Instructions for getting a freelancer visa in Dubai 2023
The freelance arrangement is experiencing a growing trend, with freelancers having the flexibility to establish their own work schedule, define the workload, and select their desired location worldwide. Notably, the UAE government has introduced a new visa specifically for freelancers, making Dubai an exceptionally enticing destination for career development. In this article, we will talk about the concept of a freelance visa and provide guidance on obtaining one.
What does a freelancer visa entail?
A freelancer visa not only enables you to secure employment with a UAE company but also permits you to work remotely from abroad. Notably, obtaining this visa does not necessitate the provision of an employment contract or a work permit. Even if you are currently employed by a company, you can still apply for a freelancer visa; however, you must obtain written permission from your employer to proceed.
Types of the document
The conventional approach for remote workers involves a visa with a license. This type of visa allows freelancers registered in freehold zones to offer their services to both individuals and legal entities.
The visa is initially valid for one year, with the possibility of renewal upon expiration. It is issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, in conjunction with the General Directorate for Residents and Foreigners. After acquiring this visa, you have the option to apply for an Establishment Card, which costs $545. The Establishment Card serves as a migration card, confirming your registration with the migration service and granting you eligibility for a resident visa. After applying the Establishment Card process, you can then apply for a 3-year residency.
Introduced in April 2022, the Green visa offers the opportunity to obtain a 5-year residence permit without the need for an employer, guarantor, or a valid contract. It can also be extended after its expiry.
To qualify for this visa, you must possess a bachelor's or specialist degree and obtain permission from the Ministry of Human Resources. Another essential requirement is a minimum total income of $95,000 over the past 2 years.
Remote employee visa
Another visa category introduced in 2022, the Remote employee visa, is valid for 1 year, with the possibility of renewal.
To get this visa, you must possess an active employment contract with a minimum validity period of 1 year, a passport with at least 6 months of validity remaining, and a monthly income of at least $5,000.
Professions eligible for freelancer visa
If your profession falls in one of these categories, you may be eligible for a freelancer visa:
- website, software, and mobile application developers;
- IT and telecommunication network administrators;
- data Science specialists and data analysts;
- customer service managers and technical support representatives.
- shooting operators;
- sound engineers;
- e-learning consultants;
- education advisors;
- make-up artists;
- event organizers.
Benefits of a freelancer visa in Dubai
Discover the advantages offered by a freelance visa in the UAE:
- reside in any of the emirates;
- open a bank account with one of the UAE banks;
- relocate with your family and establish a life in Dubai;
- establish your own sole proprietorship;
- collaborate with private or public organizations in the UAE;
- enjoy a reduced tax burden;
- no requirement to submit annual financial reports or undergo an audit;
- income tax exemption if your annual income is below $102,000. For incomes exceeding this threshold, a 5% VAT is applicable only to profits exceeding this amount.
Terms and costs
We've put together a table that lists various expiration dates and pricing details, enabling you to compare the variations and select the most suitable option for your needs. MoHRE specializes in visa issuance.
Remote employee visa
Establishment Card fee
Step-by-step guide for document registration with a license
Registration on the GoFreelance website
Begin by signing up on the official GoFreelance portal. Carefully input your personal information and specify your area of expertise.
With a freelancer visa, you gain the opportunity to secure employment within companies situated in the freehold zones.
Freehold zones are designated areas where foreign nationals can purchase real estate with full ownership rights. Properties acquired within these zones can be utilized for various purposes, including renting, selling, refurbishing, and passing on through inheritance. Due to citizenship restrictions in these zones, they are often favored by foreign investors and expatriates.
List of required documents for licensing
To initiate your application, assemble a document package, ensuring that everything is translated into English and certified at the UAE Consulate. The required documents include:
- passport-sized 3x4 photos;
- passport copy;
- bank account statement;
- higher education diploma;
- medical insurance.
Professionals in creative fields should additionally provide a portfolio or samples of their work.
