I just went through process of getting a Freelance Permit and the visa to accompany that and I had to go through a few twists and turns as I learned about the process and accomplished getting my new visa. I did my freelance permit through Sajeev (firstname.lastname@example.org
contact number +971 55 694 2016) at FMA Accounting & Auditing (https://www.fmaaudit.com/
) and they in turn used Al Baraka Typing Center to assist with the Immigration formalities. The whole process was done through RAKEZ (https://rakez.com/en/
) and almost all of the process was done online without the need to visit their office. It was smooth, logical and straightforward.
One of the limitations of the freelance permit is you cannot open a corporate bank account and you do not get any office space. If these 2 are not needed for those working from home in a gig economy this type of visa is perfect.
The total cost came to about AED 19,000 for a 2 year freelance permit + one visa for 2 years (including all payments made to typing center).
Note : The amounts and process below is as when I did it in September 2021 and can change and be different when you are applying for it.
Approval for Freelance Permit
For the approval of the freelance permit you would require the following documents
- Current visa copy
- Passport copy of applicant
- NOC from employer whose visa you currently are on. This NOC is needed only if you have dependent visas and need to move them into hold status before cancelling your visa.
We do not have any objection to issue a Freelance Permit to <applicant name>, Passport Number <passport no>.
This NOC is being given for the smooth transfer of visa from <current employer> to the Freelance Permit.
<applicant> has confirmed that the visa with <current employer> will be cancelled and moved to the freelance permit as soon as the permit is issued.
- Signed application form (Standard RAKEZ form)
- Payment of fees of AED 14035 once the application form is submitted
- Declaration authorizing third party to represent you (standard RAKEZ form). If you are using someone to do the process.
The approval will take a couple of days and you will be issued the following
- Freelance Permit License (will be emailed to you)
- Establishment Card (will be emailed to you)
- Login to the e-portal of RAKEZ
Holding Dependent Visas
Before you cancel your visa, if there are any dependent visas on your visa, you can put them on hold with Immigration by paying a deposit of AED 2500 for each dependent visa. For the holding of dependent visas the following documents are needed.
- Original passport of applicant and dependents
- Emirates ID
- Freelance Permit License and Establishment card
- Current employer license and establishment card
- Deposit 2500 + pro fees will come (AED 150) for each dependent
You will need to wait to get confirmation that the dependent visas are on hold (PRO/Typing Center can confirm). Payment receipts have to be got for each dependent visa put on hold.
Cancel your visa
Hand over your passport to the current employer to cancel the visa. Process should take a couple of days.
- Original Passport
- Payment receipt of putting the dependent visas on hold
You will receive a paper confirming that the visa is cancelled.
Apply for e-visa
You would now need to apply for the new visa on the freelance permit. The documents required are
- Payment of AED 4700 (including visa, status change, emirates id and medical test)
They will then issue an e-visa. Once the e-visa is issued the PRO/Typing Center applied for a status change, application for emirates id and medical test.
Medical test Get a copy of the medical test application and proceed to the health center to get the medical test done. You will receive a copy of the results as an SMS within 24 hours. They usually have fast track counters which you have to pay additional AED 45 at the center to use.
Get visa on the passport
For getting the visa on the passport you will require
- Original Passport
- Medical report (received as link on SMS)
- Tenancy contract of your residence
- Translated copy of your degree certificate
- Signed Employment Contract
You will receive by email the printed visa and a couple of days later that visa on your passport.
Refund of the deposit of dependent visas
Once the visa is issued on the passport, you have to apply for the refund of the deposit of the dependent visas that was paid earlier. This is done by the PRO/Typing Center. On approval you are issued a refund request with a bar code on it. You would have to go to immigration with the following documents to receive the refund
- Original Passport with the visa
- Emirates Id
- Deposit Refund request
This needs to be collected within 1 month of keeping the dependent visa on hold.
Receipt of Emirates Id About 1 week after the visa is issued you will receive your new emirates id by mail.