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Get A Freelance Visa in Dubai

If you get a freelancer visa in Dubai, you will benefit from 0% corporate and personal tax and 100% repatriation of profits. Working as a self-employed person, freelancer, or digital nomad is now possible from almost anywhere in the world, including UAE.  So, does the freelance lifestyle sound like a perfect fit for you? Then, getting a freelance visa in Dubai (and a freelance permit) is your next step! Obtaining a freelance visa in Dubai allows you to conduct business in the UAE and legally provide professional services to clients.

Freelance visas are available at affordable rates, allowing you to work across various business activities. It is important to remember you will also require your UAE residency visa. Some of the industries you will be eligible to work in include consultancy, events management, education, film production, new media, and entertainment.

First, one must secure a freelance permit or license from the relevant free zone authority, which varies depending on the chosen field of work.

This comprehensive guide aims to streamline the process, providing step-by-step instructions to navigate the application procedures, legal requirements, and information on which free zone you might want to set up your freelance visa.

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freelance visa in Dubai

How to apply for a freelance visa in Dubai permit

The Dubai government has initiated efforts to make it easier and cheaper for freelancers to work and live. GoFreelance is an initiative by the TECOM group that allows freelancers to work in tech, education, media, and design sectors as independent contractors. It needs to be renewed every year.

If you are working in Tech, Dubai Internet City will issue permits. Dubai Design District for the design sector, Dubai Media City for the media sector and Dubai Knowledge Park for the education sector. If you are pursuing your profession in any of these sectors, you are eligible to apply for the freelance permit along with a residency visa in Dubai which is renewable every three years. The freelancer permit is ideal for professionals who are on a dependent visa and they only need to get the freelancer license. This permit identifies you as a sole practitioner and enables you to conduct business in your name rather than a brand name.

Here’s what you need to know about freelance visas in Dubai

  • Types of Freelance Visas in Dubai
  • Benefits
  • How to Apply?
  • Costs
  • FAQs

Anyone moving to Dubai will find great flexibility when it comes to establishing their own business or working as a freelancer. With the rising popularity of the gig economy, many initiatives have been introduced to make it easier and cheaper for freelancers to live and work in Dubai. Different work-related strategies give residents and individuals who wish to come to the city a chance to obtain a freelance visa in Dubai or a permit.



There are different types of freelance visas in Dubai, as per the latest updates announced by the government.


Thanks to their parent’s or spouses’ visas, individuals already residing in Dubai need a freelancer work permit. You can still apply for a permit if you are employed full-time. In such situations, however, a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from your employer/sponsor is needed.


If you are not a UAE resident, you must apply for a freelancer visa to acquire a residency permit. This permit allows individuals to reside and work in Dubai as a freelancer. Also, you will have to apply for a residence visa.


The Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (Dafza), Dubai Culture and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) launched the Dubai Talent Pass. The purpose of this initiative was to attract global talent.

This allows freelancers from the field of technology, marketing, art, media, education, marketing, culture and consultancy industries to live and work in the emirate.

The freelance visas in Dubai cost when applying via the Dubai Talent Pass is AED 9,500. You can renew the visa every year. The renewal fees vary according to your work area. To apply for the pass, visit the official DAFZA website.


With the Go Freelance programme, you can become a freelancer at Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park & Dubai Design District. One can bid on projects and expand their network through the Market place – a dedicated platform to support freelancers. The business activities that are selected for this type of visa includes education, media, tech and design.

To apply, visit the official Go Freelance website and complete three steps along with the payment to apply. The cost of the permit is AED 7,500 and it has to be renewed annually. Permit holders can also apply for family and dependent visas too.


The UAE Green Visa for freelancers and self-employed individuals is a 5-year residency visa. You can apply for this visa without being employed at a company or a sponsor.

You need to match the following requirements to be eligible.

  • Attain self-employment or freelance permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

  • Education level: Minimum bachelor’s degree or Specialised diploma.

  • A minimum annual income of AED 360,000 via self-employment over the past two years, or the applicant has to prove financial solvency through their stay.


There are several benefits of having a freelance permit and visa in Dubai.

  • First, it gives you the flexibility to work for multiple companies. If you plan to work in any of the sectors mentioned above and don’t want a 9-to-5 job, becoming a freelancer in Dubai could be your best career move.
  • Second, the affordability of having a freelance visa in Dubai means you can offer your services at much lower prices. With the GoFreelance package, the setup costs are much lower, and no office space is required, allowing more freelancers to enter the market.
  • Third, having a freelance visa and permit in Dubai means you can work as an independent contractor for companies across the UAE and have access to the free zone’s business centre.
  • Fourth, with the freelance visa in Dubai, you can also sponsor family members to come and live with you. For further details, check out the guide about family sponsorship in the UAE. However, remember that you cannot sponsor employees with your freelance permit and visa.
  • Last, you can find numerous jobs and assignments to kick-start your freelance career via the official marketplace website. You can connect with companies and individuals looking for freelancers with specific skill sets.


There are separate costs involved when applying for freelance visas in Dubai.

