Frequently Asked Questions

1. If I currently have a full time job, can I apply for a freelance permit only?

Yes, you just need to provide a NOC letter from your sponsor and/or employer.

2. Am I allowed to work for a company, or in a companys premises, with my freelance permit?

You may work as an independent contractor with that company and from that company’s premises in the free zone.

3. What are the boundaries of working? E.g. Can I only work in the TECOM free zone or outside the free zone as well?

You can work from the TECOM free zones.

4. Am I allowed to register for VAT?

If you are making between AED 187,500 per year and AED 375,000 per year then you may register for VAT if you choose to. If you make more than AED 375,000 per year, you must register for VAT. For more information, please visit https://government.ae/en/information-and-services/finance-and-investment/taxation/valueaddedtaxvat

If you don’t register, it’s always a good idea to keep good accounts just in case the policy changes in the future.

5. Do I need to show my bank details or a yearly audit report at the time of renewal?

No. In fact, we do not require you to do an annual audit of your financial accounts as a freelancer. Again, it would be advisable to keep accurate accounts in case this status changes at a later stage.

6. What about the sponsor NOC? What does that mean?

If you are sponsored and employed by another company, and you decide to leave that company in order to obtain the freelance permit, the company will need to issue a release letter of no objection (NOC) for you to apply for the freelance permit. If you have already cancelled your visa then the NOC will not be required; only the visa cancellation page.

If you are sponsored by your spouse or parent to reside in the UAE, you only need a letter of no objection (NOC) from them. You are not required to change your visa status.

7. Can I sponsor any employees?

No, you can’t hire or sponsor any employees via your freelance permit.

8. Can I sponsor my dependents?

Yes! After your visa has been stamped, you can apply for residence visa for your dependents via axs (this excludes residence visas for domestic workers which needs to be applied for outside of the axs).

9. Can I convert from regular freelance permit to Gofreelance?

Yes, you can, upon the renewal of your current regular freelance package.

10. Can I transfer from my current visa to a Gofreelance visa?

Generally yes, depending on where the visa has been issued. For more details, please contact the axs call centre on 800-4297.

11. Whats the validity of the freelance permit?

The permit is renewable on an annual basis.  

12. Am I allowed to use a company name?

No. The freelance permit is issued under your name only.

13. What name will appear on my cheques?

The cheques will have your name, and all the transactions will be carried out under your name only.

14. Who will be my point of contact if I need to follow up on my application status?

Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City or Dubai Knowledge Park.

15. If the person is outside the country and has an approved freelance permit via email, can they then apply for a visa through axs?

Yes. First you need to visit the website and apply online. After you have been approved, the permit has been paid for and you have received your permit via e-mail, you can then apply for a visa.

16. What are the type of freelance activities and where can I view them?

At present we have tech, media and education activities. For a complete list of activities, please click here.

17. Does the AED 7,500 fee include a visa?

No. This is just the cost for the permit.

18. How much time will it take to get the permit?

Once your application has been approved, it should take between 10 – 15 working days. 

19. How can I apply?

To apply, click here and fill in your details with the following documents:

For media activities:

  • Application Form
  • Passport copy  
  • Visa copy (if you are applying from within the UAE)
  • Sponsor’s NOC (if you are applying for a permit and have a current residence visa)
  • Portfolio or sample of work (online link or PDF)

For tech activities:

  • Application Form
  • Passport copy  
  • Visa copy (if you are applying from within the UAE)
  • Sponsor’s NOC (if applying for a permit and you have a current residence visa)

For education activities:

  • Application Form
  • Passport copy  
  • Visa copy (if you are applying from within the UAE)
  • Sponsor’s NOC (if applying for a permit and you have a current residence visa)
  • Credentials and certificates

20. How do I pay for the permit once approved?

You can visit the co-working space and make the payment using cash, credit card or by cheque. Once the payment is issued, it will be sent to your email as an electronic permit.

21. Can I apply for a residence visa? What is the cost of the residence visa?

  1. Yes you can. As required by the DNRD, you will need to apply for an establishment card first which costs AED 2,000 (to be renewed annually).
  2. Once you get the establishment card, you may apply for a residence visa.
  3. The standard residence visa is for 3 years. The below cost excludes health insurance but is inclusive of:
    1. Visa stamping
    2. Medical test
    3. Emirates ID
  4. If you are applying from outside the UAE then the residence visa cost will be:
    1. AED 3,330 (Normal)
    2. AED 3,900 (Express)
  5. If you are applying from within the UAE then the residence visa cost will be:
    1. AED 4,960 (Normal)
    2. AED 6,340 (Express)
  6. You need to apply for a UAE health insurance separately as part of the residence visa process. for assistance, please call axs on 8004297.

22. Once I have the freelance permit and visa, can I request for various letters?

If you are sponsored for residence through DDA (formely known as DCCA), then you can request for a salary certificate, NOC, consulate and embassy letters, NOC for driving license as well as other letters.

23. When applying for my salary certificate, what amount do I declare?

For the purpose of getting a salary certificate you will need to provide an estimate on what your expected salary could be. This certificate may be required for opening a bank account or sponsoring your dependents.

24. Do I then need to put the same amount into my bank account?

It is not necessary to deposit the same amount into your bank account.

25. What are the timings of the co-working space?

The co-working space is open 24x7, 365 days a year.

26. Do Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Park run networking events during the year?

Yes, they run a series of networking events.