The freelance visa application process in the UAE: Learn more about it

freelance visa

The way of doing business in the United Arab Emirates has changed radically in recent years, especially with the implementation of the pandemic caused by COVID-19. Job losses and digital transformation have created a whole new business world characterized by remote negotiations and online transactions. The UAE has been a benchmark for this type of business, for this reason, they have created the freelance visa.

In this article, you will learn about what a freelance visa is, who to apply for one, how you can acquire this visa, and also how we can help you with this process.

  1. What is a UAE freelance visa?
  2. Who can apply for this visa?
  3. How can you obtain a Dubai freelance visa?
  4. Cost of the freelance visa
  5. Benefits of getting a freelance visa in Dubai
  6. Why should you become a freelancer?
  7. How can we help you with the application for your Freelance Visa in Dubai?

1. What is a UAE freelance visa?

The UAE freelance visa is a document delivered by the authorities of the Emirate where you decide to settle. This document allows entrepreneurs to live and work independently in the UAE and must be renewed every three years.

Since 2019, those entrepreneurs interested in working under the freelance modality can do so legally. Professions such as designers, artists, musicians, photographers, tutors, sports coaches, media professionals, among others, can obtain a permit and offer their services throughout the country.

In addition to acquiring the freelance visa to be able to operate in the national territory, you need to obtain a freelance permit. This permit is a work license for freelancers and you must apply for it at one of the licensing authorities in the Emirate.

This visa is quite similar to a UAE residence visa, you will have a pink stamp on your passport and it will be valid for two to three years.

2. Who can apply for this visa?

There are several sectors in which you can apply for this visa, some are the following:

2.1 Media

Those professionals who work in sectors related to Media can obtain this visa. In Dubai, for example, this process is done through Dubai Media City. There are about forty five categories in this sector and professionals can choose any of them.

These categories include the following professions:

  • Cameraman
  • Entertainer
  • Composer
  • Publisher
  • Content provider
  • Journalist
  • Brand consultant
  • Web designer
  • Choreographer
  • Sound engineer
  • Copywriter
  • Web developers, among others

In Abu Dhabi, there are different initiatives to obtain this type of visa and they are valid for two years. However, at our agency, we count with the best professionals who can attend this process for you.

On the other hand, in Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, these types of licenses are also delivered and have an initial cost of AED 6,100.

2.2 Education

In this sector, trainers, executive coaches, education advisors, researchers, e-learning advisors, among other professions, can apply for one of these visas. In the case of Dubai, this process will be carried out through the Dubai Knowledge Park.

Professionals in this sector can apply for their visa through our website. We will take care of each step and make sure that the process is carried out successfully.

For a one-year visa, the price will be AED 2,750 and for a three-year visa, the cost will be AED 5,000. On the other hand, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone also offers freelance permits for educationists, starting at AED 6,100.

2.3 IT professionals

In essence, those freelancers who work in the area of ​​mobile, web, and software development, architecture, analytics and data science, customer service, telecommunication, and IT networking can apply for this type of visa.

2.4 Finance/Banking professionals

Generally, those individuals who specialized in the area of ​​auditing and accounting, consultations in the field of tax, and the consultancy of financial institutions, can obtain their visa with the Department of Economic Development of the respective Emirate.

2.5 Talent Pass

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) in conjunction with the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) has launched what is known as a “Talent Pass”. This visa is valid for three years and includes the rental of an office space. It is aimed at those individuals specialized in art, technology, business consultancy, education, marketing, media, etc.

This visa includes commerce licenses for the export and import of products; an industrial license for packaging and light manufacturing activities; a general commerce license and an e-commerce license for online trading of services and products. Also, this visa offers a license in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development, which allows companies registered in DAFZA to apply for a Department’s license without the need to have an office outside the free zone.

3. How can you obtain a Dubai freelance visa?

The local government has taken the trouble to facilitate the visa application process. For this reason, acquiring this visa is a matter of following a few steps and paying the corresponding fees.

Firstly, before starting your visa application, you must apply for a freelance work permit and the steps to do so are the following:

3.1 Apply for the permit

You can apply for this permit hiring our freelance visa services, you just need to give us the required documents and we will assist you with this process.

Some of the documents that you must submit to receive the Freelance permit are the following:

  • Recent photography
  • Visa and passport copy
  • CV
  • No objection certificate from the UAE sponsor
  • Bank reference letter

Note that if you intend to apply to the educational sector, you must submit a certificate of your qualifications endorsed by the UAE Consulate of your country of origin or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates. Likewise, if you intend to apply to the media sector, you must submit a sample of your work.

