Does the non-compete clause apply to freelancers in the UAE?
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Dubai: If you want to practise freelancing in Dubai and become a long-term resident in the UAE, you can apply for the new five-year Green Visa, which allows you to work and live in Dubai without needing a UAE-based sponsor.

The new Green Visa is part of the UAE’s new visa system, which came into effect this week. This new long-term visa also allows freelancers to not only sponsor their first-degree relatives but also stay on in the UAE for up to six months after their visa gets cancelled. Here are the details of how you can apply for one.

What is the Green Visa for Freelancers?

Before you start applying for the visa, it is important to know that there are a few conditions that you must meet. This includes having a work permit as a freelancer from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Also, you need to have established yourself as a freelancer in the UAE or outside the UAE, as one of the requirements for the visa is to show proof of income of at least Dh360,000 for the last two years. So, if you have been earning a steady income of Dh15,000 for the past two years as a freelancer, you would be eligible for the long-term permit.

The Green Visa application for Dubai is essentially a work entry visa that allows freelancers and professionals to stay in Dubai for 60 days from entry until the completion of the necessary residency permit procedures.

Where do I apply for the Freelancer Green Visa in Dubai?

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) is the authority responsible for issuing visas in the Emirate of Dubai and you can apply for the visa in the following ways:

• Online through the GDRFA Dubai website - or

• Through an Amer Centre – which processes Dubai visa and residency applications on behalf of GDRFA.

On the other hand, if you wish to apply for the visa through any other Emirate apart from Dubai, you can do so by reaching out to the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP). To know more, read our detailed guide here.

How much does the visa cost?

The Green Visa application costs Dh335.75. However, if you are in the UAE when the permit is issued, you will need to pay an additional amount of Dh650 for the ‘inside country status change’.

This cost does not include the cost for medical fitness test and Emirates ID application. You will need to pay for that separately. 

Documents required

• Passport copy
• Coloured photograph
• Proof of income – minimum Dh360,000 or equivalent in other currency for the last two years
• Freelancing permit from Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

How do I apply for the visa?

You can apply for the visa online through the or visit an Amer Centre.


1. You first need to visit the GDRFA website –, where you will see a button for ‘Entry permits’ under the ‘Services’ section on the home page.

2. Click on ‘New Visa Services’ and click the ‘Issuing Entry Permit for Green Residence (Self-Employment)’ application.

3. Click on ‘Start service’, after which you will be directed to the login page. Select ‘individuals’ from the tab on the top of the screen, and then log in using your GDRFA online account details if you have an existing account, or tap on ‘Register now’ if you want to create a new account. You can also log in using your UAE Pass account if you already have one.

4. Once you have logged in, you will be redirected to your personal dashboard on GDRFA. Click on the green ‘New application’ button, and then once again select the ‘Issuing Entry Permit for Green Residence (Self-Employment)’.

5. You will then be asked to fill out an application form with your personal details and contact information. You will also be asked to verify your qualification, profession and fill in your passport details.

6. Click on ‘Next’. You will then be asked to upload the required documents for the visa.

7. Make the payment.

8. Once you have made the payment, your application will be complete and sent to GDRFA.

According to the GDRFA website, a text message and e-mail will be sent to you with the status of the application. If there are any missing documents, you will be notified to attach them within 30 days, and if they are not attached, the request will be automatically canceled.

If your application is approved, you will receive the visa via email.

Amer Centre:

1. Head to one of the Amer service centers, you can find the complete list here by visiting this link:

2. Ask for the Green Visa for freelancers application at the reception.

3. Next, fill in the application and attach the required documents and submit the application to the Amer Centre employee.

4. Pay the fees due for the service.

5. Receive the entry visa via e-mail.