How to get a freelance work visa in Dubai?

Dubai Expat Blog

Business in Dubai, Living in Dubai

dubai freelance work visa

Dubai is rapidly catching up on the trends of the “gig economy”. So if you are a freelancer willing to work in media, education, and technology in Dubai, you can apply for a freelance permit or visa. This article will let you know how to easily get your freelance visa in Dubai.


In Dubai, it is not permissible to earn by means of doing a variety of gigs without official approval. For this purpose, a freelance permit or visa is essential.

If you are already living in Dubai and want to work as a freelancer, then you have to apply for the permit only. It is a license that allows freelancers to work as independent contractors. With the freelance permit in hand, you can work as a consultant, educator, journalist, web developer, and the like. The permit is renewed each year.

Conversely, if you are living somewhere outside of Dubai then you have to apply for a freelance permit as well as a visa. This visa is a residency permit using which freelancers live and work in Dubai. It is renewed every three years.

The three main sectors where freelancers can work are media, technology and education.


Before you get your freelance visa in Dubai, you have to register yourself as a freelancer. For this purpose, first, you need to apply for a freelance permit or license. It is a simple procedure.


Freelancers can apply for the permit either online or in person.

Required Documents: The required documents include the relevant application form and a valid passport copy. Apart from these, a recent photograph, resume, and a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from a sponsor in the UAE may also be required. You have to provide NOC in case you are on your spouse or parents’ visa. Likewise, it is also needed if you are already employed in Dubai.

Approval: Approval of the permit can take up to 10 to 15 days. After that, you have to visit one of the business centers either in Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Media City, or Dubai Internet City, depending on the sector that you have applied to. There you have to sign the documents and pay the fees.


Next step after getting the freelance permit is applying for the visa. After receiving the permit, you will obtain access to AXS. It is TECOM’s business service platform. It provides many governmental and corporate services. On this platform, you have to apply for the establishment card before the employment visa. It usually takes 8 to 12 days to receive it. Afterward, you can apply for a freelance employment visa under the Dubai Development Authority (DDA). This visa is valid for three years.


You will receive an entry permit within 4 to 7 working days after submitting your application for a freelance visa in Dubai. This permit has a validity of 60 days. You have to travel to Dubai within this period. After arrival, it is necessary to finish certain residency visa procedures in Dubai. It includes medical tests. A residency visa is valid for the next three years after the date of issue.


In the process of getting the freelance visa, different costs at different steps are involved. Initially, the freelance permit will cost around AED 7,500, which is valid for 1 year. Secondly, the establishment card costs AED 2,000. Lastly, freelance visa cost depends on whether the applicant resides within or outside UAE. For the applicant already living in the UAE, the normal fees for a freelance visa stand at AED 4,960 and express fees at AED 6,340. Contrary to this, fees are reduced to AED 3,330 and AED 3,900, respectively, if the applicant does not live in the UAE.

Freelance Visa in Dubai: TIPS AND PRECAUTIONS

Getting the freelance permit or visa is fairly a simple and straightforward procedure. Still, some tips and precautions can come in handy.


Firstly, it is always wise to cross-check that the job you are applying for as a freelancer is legitimate. You can check this on the National Economic Register website. It is the official website of the Ministry of Economy. It has the details of all the legitimate jobs in the UAE. Plus, make sure that the agreement that you’ll be signing has all the details and terms and conditions clearly mentioned. Lastly, if you face a scammer, simply cut contact with them. And report them to the official State Audit Institution.


Look out for visa shops that promise permanent residency in Dubai. Also, beware of the visa operators that give improper advice to falsify your information in the application. Lastly, some require you to buy and sell their products so that you will earn faster. Stay away from them as well.

To conclude, it is fair to say that the freelance visa procedure in Dubai is quite simple. You will get your visa in the shortest time if you follow the above-mentioned guidelines. Tips and precautions will help you dodge any odd situation that may occur along the way.


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