If, on the other hand, you decide to apply to the tech sector or the education sector, you will only be able to choose one activity when applying for the permit.

3.2 No objection letter (NOC)

If you are on the visa of your spouse or your parent, you will need a no objection certificate from them before applying for the permit. Likewise, if you are a full-time worker in the United Arab Emirates, you will need a NOC from your employers.

It must be remembered that you will not need to submit a NOC at the time of renewing your work permit.

3.3 Continue with the application

Once you have submitted the application form, you will receive an email notifying you that your work permit has been approved. This mail can take between ten and fifteen days to arrive. After this, you must go to the Department of Economic Development of the chosen Emirate to sign all the documents and pay the fees. Then, you will receive your freelance permit via email.

3.4 Apply for the visa

Once you have received your work permit, you must apply for an establishment card.  Only after you receive your establishment card you can continue with the process of your Dubai freelance visa.

3.5 Complete the visa procedure

Once you have submitted the application for your visa, you will receive an entry permit within five to seven business days. This entry permit is valid for sixty days from the date of issue.

When you already have the entry permit, you must carry out certain residency visa procedures, for example, a medical test. When all the processes are done, your visa will be stamped and will be valid for three years from the date of issue.

4. Cost of the freelance visa

There are different prices between the establishment card, freelance visa, and freelance permit:

  • Establishment card: AED 2,000 (valid for a year)
  • Freelance permit: AED 7,500 (valid for a year)

If you are applying for a visa within the UAE:

  • Regular: AED4,960
  • Express: AED6,340

If you are applying for a visa outside the UAE:

  • Normal: AED 3,330
  • Express: AED 3,900

It must be remembered that the above costs include charges for medical tests, Emirates ID, and visa stamping.

5. Benefits of getting a freelance visa in Dubai

5.1 Sponsorship of dependants

Working under the freelance modality can be unstable in certain situations. However, you can still have your family with you. Once you have your visa ready and meet the salary requirements, you will be able to sponsor your family members (or employees if you are starting a company).

5.2 No book-keeping or auditing

An advantage of freelancers is that they do not need to go through all the paperwork involved in the auditing or bookkeeping of the company, which makes this business model the ideal setup for a new entrepreneur.

5.3 Corporate bank accounts

As shown above, the process to apply for a work permit or a visa is quite simple. Well, the process to open a corporate bank account is just as easy. The United Arab Emirates is home to large and respectable financial institutions (global and local banks) more than ready to welcome freelancers.

Furthermore, if you establish your company in a free zone, you will likely have frequent contact with the most relevant banks in the area, since they will be in charge to attend your needs.

5.4 Wide variety

One of the most attractive aspects for entrepreneurs is the variety of activities that you can focus on in the United Arab Emirates as a freelancer. Freelance permits cover almost all business activities listed in the Department of Economic Development. However, if you want to obtain a work permit in a free zone, your business activity must be closely related to the free zone’s area of ​​focus.

For example, if you want to establish yourself in the Dubai Media City Free Zone, you must work in the media or a related industry.

5.5 No need for office space

Working as a freelancer gives you the freedom to work where you want and when you want. Without the need to settle permanently either on the Mainland or in a Free Zone. With this type of work, you can work from home or rent an office or a desk in one of the free zones.

6. Why should you become a freelancer?

Working under the freelance modality allows you to have the freedom that many conventional jobs cannot allow you. Being a freelancer means setting your schedule, choosing your clients, and working from wherever you want.

With the ever-changing work environment in the UAE, more and more people are drawn to be their own bosses and apply for this visa, as it has become more affordable and accessible for entrepreneurs.

According to studies, the majority of freelancers in the United Arab Emirates work in the field of graphic design, websites, architecture, social media, health and fitness, and software development. Women make up 38% of the UAE’s freelance workforce, while men make up the remaining 62%. And most of them are between twenty-one and thirty years old.

Some of the aspects of being a freelancer are the following:

  • You are free to select the projects you want to work on.
  • The opportunity to explore as many income opportunities as you can.
  • You can enjoy a better work flexibility.

7. How can we help you with the application for your freelance visa in Dubai?

The United Arab Emirates has been characterized, over the years, for being the most important business center in the region. Here, hundreds of entrepreneurs have found the opportunity to establish their companies and achieve all the proposed goals. However, to be a successful entrepreneur in the UAE, you need to comply with a series of regulations related to your legal status in the country. Our job is to make this process easy for you.

