Freelance Visa Dubai: Complete Guide – 2024

Freelancing due to its flexibility and diversity has become a global trend. Dubai, known for its iconic skyline and economic prowess, has become a global hub for business and innovation.

In recent years, the emirate has introduced initiatives to attract freelancers from around the world, recognizing the importance of independent professionals in the modern workforce.

One such initiative is the Freelance Visa Dubai, a groundbreaking program that allows freelancers to live and work in Dubai legally.

Types of Freelance Visa Dubai

The freelance visa depends upon your skills and portfolio or the category in which you are applying for it.

It can be IT professionals, media personnel, educationists, banking professionals, designers, finance professionals, etc.

There are broadly 5 types of freelancing visas for Dubai:

  1. Designer visa
  2. Educational freelance visa
  3. Talent pass
  4. Dubai media freelance visa
  5. Green visa

How to apply for freelancing visa for Dubai?

The first step is to apply for a freelance permit and establishment card. The freelance permit is a license that is required by freelancers to operate in Dubai.

There is one application for both. It is issued by the respective free zone authority. You can also apply for it online through website.

Steps for application:

  • Choose your category.
  • Prepare the required documents.
  • Submit them to the respective authority: the application must be submitted to the free zone authority of your choice or the DED (Department of Economic Development) in case of a freelancing license in the mainland.

It takes 10 to 30 days to process your application. Once approved, you get the permit. Then apply for a freelancing visa in Dubai.

For a Dubai freelancing visa, apply with the required documents and health fitness certificate. You will get the freelancing visa within 4-5 working days, once approved. After the issuance, make sure to periodically renew it.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Educational qualification.
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Certification (attested by UAE consulate)

Documents required for freelance visa

Documents required for the application for a freelancing permit:

  • Recent photograph
  • Detailed CV
  • Passport copy
  • Bank statement
  • Portfolio
  • NOC (in case of a sponsor)
  • Attested academic certification (attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs or consulate).

Documents required for the freelance visa Dubai

  • Freelancing permit
  • Establishment card
  • Health insurance
  • Recent photographs
  • Original passport
  • UAE contact number

Freelance Dubai visa in free zones

There are multiple free zones in Dubai.

  • Dubai media free zone
  • Dubai knowledge park
  • Dubai internet city
  • Dubai design district
  • Dubai airport free zone

Freelance visa in the mainland

You can also apply for a freelancing visa for Dubai outside the free zone. Though there is no tax exemption and have a slightly different process.

Application along with required documentation is submitted to and approved by the Department of Economic Development (DED). A residency visa and UAE bank account for transaction purposes are additional requirements.

Freelance visa Dubai cost

  • For freelance permit (validity: 1 year): ADE 7,500
  • For establishment card (1 year): ADE 2,000
  • For freelancing visa (1 year): ADE 4,381.97
  • Freelancing visa Dubai (2 years): ADE 4,750
  • Talent pass (3 years): ADE 9,500
  • Green visa (5 years): ADE 20,000
  • Residence visa in Dubai (application of visa outside UAE): ADE 3,330 (normal), ADE 3,900 (express)
  • Residence visa (application within UAE): ADE 4,960 (normal), ADE 6,340 (express)

Government support for freelancers turned entrepreneurs

The journey that starts with passion and often turns into a fully-fledged business. It is full of obstacles but that makes it more exciting. The government of UAE has taken the initiative to support aspiring freelancers who want to start their businesses.

They have introduced tax-friendly laws to facilitate them. From easy licensing to loan grants to support forums for solo entrepreneurs, they had done a remarkable job in endorsing them.

Benefits of having a freelancing visa for Dubai

  • Legal Recognition: The Freelance Visa Dubai offers legal recognition for freelancers, ensuring that they can work in Dubai without any legal complications.
  • Flexibility: Freelancers enjoy the flexibility of choosing their projects and clients, allowing them to tailor their work to their expertise and preferences.
  • Residency Status: The visa grants freelancers the status of a resident in Dubai, providing them with the benefits of living in a world-class city.
  • Access to Services: Freelancers with the Dubai Freelance Visa have access to various services, including healthcare, banking, and education enhancing their overall quality of life.

Challenges and Considerations

While the Dubai Freelance Visa presents numerous opportunities, freelancers should be aware of certain challenges.

These may include navigating the bureaucratic processes, staying compliant with local regulations, and understanding the financial implications associated with freelancing in Dubai.


The Dubai Freelance Visa represents a progressive step towards embracing the changing dynamics of the global workforce.

It not only attracts international talent but also provides freelancers with the legal framework needed to thrive in one of the most vibrant business environments in the world.

As Dubai continues to position itself as a global business and innovation hub, the Freelance Visa program stands as a testament to the emirate’s commitment to fostering a diverse and dynamic professional landscape.


Can the residents of Dubai apply for a freelancing visa?

Yes, the residents can apply for a freelancing visa. You are required to submit your sponsor’s or employer’s NOC along with the required documents.

How much income is required to apply for the freelancing visa for Dubai?

As a freelancer, your annual earnings from the last two years must not be less than ADE 360,000.

Can I sponsor any employee with my freelance visa?

No, you cannot sponsor any employee with your freelance visa.

What is the validity of a freelance permit?

It is valid for 1 year.

How much time does it take to get a Dubai freelance visa?

It takes 10-30 working days to get the freelance visa after the submission of the application.

Is a freelance permit the same as a freelance visa?

No, it is not the same. A freelance permit is a license required to operate in Dubai. Whereas a freelance visa is required to have residence in Dubai (residence permit).

Am I allowed to sponsor my family on a freelance visa?

Yes, you can sponsor your family if you hold a freelance visa.

Are there any special criteria for the foreigner to apply for a freelance visa?

No, there are no special criteria for foreigners.

What is the validity of a green residence permit?

Its validity is up to 5 years.

Can I apply for a Dubai freelancing visa while having a full-time job there?

Yes, you can apply for the visa. But you would need your employer’s NOC and proof of the skills (portfolio and academic credentials) for which you are requesting it.