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Updated August 2023

As a direct impact of the coronavirus pandemic, many readily adapted to the new requirements of remote working by setting up their homes to accommodate their work. Some, however, took this a bit further by packing up their laptops, and phones and taking their work on the road as digital nomads.

Dubai, with its cosmopolitan appeal and established digital infrastructure, naturally becomes one of the most sought-after destinations for these digital nomads to ply their trade.

The Remote Work Visa UAE readily facilitates these remote workers to live and work in Dubai and the UAE. Here’s all you need to know about the Remote Work Visa UAE.

What is the UAE Remote Work Visa?

Dubai’s Remote Work Visa is formally known as the Virtual Working Programme (VWP). The arrangement allows holders to relocate to Dubai from outside the UAE and legally work for their current company or organization remotely.

What are the benefits of the UAE Remote Work Visa?

Apart from granting holders of the visa a legal standing to live and work in the UAE, the Remote Work Visa additionally grants foreign remote workers access to all the standard services that residents benefit from, including banking services, utilities, and even schooling.

The visa holders are also permitted to leave the country and return to the UAE multiple times. However, be advised that staying out of the UAE for six months or more will automatically render the visa nullified. 

Remote workers may enter Dubai under self-sponsorship and are eligible for zero income tax.

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Who should apply for the UAE Remote Work Visa

Any eligible foreign national who is able to do their work remotely is welcome to apply for the VWP.

The Remote Work Visa is specifically designed to facilitate remote workers, entrepreneurs, as well as other location-independent individuals with the inclination to live and work in Dubai. Should your application to live in Dubai be approved by the UAE, you may even bring your family along.

What are the requirements for the UAE Remote Work Visa?

The requirements are as follows:

  • A passport with a validity period of at least six 6 months
  • A health insurance policy valid in the UAE
  • Employees are required to provide the following:
    – proof of employment from their current employer with a one-year contract
    – a minimum of USD 5,000 per month salary
    – the latest payslip along with a bank statement for the preceding three months
  • Business owners are required to provide the following:
    – proof of ownership of the company for one year or more
    – an average monthly income of USD 5,000
    – a bank statement detailing the income of the preceding three

How do I apply for the UAE Remote Work Visa?

To apply for the Remote Work Visa online, log onto the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFAD) portal. Create a username and password and then choose the service required labelled ‘Golden Visa’. Submit the required documents and pay the fees.

Eligible individuals can apply for the Remote Work Visa even from outside the country. They do not need to be present in the UAE while making the application.

How to apply from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and the Northern Emirates?

People looking to apply from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, and Ras Al Khaimah must submit their request on the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) website and obtain a 60-day entry permit.

Here is a step-by-step process to apply:

  • Register on the ICA website – https://icp.gov.ae.
  • Go to the smart services channel and log in.
  • Choose the remote work visa UAE option.
  • Upload the documents, submit them and pay a fee of Dh300.

ICA officers will approve the applications. The Dh300 cost is only the application fee and people may have to pay more when they come to the UAE.

Is the UAE Remote Work Visa extendable?

The Remote Work Visa is only available for one year, and it is extendable in the sense that you may apply for the VWP consecutive times. You would need to restart the process as detailed above. 

What is the price of the UAE Remote Work Visa?

The fee for a Remote Work Visa in UAE was USD 287 per applicant until now. However, as confirmed by a customer care agent at the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP), the prices for all types of UAE and Dubai visas have now increased. As of now, there are no price changes in the visit visas issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai.

Keep in mind that you mandatorily have to obtain an insurance policy and will be liable for processing and Emirates ID fees. The fee for the Emirates ID too has increased from AED 270 to AED 370.

Please note that completing the processing fee does not guarantee approval of the application.

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