How to start a business in Dubai with a Freelancer Visa?

How to start a business in Dubai with a Freelancer Visa

Among many things, Dubai is widely known as a worldwide hub of businesses; but the large multinationals are just a small part of this revolutionary city. That is to say, for every Microsoft or Google, there is an entrepreneur doing important steps in this beautiful emirate. And if you are looking to, you can start a business with a Dubai freelance visa.

In this article, we will ensure you learn everything regarding the process of starting a business with a freelance visa in the country. In addition, we will welcome you and support the business environment awaiting you. On the other hand, starting out as an independent worker in the UAE is easy if you follow the right guidance. Let’s observe:

  • Who is eligible to freelance in the UAE?
  • What do you need to start working as a freelancer?
  • Dubai employment visa
  • Process of acquiring a freelancer visa
  • AXS Platform
  • Starting a business with the freelancer visa
  • How can ConnectFreelancer assist you to start a business with a Dubai freelance visa?

Who is eligible to freelance in the UAE?

Certainly, there are 3 career paths that allow you to freelance in; media-, education-, and tech-related sectors. For instance, if you are a web or mobile developer, advertiser, journalist, screenwriter, researcher, eLearning advisor, PR, or you find yourself in any of those sectors, you are well placed.

That is to say, the government of the country, specifically the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), declared that all citizens of the country, non-residents, and residents can apply for this type of Freelance Work permit and visa in the UAE. That is to say, this implementation aims to create several job opportunities in the country diversifying the business sector.

However, with the new license regulations, independent workers will be able to practice 48 different types of business activities. On the other hand, these licenses were issued only to UAE nationals.

Further, the freelance license will allow companies and organizations to access the experience and expertise of the local market. In addition, this will allow the workers the flexibility to work remotely from authorized locations. That is to say, the freelance law states that the freelancer does not need office space and can apply for the residency visa for both themselves and their relatives.

In order to apply, the applicant must prove their skillset. However, if the independent activity is similar to their employment position; they must obtain permission from their employer before applying for the license.

What do you need to start working as a freelancer?

In order to work as a freelancer in Dubai, you need to acquire a work permit and a residency visa. Therefore, you can obtain this visa from any of the free zones such as:

  • Dubai Production City.
  • Abu Dhabi’s twofour54.
  • Dubai Media City.
  • Ajman Free zone.
  • Fujairah Creative City.
  • Dubai Knowledge Park.
  • Dubai Design District.
  • Ras Al Khaimah Economic Free Zone.
  • Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone.
  • Dubai Studio City.

Similarly, costs for the freelance permit tend to vary and can head up to DHS 19,000. In addition, you must renew the permit every year. Moreover, the government introduced in 2018 a new system with Dubai’s TECOM Group, partnering also with Dubai Creative Cluster Authority. That is to say, now we can apply on your behalf for this permit, lowering massively the previously mentioned cost.

Further, this permit allows applicants to sponsor their family members and relatives. This is aiming to attract highly-skilled individuals in the region; by making it simpler and more affordable to acquire. According to the government, they implemented this measure due to the “growth of the free business economy” and are aiming to “allow independent entrepreneurs and professionals to start your careers in the city and make the most of their talents and abilities”.

That is to say, you only need a passport, a business plan, and a visa. However, if you are already residing in the country under a spouse’s or parent’s visa, you do not need to apply for a new visa; you can apply directly for a Freelance Visa go here. In the same vein, you need a no objection certificate (NOC) from your sponsor. If not, you must go through the traditional process to acquire a visa.

Dubai employment visa

All individuals who are not currently an employee or who do not possess a business trade license must acquire a freelance visa. All individuals receiving any income, from any business activity; must acquire the right license in order to operate legally in Dubai. However, the right license depends on the services provided and the occupation of the applicant.

In the same vein, there are various options depending on the current business activity and if the visa is required in addition to the license. On the other hand, several free trade zones are offering freelance visas for the mentioned activities; mainly in the education, media, and tech fields.

However, the process of acquiring a freelance visa on your own is time-consuming and exhausting. There are many processes you need to complete, documents you need to supply, and application forms you need to fill out.

Similarly, as we mentioned earlier, but some basic documents you need to supply is your passport, a NOC from your sponsor (if required), education certificates, bank reference, and examples of work or portfolio depending on your type of activity. In ConnectFreelancer we take care of this process on your behalf.

On the other hand, you must have in mind that the application process is an investment, but the costs will vary from application to application. The good news is that the application costs and fees have decreased over the past decade.

You can expect to pay from DHS 7,600 for the whole package (permit and visa) from TECOM unless you are already sponsored by your parents or spouse. That is to say, in that case, you would be paying DHS 1,400 per year for the license. This permit has allowed many individuals to work for themselves on a part-time basis, offering several services, at a low cost.

