Opening Freelancer visa in UAE

Freelancer visa is a residency permit that legally allows the individual to live and work in the UAE as a freelancer. It comes with a residence visa and a work permit, which allows a person to work for themselves, rather than for a company. With this visa, you can open a bank account and Emirates ID. It is not possible to hire employees with this visa however, you can sponsor your immediate family (wife/husband/kids) with this visa.

It is the easiest and most affordable way to work in your own rather than to be committed to a particular employer.

Freelance permits can be obtained from the Dubai LEZ, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, and Ajman. They are issued by the licensing authorities such as:

  • Twofour54,
  • Dubai Media City (DMC),
  • Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP),
  • Dubai Internet City (DIC),
  • Dubai Development Authority (DDA),
  • Ras Al Khaimah Economic Free Zone Authority (RAKEZ).

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The list of activities, available for freelance in the UAE.

These are professions from the fields of media, IT, and education:

Media: Actors, journalists, editors, directors, photographers, artists, writers, sound artists, composers, choreographers, copywriters, event organizers, bloggers, translators, stylists, web developers/designers, musicians, PR specialists, etc.

Technology: programmers, IT and telecommunications networks, data analytics.

Education: educational consultants, trainers, coaches, etc.

If you have a Freelancer visa, you can work in your profession legally as it comes with a permit that is similar to a business license which is renewable annually. It will allow you to issue official commercial documents such as; service agreements, invoices, etc. Audit is not required.

VAT registration is not required, however, if your income is between AED 187,500 and AED 375,000 per year, then it is recommended to register, and if your income exceeds AED 375,000 per year, then it is mandatory to register VAT.

A freelancer’s license requires only one resident visa, but some free zones allow 2 freelancer visas per license.

Documents that BMS asks for to open a Freelancer visa:

– Resume

– Passport copy

– Copy of visa (if any)

– Letter of recommendation from bank (this can be either local or international bank)

– Letter of No Objection from Sponsor (NOC) (if you currently have a work permit, and a resident visa)

– Portfolio – PDF or link (for Media Professionals)

– Certificates of education in the profession in which you want to work

– Depending on the BMS, you may be asked for additional documents;


It takes 7 to 14 business days to apply and receive your permit (after completing and submitting all the required documents.)

It takes a minimum of 7 business days to apply for a visa.

Package costs from $3,300

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