Freelance permit (valid for 1 year): AED 7,500 Establishment card (valid for 1 year): AED 2,000 Employment visa (valid for 3 years): AED 2,750 Employment visa (valid for 5 years): AED 5,000

If you are applying for a residence visa in Dubai (valid for two years) outside the UAE, the costs are:

AED 3,330 (Normal) AED 3,900 (Express) For those applying from within the UAE, the costs are: AED 4,960 (Normal) AED 6,340 (Express)

Please note that the above freelance employment visa costs include medical test charges, visa stamping charges and the Emirates ID fee. Freelance visa Dubai cost 2024 may differ depending on your field and other cost.


  • How to apply for a freelancer permit and visa in Dubai
    • 1. Apply for permit
    • 2. No objection letter from sponsor/employer
    • 3. Follow up on the application
    • 4. Apply for employment visa in Dubai
    • 5. Complete the residency visa procedures
    • 6. Freelance permit and visa Dubai cost

How to apply for a freelancer permit and visa in Dubai

To get the freelance permit and visa in Dubai through Go Freelance,

you will initially need to apply for the freelance permit to be registered as a freelancer in the emirate which is a simple process and requires only a few steps.

Apply for permit

You can apply for a freelance permit in Dubai through the GoFreelance website. Go to the ‘Apply’ page and fill out the ‘Go Apply’ application form along with the required documents. 

Some of the documents needed to apply for the freelance permit in Dubai include: 

  • Resume/cv

  • Recent photograph

  • Passport and visa copy (valid for at least 8 months) 

  • Bank reference letter

  • NOC from your UAE sponsor


When applying for the education or tech sector for a freelance license, you have to submit proof of academic qualifications which should be attested by the UAE Consulate, your country of origin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai. You can only choose one activity for getting a freelance license in the education or tech industry. If you are applying for the design or media industry, then a sample of your portfolio work is needed to submit along with the documents. 



Step into the world of freelance possibilities and explore the incredible benefits that await you with a Freelance residency in the UAE. It’s more than just a residency; it’s a gateway to an extraordinary lifestyle and a multitude of opportunities. Let’s dive into how this residency can transform your freelance journey:

Live and Work on Your Terms

As a freelance residency holder, you have the freedom to live and work in any of the UAE Emirates. Whether you prefer the vibrant cityscape of Dubai or the cultural charm of Abu Dhabi, the choice is yours. You have the flexibility to shape your work-life balance as you see fit.

Financial Freedom

Say goodbye to hefty tax deductions and enjoy the advantages of tax-free income. With more money in your pocket, you can invest in your future, pursue your passions, and create a secure financial foundation.


Unrestricted Exploration

Bid farewell to the constraints of visit days. With a Freelance residency, you can stay and travel within the UAE without limitations. Explore the captivating landscapes, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, and create unforgettable memories.


Seamless Financial Integration

Open a bank account hassle-free and streamline your financial transactions. Access banking services, manage your finances effortlessly, and take control of your money matters.


Realize Your Dreams

Need financial support to turn your entrepreneurial visions into reality? With a Freelance residency, you can apply for a loan to fuel your business endeavors and unlock your full potential.


Empower Your Loved Ones

As a Freelance residency holder, you have the privilege to sponsor your family. Obtain residency for your dependants, ensuring they can share in the benefits and joys of living in the UAE alongside you.


Empower Your Loved Ones

As a Freelance residency holder, you have the privilege to sponsor your family. Obtain residency for your dependants, ensuring they can share in the benefits and joys of living in the UAE alongside you.


Hit the Open Road


Obtain a UAE driver’s license and embrace the freedom of exploring the UAE’s roads and highways. Embark on exciting road trips, discover hidden gems, and experience the thrill of the open journey.


New Types Of Dubai Freelance Available In 2024

In 2024, Dubai will offer a range of UAE freelance permits catering to diverse professional needs. These visas empower freelancers to work independently and legally in the city, with commonly available categories including the following.

Freelance Work Permit:

  • The Freelance Work Visa Dubai is a versatile option that allows foreign nationals to work independently in Dubai. It caters to many professions, including writers, graphic designers, web developers, and more. This type of visa is well-suited for individuals who want to offer their services freelance without needing to establish a company.


Investor/Freelance Visa:

  • Dubai offers an Investor/Freelance Visa option, which ties your freelance status to an investment in a Dubai-free zone company. By establishing a business entity in a free zone, you can obtain a freelance visa, giving you the flexibility to manage your freelance work under your company’s umbrella.


Media Freelancer Visa:

  • Professionals in the media and creative industries, such as journalists, photographers, and content creators, can explore the Media Freelancer Visa. This specialized visa is designed to cater to individuals working in these fields’ unique needs, offering them opportunities to thrive in Dubai’s vibrant media landscape.


Freelancer License Registration UAE

  • The Dubai Virtual Company License is an innovative solution for freelancers who want to establish an online presence in Dubai without needing physical office space. This option allows entrepreneurs and freelancers to operate digitally, engaging with clients and partners in Dubai and beyond.

Freelance Permit For Women:

  • Dubai has introduced freelance permits explicitly tailored for women to empower female entrepreneurs and freelancers. These permits’ unique benefits and support systems encourage women to pursue their freelance ambitions.


Tech Freelancer Visa (Potential):

  • Dubai has been considering the introduction of Tech Freelancer Visas to attract tech talent. While this type of visa may not be available at the time of writing, it’s worth keeping an eye on developments in this area, as it could open up new opportunities for technology professionals.


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