The UAE has always been welcoming to expatriates who want to pursue their professional careers or plan for a business setup in Dubai and settle there. However, getting an identification card is one of the first things they are asked to do.
The Emirates ID is a mandatory document issued to all UAE citizens and residents. And since it is a legal obligation, it is important for you to be well-versed with all the necessary information regarding the importance of this card, how to apply for Emirates ID, and what are its uses and advantages.
What is an Emirates ID?
Emirates ID is basically a resident card or an identification card issued to all UAE residents and citizens. Since it is a legal ID, every citizen is obligated to carry it with them all the time. The Emirates Identification Authority (EIDA) is the governing body that issues the Emirates ID. The card contains an electronic chip that holds all the important information about the holder including the basic details, photo, biometric data, fingerprints, etc.
Special features of Emirates ID
The new and improved Emirates ID introduced by the ICA has the following features –
- Enhanced protection of non-visible data
- Confidentiality of information
- More service life
- Non-touch data reading features
- Higher capacity
- No additional charges for updating the ID
- High-tech security for full-proof protection from identity theft
What are the advantages of having an Emirates ID?
Apart from ensuring identification to the user, Emirates ID has several other things to offer, such as –
- Allows access to government services
- UAE citizens can freely travel within the GCC countries
- Freedom to pass immigration through eGates and smart gates at UAE airports
Basically, Emirates ID can be used everywhere. For example,
- Opening a bank account in the UAE
- Applying for a driver’s license in Dubai
- Renewal of vehicle registration in Dubai
- Paying for utilities
- Renting or purchasing properties
- Using e-services
- Insurance applications
When you apply for a new Emirates ID, the possession belongs to only you. Using another person’s ID card is against the law. Besides, the Emirates ID cannot be withheld from its sole holder.
How to apply for Emirates ID?
If you are a new applicant, then you have to follow the below steps –
1. Open a company or get a visa
To get an Emirates ID, one needs to open a company or get a Residency visa. You can connect with our experts to know more about the process to get an Emirates ID in UAE.
2. Go through the biometric process
Once your form is submitted, you will receive a notification regarding the schedule for your biometric test. Accordingly, you will have to visit the listed EIDA office and submit your photo, fingerprints, and a few supporting documents such as a passport, Family book, work visa, etc. The officials will then issue a receipt that you would require to collect your ID card.
The applicant has to go through the biometric scanning process only during the first time of Emirates ID application.
3. Pay the fees
The fee for the Emirates Id varies depending on the visa you are applying for, whether it is a one-year visa, a two-year visa, or a 10-year Golden Visa, whatsoever.
4. Collect your Emirates ID
After completing the above steps, you can track your application status on EIDA’s website. It is only after processing your work visa, your Emirates ID card will be shipped to a local post office. You will receive a notification informing you about the location of the post office that you need to visit to collect your card.
Nevertheless, the applicant must make sure to collect the ID card within 90 days of shipment. If failed to do so, the card will be returned to the EIDA office and discarded.
Things to remember about Emirates ID
Now that you have understood how to apply for Emirates ID, there are a few important pieces of information you should know about the Emirates ID card.
- It is a legal requirement for all the residents and citizens of the UAE to carry their Emirates ID with them whenever they step out of the house. Failure to present your card on any occasion could lead to grave consequences.
- In case you lose your card, you can apply for a lost Emirates ID and get it replaced with a new one.
- In case you change your name due to certain reasons, say marriage, then you have to notify EIDA about the same.
- It is mandatory for everyone in the UAE, including children and newborn babies to have an Emirates ID card.
- If any of your details on the card are mentioned incorrectly, then you can approach EIDA with proof of correct details and rectify the error.
How to renew the Emirates ID?
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) will notify the resident regarding the renewal of their Emirates ID. The applicant has a time limit of 30 days from the due date of expiry to renew their ID, or else they will be subject to late fines.
The UAE residence visa holders can apply for Emirates ID renewal only when their visa is renewed, whereas UAE nationals can apply between six to one month before the expiry date.
Applicants who have applied for renewal and haven’t received their physical card can use the digital version until they receive it. The digital card is available on the ICA UAE Smart app.
What to do if the Emirates ID card is lost/stolen/damaged?
If you want to replace your ID card with a new one, here’s what you need to do –
- Report the stolen or lost Emirates ID incident to ICA Customer Happiness Centre
- Deactivate the old card
- Apply for an Emirates ID replacement through the ICA website or typing center or ICA Happiness Centre
- Provide the biometric details
- Pay the required fee
- Get a new Emirates ID
You can avail the renewal and replacement services from the following FAIC Customers Happiness Centres –
- Al Jazeera and Khalifa City in Abu Dhabi
- Al Barsha in Dubai
- Al Rashidiya in Dubai
- Karama in Dubai
- Madinat Zayed in the Western Region
- Al-Ain Centre
- Sharjah Centre
- Ajman Centre
- Fujairah Centre
- Ras Al Khaimah Centre
- Umm Al Quwain Centre
While applying for a replacement, you will have to submit the following documents –
- Foreign residents – Original passport with a residency visa stamp
- UAE nationals – Original passport, Family Book (if applying online)
- GCC nationals – Original passport, Unified Identification Number, Original GCC ID card, Residency proof
How to cancel the Emirates ID?
Residents who are intending to leave the country for reasonable reasons have to cancel their UAE residence visa and hand over their ID cards to the respective General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The GDRFA officials will then hand over the returned card to the issuing authority.
You can also contact the relevant authorities for any further queries regarding Emirates ID.
We have compiled all the relevant details about the UAE Emirates ID in this article. If you still have any queries about how to apply for Emirates ID, then get in touch with the team of UAE Expansion Business Setup. They will not only guide you with the important details but also assist you throughout the process. Find out more on their official website.