Dubai: Emirates ID cards have officially replaced resident visa stickers across the UAE, excluding Dubai, as of May 16. The visa sticker containing a person’s residency data will no longer take up a page in their passport; instead, the information will be saved on their Emirates ID.
According to media sources, the Federal Authority of Identification, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security has also announced the consolidation of two distinct applications – one for Emirates ID issuance and the other for visa renewals for UAE citizens. Instead of processing them independently, the change combines residency and identity card applications. According to the authorities, there will be a consolidated form for requests for the issuance or renewal of residence and Emirates ID. These two applications, however, will continue to be processed independently in Dubai.
Why the change?
After a decision by the UAE Cabinet, the authority announced the adjustments last month. The authorities subsequently issued a circular to departments and airlines, stating that they may now check the residence status of UAE residents using their passport number and Emirates ID. Previously, everyone seeking a new resident visa or renewing an existing one had to provide their passport in order for the visa sticker to be affixed.
Residents will no longer be required to carry a visa sticker on their passports as of May 16, according to the new rule. Those who applied for a new resident visa or renewal before May 16 will still receive the visa sticker to be affixed to their passport. The authorities previously said that users can receive a soft copy of their Emirates ID by visiting their website or downloading the smart app UAEICP. In an effort to provide transitional flexibility toward adopting the identification card as an alternative, the previous type of resident visa stickers will only be available online via the authority’s smart app.
New ID card
The change occurred following the unveiling of a new generation of Emirates IDs last year. Authorities have already begun issuing the new card. Customers can acquire a soft copy of their ID after filing an issuance or renewal request. The authorities stated that the new generation of Emirates ID cards given to residents contains all of the information previously listed on the residence sticker, including personal and professional data, the issuer, and other readable and non-readable data on the card’s face. This also implies that the issuing or renewal of resident permits and Emirates IDs will be combined into a single application.