region. Additionally, the Free Lance Permit holders can now apply for long term 5 year Green Visa and avail of many advantages in terms of selection of business activity and cost of the Freelance Permit in UAE.
The 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 Having a Valid Freelance Permit in UAE
- 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 out 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 instalment 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 Permit in UAE?
1. RAKEZ Free Zone
The RAKEZ Freezone offers a cost-effective Freelance Permit in UAE to 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.
The following are the main benefits of the RAKEZ Freelance Permit:
- Cost-effective packages
- 1 and 2-year packages
- Access to modern business centres
- 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 a Freelance Permit in RAKEZ, Contact Us!
2. Fujairah Creative City Freezone
Fujairah Creative City Freezone offers multiple packages for business setup in all categories. The Freelance Permit from Fujairah Creative City is one of the most comprehensive Freelance packages in the UAE.
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 setup.
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 Freelance visa in the UAE.
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 Freelance 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. It offers Freelance Permit with UAE residence Visa as a comprehensive package. The Free Zone is one of the most preferred startup hub,s especially for technology entrepreneurs.
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 centres, 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 Freelance Permits in UAE 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!