At Connect Zone, we will take care of all the paperwork related to your freelance visa application, we can help you get your emirates ID and corporate bank account, and we can also help you choose a workspace in one of the best business centers in the country.

Are you interested in learning more about the freelance visa application process in the UAE? You can contact us at the following number +97143316688 or you can send us an email at Where one of our advisors will answer all the questions you have.

If you are interested in working with us you can send us your CV through or to the following email Remember that your privacy comes first for us, we will not share or save your information.

Steps to obtaining an influencer license in the UAE

influencer license in the UAE

Social media content creation emerged as a vital branch of UAE’s economy in the past 5 years. As a result, the Emirates welcomes with open arms all public figures who want to offer influencer services within its territory. However, it is fundamental for influencers to get a social media influencer license in the UAE to generate more revenue and thrive in the UAE market.

In this article, you will find a complete how-to guide to apply for an influencer license in the UAE in a short time. Also, you will get a closer look at the requirements, profile, and fees to meet further. Likewise:

  1. What is an influencer license?
  2. Why do you need an influencer license?
  3. Who can apply for an influencer license in the UAE?
  4. What is the process to obtain an influencer license in the UAE?
  5. Requirements to get an influencer license in the UAE
  6. The step by step process
  7. How to get a Freelancer Visa before applying for an influencer license?
  8. How can we help you to get an influencer license in a short time?

1. What is an influencer license?

Since the first appearance of social media, many individuals saw an opportunity to reach audiences through the creation of interesting, creative, entertaining content becoming public figures or influencers along the way. These digital content creators also managed their way in the UAE’s financial world by monetizing their images and charging for promoting brands.

In order to regulate the activities of influencers and create a friendlier, transparent business ecosystem within the UAE, the National Media Council (NMC) introduced the influencer license in the UAE in 2018, also known as E-Media license, as a content regulation tool.

That is to say, the influencer license is a protector law for customers who hire social media content creators services to promote products or services. Also, it helps to ensure a safer digital environment for the audience.

On the other hand, it is mandatory for influencers to obtain this permission if they want to offer their services in the UAE territory. Otherwise, working as an influencer without it may result in a fine.

2. Why do you need an influencer license?

The United Arab Emirates is a financial and technological hub par excellence. Thanks to its booming digital market, establishing yourself as an influencer in the UAE is a great opportunity to develop yourself as a social media content creator in one of the countries promoting this new style of work.

However, to make a profit it is necessary to get an influencer license. In addition, by applying for an e-media permit, you will be able to:

  • Meet and work with local and foreign agencies/clients
  • Have access to accessible spaces and work teams
  • Operate legally in any of the Free Zone or Mainland of the UAE
  • Position yourself in the social media market and generate more income

2.1 Is it mandatory for all influencers to obtain a license to work in the UAE?

On the other hand, not all influencers are required to obtain an E-media license to work freely in the UAE. For example, a vlogger (a creator of videos for social media) who does not generate revenue but receives free products in exchange for reviews on any of his or her channels is not required to obtain an influencer license to work freely in the UAE.

However, an influencer who promotes a brand’s products or services through his or her personal networks and generates revenue from it must take out a social media influencer license in order to avoid fines.

2.2 What is the price of the fine for operating without the influencer permit?

Despite the fact that the influencer career is one of the most sought-after within the UAE, offering influencer services on social media without the proper paperwork can result in a fine.

The NMC has a team keeping a close eye on new entrepreneurs. Those who do not follow the correct guidelines must pay a fine of AED 5,000. However, there is always a wake-up call first.

2.3 General requirements

Before starting the process to obtain the influencer license in the UAE, there are some conditions and rules you need to meet. For example, it is possible to apply more easily if you have a freelance permit.

Also, social media content creators allied directly with the NMC or working in a marketing company registered with the NMC are also not required to obtain a license. Finally, influencers who receive free gifts or products in exchange for trademark exposure are not required to apply for a license.

Of the rest, influencers who receive payments for promoting products, services on social networks must obtain their license. Another important point to know is that, unlike the Freelance permit, those individuals who hold an E-Media license are not eligible to obtain a residential visa. It is important to note that the license is only granted to influencers living in the UAE.

Therefore, it is necessary that you apply for a freelancer visa before you apply.