Process of acquiring a freelancer visa

Before deciding to make the application, you can make explore and ensure if you are eligible to obtain the freelance permit for the type of business and start a business with a Dubai freelance visa. Similarly, when you start this process, you will discover the exact requirements will vary, and not being prepared will lead to delays. And if you decide to do the process on your own, you must sort out the insurance process, which is very costly and expensive.

However, in ConnectFreelancer we offer you the right guidance that will ensure you acquire the freelance permit and visa skipping the usual month this process takes.

On the other hand, all applicants must undertake the following steps:

  • Choose one of the previously mentioned to which suit your needs.
  • Successfully fill out the application form along with a copy of your ID and valid passport.
  • Submit the necessary documents including your business plan and certified copy of academic certificates.
  • Provide bank statements showing a satisfactory bank record.
  • Receive the customer confirmation from the government bodies in charge; after that, sign it and send it back.
  • Pay all the application fees and ensure you receive the voucher.
  • After the application has been approved and the payment confirmed, the government will issue the freelance license in approximately 10 working days.

In addition, as we mentioned earlier, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is required if the foreign national is on their parent’s or their spouse’s visa. Similarly, the NOC is mandatory if the applicant is under full employment. That is to say, full-time working freelancers must submit a NOC from the company to successfully complete the application process.

Holders of the freelancer visa receive many advantages the UAE nationals have, here is an article about the benefits you obtain with a freelancer visa.

AXS Platform

The AXS platform grants access to several corporate and government services so you can start a business with a Dubai freelance visa. Similarly, through the AXS platform, independent workers must apply for an immigration establishment card first; that is to say, applicants must bear the additional cost of AED2500. However, after obtaining the immigration establishment card first, the individuals can apply for Dubai’s Freelancer Employment Visa through the DDA (Dubai’s Development Authority).

Similarly, after the visa application is successfully completed, the individuals will receive an entry permit allowing them to enter the country for 60 days from the date of issue. That is to say, after successfully completing the final residency visa procedures including biometric registration and medical tests; the individuals will receive their freelancer visa. In the same vein, you must have in mind that Dubai’s Freelancer Employment Visa has a 3-year validity.

Dubai’s Freelancer Employment Visa fee ranges from AED 3400 to AED 6340 depending on the type (express or normal) and where the applicant is located (outside or within the UAE mainland).

Starting a business with the freelancer visa

Firstly, there are several misconceptions when it comes to freelancing. That is to say, Freelancers must never discount themselves, they are every bit as valuable and important as an agency. Therefore, freelancers are crucial in a business, and they must ensure they value themselves accordingly; this will allow their clients to know their value.

Similarly, they must expand this belief to their payment policy because it is so important for your individual business; we recommend asking for 50% of the payment upfront, and 75% by midway, and so on.

Secondly, you as a freelancer must ask yourself if you want to create a scalable business or a lifestyle. Further, both options may be compatible but it is crucial to remember that saving/making money over the long term is not the only thing you must worry about. Structuring and planning in a way that your business supports your personal comfort, growth, well-being without becoming an obstacle to you are more important than it may seem.

That is to say, that is why it is a great option to validate your business model with our professionals; other perspectives will provide solutions to issues and co-create with new ideas.

Thirdly, if you need funding to sustain/start a business with a Dubai freelance visa is also a crucial matter. In the same vein, this is an important question because your income must not obstacle your vision and goals. Therefore, you must think and consider realistically if you can achieve better results with funding or without.

If you want to keep learning, we have an in-depth article about how you can achieve your dreams in Dubai and the UAE with a Freelance visa.

How can ConnectFreelancer assist you to start a business with a Dubai freelance visa?

We understand that the Covid-19 outbreak changed and shaped the future of business and thus; independent workers are also known as freelancers. That is to say, we are aware that finding a job in the country in this pandemic world can be a grueling task; more so, if you do not have the right guidance of business professionals like us.

That is to say, in Connect Freelancer we will guide you through all the processes of acquiring a freelancer visa in the UAE. In addition, we provide valuable guidance when you want to start a business with a Dubai freelance visa.

On the other hand, our different services are focused on helping both companies and workers within the UAE. That is to say, we are the principal bridge between the brightest independent workers and companies in the UAE. In addition, our hub of top freelancers is the best way to empower and connect both parties (companies and workers).

Would you like to contact us to receive additional information about how we can assist you to obtain a freelance visa in the UAE and starting your own business in Dubai?

If you want to receive additional information about this process, or if you just have additional inquiries; you can contact us either:

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