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UAE Independent Visa Explained: Types, Cost, Eligibility – News

Self-employment permits are available for a wide variety of professionals



Published: Sat 22 Jan 2022, 10:13 AM

The UAE has introduced freelance (self-employment) visas for a host of categories to attract bright minds to the country.

Several free zones across the UAE – such as twfour54, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Design District, Ajman Free Zone – offer a wide range of independent visas to residents and foreigners to work in the UAE. Regardless of the people from the free zone who apply for the visa, they can work through the UAE in their relevant field.

According to the Dubai Development Authority, a freelancer permit costs Dh7,500 – excluding visa fees.

In the freelance category, Creative City Media Free Zone in Fujairah also offers up to three activities and four visas, including one free visa. Moreover, it also offers Flexi-desk and PRO services. It is aimed at professionals working in the fields of media, events, consulting, education, communication and marketing, music and entertainment, design and technology.

The Umm Al Quwain Free Zone also offers permits for self-employed.

Ajman Free Zone offers freelance visas for Dh6,000 in 40 categories and flexible coworking spaces. Members are eligible for two residency visas and one family sponsorship.

Below is how and where freelancers can obtain visas in the UAE:

The Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (Dafza), Dubai Culture and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) have launched the “Talent Pass” – a three-year visa for the freelance work in addition to the rental of office space by Dafza for professionals in the field of media, education, art, technology, marketing and consulting.

This includes business licenses for import, export and re-export; a general business license; industrial license for light manufacturing and packaging and assembly activities; e-commerce license for online trading of goods and services; a license issued in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, which allows companies registered in the Dubai Airport Free Zone to apply for the Department’s license without the need for office space to operate outside the free zone ; and a service license.

  • Banking/finance professionals

Professionals in the field of accounting and auditing, analysis and review of accounting and auditing systems, Shariah review advice for Islamic financial institutions transactions and consultancy in the fields of taxation can apply for the freelancer through the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

Professionals working in various media-related fields can also obtain a freelance visa in Dubai through Dubai Media City. There are approximately 45 categories for which professionals can apply. It includes actor, aerial set photographer, animator, artist, sound engineer, brand consultant, cameraman, choreographer, commentator, composer, content provider, editor, director, an editor, an event planner, graphic and furniture designers, journalists, a market analyst, presenters, print media specialists, web designers, web developers and other professionals.

In Abu Dhabi, twofour54 offers freelance media, production and entertainment visas valid for two years.

The Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone also offers freelance permits for media professionals, starting at Dh6,100.

Under this category, Education Advisors, E-Learning Advisors, Executive Coaches, Researchers and Trainers can apply for the Independent Visa at Dubai Knowledge Park.

Professionals can apply via gofreelance.ae for a one-year visa for 2,750 Dh and a three-year visa for 5,000 Dh. Other required documents are independent license, settlement card for Dh2000, UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport and passport photo.

The Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone also offers independent permits for educators, starting at Dh6,100.

Freelancers working in web, mobile, software development and architecture, computer and telecommunications networks, data science and analytics, and customer service can apply for the freelance visa.

Professionals can apply via gofreelance.ae for a one-year visa for 2,750 Dh and a three-year visa for 5,000 Dh. Other required documents are independent license, settlement card for Dh2000, UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport and passport photo.

Clothing designers, designers, fashion stylists, image consultants, fashion artists, hair stylists, interior designers, object designers, personal buyers, textile designers, visual merchants and wedding planners can get freelancers from Dubai Design District by providing all required documents.

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Professionals can apply via gofreelance.ae for a one-year visa for 2,750 Dh and a three-year visa for 5,000 Dh. Other required documents are independent license, settlement card for Dh2000, UAE phone number, valid medical insurance, original passport and passport photo.

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