Independent contracting in UAE isn’t straightforward. You’ve got immigration issues, tax difficulties, and mountains of complex admin work. Even worse, missteps can cost you serious money, or even land you in legal trouble.
Before you consider taking a contract in UAE, you should be aware of what you’re getting into – and how you can make it simpler.
In order to work in the UAE, you need a Residence Permit. The permit is issued by the immigration department to a foreign national after receiving approval from the Ministry of Labour. Every applicant* is required to apply for an entry permit which is issued before the consultants arrival, as part of the Residence Visa application.
*Exceptions - Citizens of Arab Gulf Co-operation (GCC) member states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) do not require entry permits or Residence Visas. Our UAE Umbrella Company partner will manage the entire Residence Permit and Entry Visa process on your behalf.
There is no personal income tax or social security for foreign nationals in the UAE but all salaries must be paid on a monthly basis through our partners local pay-roll through the Wage Protection System (WPS) as required by the Ministry of Labour and the Central Bank.
How Umbrella Companies in UAE work
Most freelance workers aren’t mystical superheroes who successfully tackle these issues all on their own. There are companies who specialise in helping workers make the most out of their contracts.
They’re called Umbrella Companies (or, contractor management companies).
How do they work?
Basically, an Umbrella Company acts as your full-time employer, even though you maintain your independence as a contractor. They collect and filter payments from your clients, filtering out the necessary social security and fees. You send them your timesheets, and they send you payments.
The contractor will be sponsored, employed and pay-rolled as an employee of our UAE Partner Company. They will be assigned to work under a service agreement with a Local Labour Contract.
Even better, most of our partners are experts in expat tax law, meaning they’ll also help you optimise your earnings.
Although the Umbrella Company is technically your “employer,” you’re essentially freeing yourself to work even more independently. You still dictate your contracts, your hours, your schedule. The Umbrella Company simply filters out the time-consuming admin and immigration issues, allowing you to focus on your new contract.
How we help with Umbrella Companies in UAE
There’s a huge variety of Umbrella Companies out there; they all have different specialties and advantages. How do you find the right one for your circumstances?
We work closely with Umbrella Companies all throughout UAE and match contractors with the right company for them. If you’ve already secured a contract in UAE, we can help you find your best match (for free). Or, we can simply give you feedback on your situation (for free).
Our UAE Umbrella Company partners currently charge the following fees to sponsor candidates on UAE Work Permits;
Monthly Management Fees - $600
USD Residence Visa applications for those applying from outside the UAE - 10,500 AED*
AED Residence Visa applications for those applying from within the UAE - 11,700 AED*
* Note that included in these figures are 3,000 AED bank guarantee of which 2,400 AED is re-imbursable when the candidate leaves the country. These are mandatory guarantees imposed by the Ministry of Labour