Dubai (UAE) Digital Nomad Visa & Remote Work



Monthly income of $5,000/month.


You can stay in Dubai up to one year initially.

After the first year, you have the option to renew the visa if you still meet the eligibility criteria.


Entrepreneurs, investors, freelancers or employees who work remotely.


Personal income tax at 0% and corporation tax at 9% (since June 2023).

Nomad Visa United Arab Emirates 2024

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands out as one of the few countries in the Middle East that provides a dedicated visa option tailored for digital nomads and remote workers. This initiative opens doors for individuals seeking to live and work remotely in Dubai, renowned as one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities.

Dubai’s vibrant landscape and thriving economy attract a myriad of professionals, from remote workers to business owners. Whether you’re employed by a company located elsewhere or you’re an entrepreneur looking to relocate, Dubai offers ample opportunities under its digital nomad visa program.

Introduced in 2020 by the Dubai government, the Virtual Work Residency Visa caters specifically to overseas remote working professionals and business owners. This visa permits individuals to reside in Dubai for up to a year while continuing their employment or business operations outside the UAE.

The Dubai Virtual Work Residency Visa presents a unique opportunity for digital nomads seeking a change of scenery while maintaining their professional endeavors. This one-year visa term can be extended upon reapplication, provided the applicant fulfills the visa requirements at the end of the initial term.

It’s important to note that the eligibility criteria for this visa may undergo periodic revisions. For instance, there have been recent adjustments to the minimum income requirement, which was raised from USD 3500 in 2022 to USD 5000 in 2023. Given the relatively recent introduction of this visa, there might be instances where government agencies are not fully acquainted with its specifics.

Furthermore, applicants should anticipate potential challenges when dealing with financial institutions. Major banks like ADCB or HSBC might be hesitant to facilitate account opening and credit card applications for individuals under this visa category.

Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Dubai

Eligibility for the Dubai Virtual Work Residency Visa requires meeting certain criteria:

  • You must be a remote worker employed by a company based outside the UAE.
  • Submission of a copy of a long-term contract (minimum one year) is necessary.
  • Your monthly income should exceed USD 5,000.

Entrepreneurs intending to shift to Dubai as digital nomads must own a company situated outside the UAE and furnish documents demonstrating ownership. Additionally, they should maintain a monthly income of USD 5,000 or more.

How to Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for UAE

To apply for the Dubai Virtual Work Residency Visa, you have two options: you can either apply from outside the UAE or while you’re visiting Dubai as a tourist.

In either scenario, having a valid UAE mobile phone number and address is essential for your application. If it’s your first time in Dubai, the simplest approach is to obtain a 30-day or 90-day visa upon arrival and then proceed with your Virtual Work Residency Visa application once you’re in the country. You can check your eligibility for the visa on arrival on the Visit Dubai website.

Once you’re in Dubai and have a valid phone number and temporary address, you can submit your online application for the virtual work ENTRY PERMIT (not visa) on the GDRFAD website, pay the application fees, and await approval.

Upon approval, you must apply for the status change, which can be conveniently done at your nearest AMER center. You can find the location of the AMER center near you by downloading the AMER app for iPhone or Android. The AMER center managers will assist you in changing the status of your entry permit and creating a Virtual Work Residency Visa application on the spot.

During the visa application process, you’ll need to undergo a health check, including a blood test and a chest X-ray, which can typically be completed the same day. The results are usually available within 24 hours. The AMER center managers will arrange a reservation for you at one of the nearest Visa Medical Centers, also known as Medical Fitness Centers.

Once your test results confirm no tuberculosis or AIDS, you’ll receive an email containing your residency document.

Your subsequent step is to apply for an Emirates ID card, which can also be done at the AMER center. The AMER staff will create an application for you and require a valid address for the card delivery. Additionally, you’ll need to undergo a biometrics scan, a mandatory procedure for all Emirates ID card applicants.

The biometrics appointment must be scheduled at one of the centers for ID card services, such as the Al Ghazal Customer Happiness Center. The AMER staff will book the time slot and provide you with necessary instructions. Once this process is complete, you’ll need to wait for your Emirates ID card to be ready, which may take up to two weeks. You can check the status of your Emirates ID on the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security website.

List of the Documents Required

Here’s a list of documents necessary for applying for the Dubai Virtual Work Residency Visa.

Make sure that you upload them in either English or Arabic:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of your remote employment contract valid for one year
  • Monthly income certificate
  • Salary slip for the last month
  • Bank statements in English for the preceding three months
  • Premium travel health insurance with one-year coverage

Please be aware that you can only apply for local health insurance once your Emirates ID is issued. Therefore, you’ll need to acquire one-year PREMIUM travel insurance valid in the UAE. Alternatively, you can opt for global insurance coverage, encompassing the UAE and other countries. Premium coverage is compulsory. You can obtain a one-year insurance plan from well-known digital nomad insurance providers like SafetyWing or Genki. For further details, refer to our top selection of the finest digital nomad insurance plans.

This insurance remains valid until you receive your Emirates ID. Subsequently, when you are no longer classified as a tourist upon Emirates ID issuance, you must obtain local medical insurance. This can be accomplished directly on the insurance provider’s website, such as Orient, or through assistance from an insurance agent and business partner like FIDA Group.

How much does the Digital Nomad Visa for Dubai cost?

Breaking down the costs and timeline for the Digital Nomad Visa in Dubai:

  1. Premium health insurance for entry permit application: USD 2,000
  2. Entry permit fee: AED 1,022.50 (USD 278)
  3. Status change fee: AED 672.50 (USD 183)
  4. Health checkup fee: AED 354 (USD 96)
  5. Visa/Residency fee: AED 393.50 (USD 107)
  6. Emirates ID application fee: AED 341.70 (USD 93)
  7. Biometrics services fee: AED 254.55 (USD 69)


  • Apply for the entry permit upon arrival in Dubai. Although the GRDFAD website states a 3-5 working day processing time for document verification, in practice, it often takes 2-3 weeks and multiple visits to the immigration office. It’s crucial not to overstay your tourist visa/visa on arrival. For instance, citizens of India are granted a tourist visa on arrival for 14 days, Canadians for 30 days, and citizens of the Netherlands for 90 days. Refer to the Visit Dubai website to determine your permitted stay duration without exiting the country.
  • The status change is promptly completed at the AMER center.
  • The health checkup usually takes less than an hour, and results are typically available within 24 hours.
  • Approval for the visa/residency usually follows promptly.
  • Emirates ID processing takes approximately two weeks.

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