Registration of an Establishment Card
Once you've obtained your license, the next step is to procure an Establishment Card. To do this:
- submit an application on the freehold zone's website where you received your license;
- provide your license details and specify a local phone number;
- pay the $544 fee, which can be completed on the AXS website.
You can complete this process through the AXE website.
The Establishment Card will be prepared in approximately 14 days and must be renewed annually.
Acquiring a resident visa
The subsequent stage involves securing a resident visa. You can initiate the application process via the chosen freehold zone's website. You'll need the following:
- migration card which is called Establishment Card;
- local phone number;
- international passport;
- passport-sized 3x4 photos;
- freelancer's license;
- medical insurance.
A fully processed visa can be obtained through the ICP – Federal Agency for Identification, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security.
Undergoing a medical examination
Medical insurance is a mandatory requirement for individuals seeking a visa. The UAE authorities require assurance that you are not afflicted with tuberculosis and are not HIV-positive. To fulfill this, you should:
- complete a medical examination at one of the UAE's medical facilities;
- undergo mandatory tests, including a blood test and lung radiography.
Registration of an identification card
The Emirates ID serves as an essential identification card for both United Arab Emirates citizens and foreign residents in the country.
To obtain this card, follow these steps:
- Apply for an ID card via the FAIC website, at the nearest Customer Happiness Center, or a Typing Office. Await notification regarding your visitation appointment.
- Arrive at the designated center at the scheduled time, carrying a valid visa and passport. During this visit, your fingerprints will be taken, and your photo will be captured.
- The card will be ready in 10 working days, available for pickup at the specified address indicated in your application.
Obtaining a Green visa: Step-by-step guide
Documents and application procedure
To apply for a Green visa, you will need to prepare a document package that includes:
- bachelor's degree;
- minimum annual income of $45,000;
- authorization for freelance work in the UAE MoHRE;
- valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity;
- passport-sized 3x4 photographs.
It is essential to ensure that all documents are translated into English and officially certified at the UAE Consulate.
Follow these steps to obtain your visa through the GARFA website:
- register on the GARFA website;
- specify the Individuals category;
- choose the desired visa type;
- once you are on the relevant visa page, click on Start Service;
- select New Applicant and locate New Entry Permit for Green Residence in the list;
- proceed to complete all required forms, attach the necessary documents, and make the payment of the $90 fee.
What to expect
A Green visa provides the privilege to sponsor a spouse, children, and first-degree relatives. Family members are granted identical 5-year residence permits as the primary applicant.
Additionally, the Green visa offers the advantage of a legal stay in the UAE for a period of 6 months, even after its official expiration date.
Checklist for getting permission as a remote employee
We have created a short checklist of how to get a Freelance visa:
- register on the GoFreelance portal;
- apply for a license;
- make the necessary payment for your application;
- apply for an Establishment Card;
- apply for residency;
- get through a medical examination;
- apply for an Emirates ID;
- submit biometric data and photo for Emirates ID.
Brief overview of taxes for freelancers
While there are no income taxes in the UAE, it's essential to be mindful of the VAT regulations:
- If your annual income is $51,040 or below, VAT registration is not required.
- If your annual income falls within the range of $51,040 to $102,000, VAT registration remains optional.
- For an annual income exceeding $102,000, you are obligated to register with the local tax office.
Exercise caution when submitting and completing documents to avoid potential issues. Possible problems include:
- providing an incomplete set of documents;
- choosing the incorrect field of activity and failing to obtain a work permit;
- making errors in document preparation;
- failing to adhere to specified timelines and missing deadlines.
To mitigate these challenges, seeking guidance from professionals is crucial. Consulting with experts can help navigate potential difficulties and streamline the visa acquisition process.
Visa processing is a complex and meticulous endeavor. For assistance and guidance in obtaining a freelance permit in Dubai, reach out to +7 (495) 431-99-33. Our brokers will provide you with valuable insights, save you time by gathering up-to-date information, and support you through every stage of the visa application process.