September 29, 2023

UAE Freelance Visa: Everything You Need to Know

Should i get a freelance visa or a golden visa? Will i even be eligible for a golden visa? How should i apply for my freelance visa? These are just a few of the questions you may have when trying to decide what steps to take if you're planning to move to or work in the UAE. Today we will try and shine some light on the freelance visa and also make a little comparison to a UAE golden visa. If you want to see more about golden visas and eligibility, we have a another short article here that might help with that.

If you are looking for a flexible and independent way of working in the UAE, you might be interested in getting a freelance visa. A freelance visa allows you to work as a self-employed professional in various sectors, such as technology, media, education, marketing, art and culture. In this blog post, we will explain why you might need a freelance visa, what are the benefits and difficulties of getting one, and how it differs from a UAE golden visa.

Why do you need a freelance visa in the UAE?

To work as a freelancer in the UAE, you need a residence visa and a work permit. The residence visa allows you to stay legally in the country, while the work permit allows you to offer your services to multiple clients without being employed by a company or a sponsor. Depending on your situation, you might already have a residence visa if you are sponsored by your parent or spouse. In that case, you only need to apply for a work permit from a free zone authority or the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). If you are not a UAE resident, you need to apply for both a residence visa and a work permit from a free zone authority.

What are the benefits of getting a freelance visa in the UAE?

There are several benefits of getting a freelance visa in the UAE, such as:

  • You can enjoy the flexibility and freedom of working on your own terms, choosing your own projects, clients and working hours.
  • You can benefit from the tax-free environment and the low cost of living in the UAE.
  • You can access the facilities and services offered by the free zones, such as networking events, training programs, business support and infrastructure.
  • You can apply for residency visas for yourself and your family members, depending on the free zone you choose.
  • You can open a bank account and apply for credit cards in the UAE.
Happy young female traveler in the big city of Dubai, famous place Dubai marina. Luxury and comfortable tourism season in United Arab Emirates. Back or rear view of young woman in dress and backpack

What are the difficulties of getting a freelance visa in the UAE?

There are also some challenges and drawbacks of getting a freelance visa in the UAE, such as:

  • You need to pay upfront fees for the application and renewal of your visa and work permit, which can range from AED 9,500 to AED 20,000 per year depending on the free zone and the sector you choose.
  • You need to provide proof of your qualifications, experience and income to be eligible for a freelance visa. You also need to submit a business plan and a portfolio of your work. Consulting with experts like ours at Prism 7 Corporate can help you navigate the specifics of your application.
  • You need to comply with the rules and regulations of the free zone authority and the MOHRE, such as obtaining health insurance, registering for VAT (if applicable) and paying fines (if any).
  • You need to find your own clients and market your services effectively. You also need to manage your own finances, taxes and contracts.
  • You might face competition from other freelancers and companies in your field. You also might face fluctuations in your income depending on the demand for your services.

What is the difference between a freelance visa and a UAE golden visa?

A freelance visa is different from a UAE golden visa in several ways. A UAE golden visa is a long-term residence visa that grants its holder 10-year or 5-year renewable residency without the need for a sponsor. A freelance visa is a short-term residence visa that grants its holder 1-year or 2-year renewable residency with the need for a work permit. A UAE golden visa is aimed at attracting investors, entrepreneurs, professionals and students who can contribute to the economic development of the country. A freelance visa is aimed at attracting self-employed individuals who can offer their skills and expertise in various sectors.

Should you get a freelance visa or a golden visa?

The answer to this question depends on your goals, preferences and eligibility. If you want to work as a freelancer in the UAE for a short period of time, you might opt for a freelance visa. If you want to live and work in the UAE for a long period of time, you might opt for a golden visa. However, you need to meet certain criteria to qualify for either of these visas. For example, to get a freelance visa, you need to have relevant qualifications, experience and income in your field. To get a golden visa, you need to have significant investments, businesses or achievements in your field.

If you are in any doubt about which you should be applying for, or whether you are even eligible for a golden visa. Please book a free consultation with our experts to find out about all your options for working in the UAE.

Getting a freelance visa in the UAE can be an attractive option for those who want to pursue their passion and career independently. However, it also comes with some challenges and costs that need to be considered carefully. Before applying for a freelance visa, you should do your research on the requirements, benefits and difficulties of working as a freelancer in the UAE. You should also compare it with other types of visas available in the country, such as the golden visa. Ultimately, you should choose the option that suits your needs and aspirations best.

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Ally Bhatti
Best
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