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Freelancing in UAE - Visa, Free Zones, Professions

Freelancing in UAE - Visa, Free Zones, Professions

Legal
paperwork

To apply for the freelance visa you will need:


  • A freelance license application form for your chosen free zone.
  • A copy of your business plan.
  • A copy of your passport.
  • Recommendation letter(s) signed by current/previous employers.
  • Your CV and original qualification certificates.
  • Provide a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) stating the transfer of residence visa to freelancer visa (see the Entry Visa section on entities that can sponsor an Entry Visa).
  • Good-standing-certificate by a bank ensuring that you have a satisfactory banking history.
  • Portfolio of your work or any samples of work that prove you could freelance in the stated business activity.


In addition to a freelance visa, you will also need to obtain a freelance license. The process for that is as follows:


  1. Apply with the relevant free zone authority where you intend to hold a freelance license and/or a freelance visa.
  2. Submit an application for interim approval along with the business plan, passport copy, and a reference letter.
  3. In case the provisional approval is permitted, you will receive a customer confirmation letter from the respective free zone authority.
  4. Sign the confirmation letter and give it, along with the other documents mentioned, for the final approval.
  5. Make all the payments, such as the freelance permit fee, employee visa sponsorship fee, and (if required by your chosen free zone) first installment of rent for an office space.
  6. Sign the free zone sponsorship agreement and collect the freelance permit along with the freelance visa.


The license is typically issued within 7-10 working days.


Keep in mind that documents will need to be translated into Arabic. Many expats choose to hire a business specialist to help them throughout the procedure.


A Note About Free Zones


For freelancers without a company to back them, the UAE issues freelance visas only within designated “free zones.”


Free zones are free trade zones within the emirate states. These zones work under their own regulations, which are separate from the rest of the country. They have their own special tax, customs, and import regimes. Each free zone caters to a specific business category such as design, development, or media.


There are 45 free zones within the UAE. As of May 2019, the UAE government issues freelance permits in eight of these zones.


Abu Dhabi
  • Twofour54
  • Offers great benefits to individuals who are interested to become a licensed freelancer.

Dubai


  • Dubai Academic City

The permit identifies you as a sole practitioner. It enables you to conduct your business in your birth name as opposed to a brand name.


  • Dubai Design District

Special licensing for design and fashion with freelance permits for artists and designers.


  • Dubai Knowledge Village

The permit identifies you as a sole practitioner. It enables you to conduct your business in your birth name as opposed to a brand name.


  • Dubai Media City

The permit identifies you as a sole practitioner. It enables you to conduct your business in your birth name as opposed to a brand name.


  • Dubai Studio City

The permit identifies you as a sole practitioner. It enables you to conduct your business in your birth name as opposed to a brand name.


Fujairah


  • Fujairah Creative City

Visa availability: three Fujairah free zone visas. Processing time: 6-7 working days.


Umm Al Quwain


  • Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone

The permit identifies you as a sole practitioner. It enables you to conduct your business in your birth name as opposed to a brand name.


Some free zones may be subject to a freelance visa cap.


Top Professions for Work as a Freelancer


  • Web development and designing
  • Teaching
  • Writing and copywriting
  • Creative design
  • Sales and marketing
  • Graphics designing
  • Mobile app development
  • Search engine optimization (SEO), Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Branding
  • 3D Modelling and computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Translation and interpretation
  • Legal services

Useful Tips


  • Office SpaceThe majority of licensing authorities in the UAE require you to have some sort of office space within their jurisdiction. The definition “office space” is broad and can apply to a flexi-desk or a smart office. There are companies within free zones that offer freelance company packages to expats. Many of these packages come with an office space included.


  • Business Specialist or Solo?While you can register your business yourself, many expats choose to hire a business specialist for more secure, efficient means. There are many facets to consider and nearly all documents must be translated into Arabic. A business setup specialist will take care of all the administrative hassle for you as well as the legal side of obtaining your license and visa.

How to Find Freelance Work in the UAE


The majority of freelancers in the emirate states find their jobs online. Freelancing expats in the UAE find these to be the most useful sites for job postings and general advice:


Be Advised


Although there are property-related visas, these do not allow for employment. Do not be fooled into thinking you can buy a home and freelance without a freelance visa. There is also no such thing as an independent working visa. Beware of companies offering independent visas for a fee as these are highly illegal, and if caught, the company incurs a heavy fine and the visa holder is deported.


If you move to the UAE with a spouse, you are still required to obtain a freelance visa if you intend to work for yourself.


Freelance Visa Cost


The freelance visa costs can vary from zone to zone. This is the general fee:


Registration2,000 AED (550 USD)

License2,500 AED (680 USD)

Address services 9,000 AED (2,400 USD)

Benefactor fees 3,000 AED (820 USD)

Free zone cost 2,500 – 15,000 AED (680-4,000 USD)


Source: internations.org/go/moving-to-the-uae…

137 Saved
23 Comments
R
Rizwan· Oct 25, 19:19
Hi
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Sarfraz· Oct 26, 19:28
Hi I'm sarfraz Ahmed Plumbing technician
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Sarfraz· Oct 26, 19:29
I need job I'm working now ssmc hospital Abu Dhabi
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R
Rizwan· Oct 27, 05:49
Hi
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SɪddHa· Oct 27, 14:54
Hello
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Akm· Oct 30, 08:52

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1 Like
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Rizwan· Oct 30, 10:18
Hi
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1 Like
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A
Ali· Nov 06, 18:05
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A
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In abudhabi
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Shafiq· Nov 08, 16:46
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1 Like
Bilal · Nov 13, 16:03
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