Freelance permit
Picture used for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto for

Dubai: Are you a successful freelancer based in the UAE? Or perhaps you want to move to the UAE and continue your freelancing work … the UAE has now introduced a five-year Green Visa, which allows certain categories of workers to apply for the visa without the need to have a UAE-based sponsor.

This visa is part of the revamped UAE visa system, which came into effect from October 3, 2022. Within the Green Visa, once of the categories available is that of freelancers. However, to be eligible, you need to provide a bank statement showing an earning of a minimum of Dh360,000 – or the equivalent amount in another currency – for the past two years. If you breakdown this cost to a monthly earning, it shows that if you were earning an average of Dh15,000 per month for the past two years, you would be eligible for the Green Visa.

If you are interested in applying for this long-term residency in the UAE, here is how you can apply for it through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP), which is the immigration authority that issues visas in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain.

Where can I apply for the Green Visa?

If you wish to start the application process, you can apply for it through:

1. The ICP website –
2. The ICP smartphone application – ‘UAEICP’, which is available for both Apple and Android devices.
3. An ICP customer happiness centre
4. Typing centre accredited with the ICP.

How to apply through the ICP website

Here are the steps to follow if you wish to apply for the Green Visa for freelancers through the ICP website:

1. You first need to visit the ICP website – and under the ‘Services’ tab, click on ‘eChannels Residency & Citizenship’.
2. You will find the option for ‘Visa - Green Residency - Freelancer - Issue new visa’. Click on the ‘Start service’. You will then be directed to a form that you need to fill out with the following details:
• Applicant Information: Here, you will need to enter details like name, mobile number and email address. If you see a section to enter your name in Arabic, simply type your name in English and the system will automatically fill in the name Arabic.
• Identification information: Select if you have a current residency in the UAE, and if so, provide your UID number. Next, select the department from which you want to issue the visa. This refers to the Emirate from which you wish to apply for the visa, so you can select Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm al Quwain.
3. Personal information: Under this section, you will need to provide passport details, details of your educational qualification, and family details.
4. Address: You will be asked to provide your address inside and outside the UAE.
5. Click on ‘Next’. You will then be asked to upload the required documents.
6. Make the payment.

Once you have made the payment, your application will be complete and sent to the ICP. Once the application has been approved, you will receive the visa via email.

Documents required

• Passport copy
• Coloured photograph
• Educational Qualification Certificate
• Bachelors degree or equivalent
• Proof of income – You would need to provide proof that you have made an income of at least Dh360,000 or equivalent currency for the last two years.
• Freelance permit from MOHRE
You may also be asked to provide your National ID from your home country.

How much does the application cost?

According to ICP, here is how much the visa application will cost you:

Request fees - Dh100
Issue fees – Dh100
E-services fees - Dh28
ICP fees - Dh22

While the total cost of the application comes up to Dh250, according to the ICP call centre, this cost is for the visa application only. Once the application is approved, you would also need to pay for the following costs:

Inside country change status – Dh550 (If you are already inside the UAE when you apply for the Green Visa, you will need to apply for the ‘status change’)

Emirates ID – Dh650

Total: Dh1,450

If you apply for the service through a typing centre, you may need to pay additional service charges.