3. Who can apply for an influencer license in the UAE?

Individuals who create content for mainstream social media, blogging, and video blogging (vlogging) can apply for an influencer license in the UAE, it is essential to meet a specific profile so that your application is not rejected. Among things to consider are:

  • Being a citizen or resident of the UAE
  • Being over 25 years old
  • Having a verifiable good reputation
  • Not being involved in any scandal or crime of dishonesty
  • Having proof of received endorsement for brand promotion

4.  What is the process to obtain an influencer license?

To obtain your influencer license in the UAE, you must first obtain a trade license or freelancer permit in the free zone of your choice. Both processes are simple and inexpensive. However, firstly, you must know there are three different categories through which you can obtain an influencer license in the UAE. Among them are:

  • If a content creator wishes to work solo, he/she can get an individual influencer license. However, in order to do so, he/she must have a mandatory trade license.
  • The second option is to obtain a collective E-Media License. That is, a group of content creators can form a company and apply for an influencer license further.
  • Lastly, you can obtain an influencer license in the UAE by joining an agency certified by the NMC. However, there is a limiting requirement. The influencer cannot work with other agencies.

4.1 Why do you need a trade license to become a successful influencer in the UAE?

While the trade license allows individuals and companies to trade goods and services within the Emirati market the influencer license has a different function. To clarify, the E-media license allows content creators to promote brands and generate revenue by making use of social media legally.

For influencers who choose this option, the process may be a bit longer. However, it is a fundamental requirement according to the NMC status. Therefore, obtaining a trade license will allow you to establish a company further and operate freely.

5. Requirements to get an influencer license in the UAE

Now, going into the process of how to get an influencer license in the UAE there are some documents that you need to submit further such as:

  • Application form duly filled out
  • A copy of the influencer’s passport
  • Emirates ID
  • Two-color passport sized photographs
  • Copy of influencer’s visa
  • Trade license copy
  • Tenancy contract (if needed)
  • Title deed (if applicable)

5.1 Duration and cost

Obtaining an E-Media license is a cost-effective way to work in the UAE. Therefore, the cost of the influencer license is not expensive. However, the price may vary depending on the Emirate.

The approximate cost is between AED 5,750 and AED 11,900. Nevertheless, it is cheaper to get an E-media license in a Free Zone such as Sharjah Free Zone, Ajman Media City Free Zone, or Dubai Media City.

Also, the permit has an availability of 12 months and it is possible to renew it. On the other hand, the waiting time is short. To clarify, you can have your license in around a week.

6. The step by step process

Similarly, the entire process is done through the National Media Council website, which takes about 15-20 minutes.

The first step to obtaining your influencer license in the UAE is to choose a jurisdiction that suits your goals, needs, and purposes. One of the most recommended emirates is Dubai thanks to its wide variety of Free Zones that support the freelancer lifestyle and the training of new content creators.

Next, go to the website and fill out the form. Make sure to double-check and fill in all the required fields with the correct information. Third, you must submit the requested documents to the authorities of the Free Zone you chose to make sure everything is in order.

Finally, pay the fees to obtain your influencer license. Remember that these may vary according to the Free Zone.

7. How to get a Freelancer Visa before applying for an influencer license?

One of the prerequisites to obtain an influencer license is to be a UAE resident. The best option to obtain a residency visa in a short time for foreign social media content creators and bloggers/vloggers is to apply for a freelancer visa.

This is a special visa that allows individuals to work, live and establish a business in the UAE focusing on areas such as Tech, Education, and, most importantly, Media. In addition, it can be renewed every three years. Also, freelancer visas can cost between AED 5,000 and AED 7,500 depending on the package you choose.

The entire process is made through the Free Zone authority website. To obtain a freelancer visa, it is necessary:

  • Apply online for the Freelancer Visa
  • Submit a copy of your resume, a recent photograph, a copy of your passport, a bank reference letter, and your sponsor’s NOC
  • Wait 10 to 15 days to receive approval by email
  • Finally, you will have an approximate period of time to enter the country so that you can sell your passport for the next 3 years

8. How can we help you get an influencer license in a short time?

Starting an influencer career in the UAE with the right permissions will allow you to enter into a vast market of digital creation, reaching new and bigger foreign and local enterprises. If you are planning to get an influencer license soon, at Connect Zone we are more than ready to help you in the process

We are experts in providing information and business setup, offering multiple business centers available to provide a physical space for your company. Also, we have different VAT and TAX consultancy services to help you in the post-business setup process.

Would you like to contact Connect Zone to get help with the influencer license in the UAE? In case you have any questions, call us on +971 43 316 688. Likewise, you can email us at, and you will talk to one of our representatives who will answer your questions.

Attach your CV or resume to to receive more information. Likewise, there is no need to worry, your personal information will not be stored or shared.