Dubai: If you are on a dependent visa in the UAE – whether on the sponsorship of your spouse or your parent – does it affect your eligibility for applying for a freelance work permit? A Gulf News reader wrote in asking the query.
He said: “My wife got a job offer in Abu Dhabi. My 10-year-old daughter and I want to join her, on her sponsorship. I understand that under the dependent visa, the husband cannot work since he should be on a company visa. But, I came across the Gulf News article on the Abu Dhabi freelancer licence. Could I apply for this and work as a consultant, while on a dependent visa? I have 15 years of experience in IT and banking along with a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification, among others. I prefer the freelance route, to work as an independent consultant. Also, I wanted to purchase a good medical insurance for my daughter and me. How can I go about it? Please advise.”
What is the freelance permit offered by Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development?
In November 2020, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) announced a freelancer licence, which is available to UAE citizens, residents and non-residents. The work permit not only allows the holder to legally work in the UAE as a freelancer, but they can also apply for their family’s and their UAE visa, if they wish to do so.
The license cost is Dh530, and it is valid for two years.
Can I apply for the permit while on my spouse’s visa?
Gulf News spoke with Jade Wong, a business consultant with PRO Partner Group in Abu Dhabi, who said that being on a dependent visa should not lead to any problems if a person wishes to apply for a freelance permit.
“It is possible to apply for the Abu Dhabi freelance permit whilst remaining on a spouse visa. Once the spouse visa expires, the person will then need to transfer to their own Abu Dhabi investor visa,” Wong said.
It is possible to apply for the Abu Dhabi freelance permit whilst remaining on a spouse visa. Once the spouse visa expires, the person will then need to transfer to their own Abu Dhabi investor visa
Is it suitable for my occupation type?
When an economic authority or a free zone offers a freelance work permit, they also provide a list of business activities that the freelancer needs to select from, based on the nature and scope of their work.
“The activities offered by Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development are all consultancy related. For example, the reader could consider the activities of banking services or information technology consultancy, given their experience,” Wong said.
What is the best health insurance option?
If your visa is issued from the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it is mandatory to have medical insurance coverage. However, even if your visa is issued from any of the other emirates, getting a health insurance is always recommended, as healthcare costs can become a significant financial burden in emergencies or chronic conditions.
“If you are applying for your spouse’s or family’s visa, once the Emirates ID application process and medical test have been completed, you would then need to purchase a health insurance coverage before you can apply for the visa to be stamped on your passport,” Sardar Ali, public relations officer at Al Ain-based Saifee Typing Services told Gulf News.
A basic policy is the minimum requirement for Abu Dhabi residents, and that comes to around Dh951 per year.
The cost of the health insurance would vary depending on various factors like pre-existing or chronic conditions as well as the extent of coverage you need.
“The insurance company quotes the price for the insurance premium based on the person’s age, gender or any pre-existing disease declarations, as well as the opted benefits and coverage of healthcare facilities that the applicant has opted for,” Vikas Katoch, Chief Operating Officer of UAE-based Right Health Holdings, said.
“A basic policy is the minimum requirement for Abu Dhabi residents, and that comes to around Dh951 per year. This must be taken within 14 working days from when the person has entered the country or applied for the ‘change of status’. Residents always have the option to opt for the Enhanced policy, which enhanced benefits and network coverage. This usually ranges from Dh1,500 to Dh2,000 a year, but can go higher based on age, gender, network or pre-existing conditions,” Katoch added.
So, to get the right health insurance you would need to consider various factors like the hospitals or doctors that you usually visit, and whether they are included in the network plan, as well as your budget and any special coverage you might need for pre-existing conditions.