UAE Emirates ID to replace Residency Visas

Recently, the country’s government has stated that, soon, ex-pats will not need Residency Visas to be stamped on their passports. This is because the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security imposed a new regulation where a residents’ Emirates ID would count as their residency.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about it and what it means for foreigners contemplating immigration to the UAE. Furthermore, you will be gaining more understanding about when this will be applicable. We will observe:

1. What is a Residency Visa?

2. What is an Emirates ID?

3. Key questions answered about this new regulation

4. How can you obtain an Emirates ID?

5. How can EOR help you immigrate to the United Arab Emirates?

1. What is a Residency Visa?

A Residency Visa is a permit that allows foreigners to live for a long time in the United Arab Emirates. These visas are valid generally for 2-3 years, going up to 10 years. Furthermore, if they need to, foreigners can renew their residency visas as many times as they need to. Thanks to these visas, international families keep living in the country for generations. They do this by simply renewing them regularly.

There are several ways where foreigners can obtain residency visas to immigrate to the UAE. The main ways are:

  • Setting up a business in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Getting employed and your employer sponsoring your Residency Visa.
  • Applying for a freelance permit in Dubai or other Emirates.
  • Enrolling in a college or university.
  • Being a dependent. With this, we refer to being related to a UAE resident (for example, a child or retired parent).
  • Owning a property whose value goes over AED 1 Million.
  • Getting a UAE Golden Visa.
  • Getting UAE Residency Visas for retirees.

When a foreigner enters the UAE, they need to start the process to receive the required documentation. Furthermore, they can enter with a visit visa or an entry permit. Nevertheless, they will require their residency to stay in the country. According to the UAE government website, some of the conditions that the applicants need to obtain their residency are:

  • Being medically fit.
  • Applying for Emirates ID.
  • Passing the security check.

Once the foreigners finish their procedure their passport receives a stamp/sticker which serves as a Residency Visa. As previously mentioned, depending on the type of visa, the residency stamp can be valid for 2 years up to 5 or 10 in some cases.

1.1 How can you cancel your Residency Visa?

Generally speaking, the one in charge of sponsoring your Residency Visa is the one in charge to apply for its cancellation. This sponsor could be:

  • An employer: While your employer cancels a Residency Visa, you still need to sign a form to confirm the lack of withheld salary and benefits. Furthermore, if you have worked several years for that employer you become entitled to the end-of-service benefit.
  • Own company: If the foreigner has their own business and visa, they can cancel it by themselves. Moreover, they could hire a business consultancy company or a PRO to do it on their behalf.
  • A spouse or parent: If the foreigner is a dependent or has a dependent visa, then the spouse or parent is the one in charge of its cancellation.
  • Government Authority: Lastly, if you have worked for the UAE´s government authorities, they are the ones responsible for canceling your visa if you need it.

However, no matter who is responsible for the cancellation of a Residency Visa, there still are several documents required to cancel it. They are:

  • The original passport
  • A copy of the cancellation paper that the visa sponsor has signed.
  • The original copy of the Emirates ID and labor card

2. What is an Emirates ID?

Now that an Emirates ID will count as a foreigner´s residency in their passport, you need to know the basics of them. An Emirates ID is the main identification of every UAE resident and citizen. In short, it is a personal database of every UAE resident. Evidently, this ID must be carried at all times since it contains important information. An electronic chip in the card contains information such as basic details, photos, and biometric data/fingerprints.

Each Emirates ID has a unique identification number for each holder, meaning that it cannot be repeated. Furthermore, the UAE designs machines that read the information that the card holds. The main uses for this card are:

  • Obtaining government services
  • Voting in elections
  • Serving as a travel document used within the GCC
  • Serving as an immigration document in airports all over the United Arab Emirates.

Simply put, an Emirates ID has state-of-the-art technology. This makes clear why the UAE Authority wants to use it for immigration purposes since it helps check and review the personal information and the immigration status of the cardholder. Lastly, it is important to take into account, that if an Emirates ID is lost, you need to replace it and apply for a new one as soon as possible.

3. Key questions answered about this new regulation

Now we have explained what Residency Visas are and what an Emirates ID is. However, with this regulation, the Emirates ID will have several new features applied to it. These features include non-visible data and increased service life of more than 10 years. Furthermore, it will also have a 3D picture that uses laser-printing technology. This 3D picture will show the date of birth of the cardholder.

The authorities launched this regulation as a part of a project made to revamp ID cards and Emirati passports. However, as we previously mentioned, since this regulation still has not been launched, there are several questions that you might have regarding them. Here, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this regulation related to Residency Visas and Emirates ID.

3.1 What do we know so far about no UAE visa stamps on passports?

According to what the UAE Government announced, the Emirates ID now serves as a UAE Residency document. Additionally, if you are in the process of requesting residency, you will not receive the stamp on their passports from next week.

As we previously mentioned, this new regulation greatly reduces the steps for the residency´s renovation process. In simple words, you will be able to renew your Residence Visa and Emirates ID at the same time. Furthermore, according to the information that the authorities gave, the Emirates ID contains necessary information related to the holder´s residency.

3.2 After this regulation, what are the changes?

The changes that this regulation will bring are related to residence and identity card applications. The main change is that the regulation will merge these applications, instead of applying for them separately. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, the new Emirates ID card includes the details that would have been previously stored in the residence sticker.

The resident´s visa status will be available in the Emirates ID when you pass a medical test. Furthermore, the authorities have said that its smart application provides a possibility of obtaining an electronic copy of it.

Lastly, it is important to take into account that this applies to any resident applying for an Emirates ID. Furthermore, the changeover will happen on April 11 of the current year.

3.3 What will happen with the current residency stamps?

Because of the lack of need for the UAE Residency, you might wonder if they will still be available. According to authorities, they have decided to keep them available only on their application. This will be done to ease to transition between the use of residency stamps and the Emirates ID.

However, it is important to point out that an ex-part will need to obtain a residency document. They will need it if the ex-pat wants to work in the UAE, make an investment, purchase a property, study at a university or do any other activity in the country. This new regulation will only change the fact of obtaining a residency stamp on the passport.

In short, the ex-pat will need to continue carrying out their immigration process, but with one less step.

3.4 What are their advantages or benefits?

The main benefit of this regulation is that it will reduce all paperwork related to the issuing/renewing process of Residency Visas. Furthermore, another advantage is that the Residency Visa will not take up a page of your passport.

Moreover, it also improves efficiency. As of now, anyone who applies for a residency visa will need to submit their passport to have the sticker applied. This process, in some cases, can take several weeks to be completed. However, with this regulation in play, this process is shortened significantly. Additionally, ex-pats can renew their documentation easily because they will not have to do an additional step.

This additional step is not done since to renew immigration documents you will only need to renew the Emirates ID. Furthermore, the renewal process is done less regularly. With Residence Visas, generally, you needed to renew them each 1-2 years. However, since the new card has advanced technology, you will need to renew it only once every 10 years.

In addition to this, other good news is that residents can verify their residence status at the airport when they travel outside the UAE. They can do this with their passport number and Emirates ID. Since the airports have a passport reader, this will also significantly accelerate this process.

4-How can you obtain an Emirates ID?

With this regulation in play, many foreigners will become interested in obtaining an Emirates ID to replace residency visas. However, how can you obtain an Emirates ID? This process can be simple with the right guidance. Next, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to apply for an Emirates ID:

  • First, you will need to complete an application form as is normal with these types of processes. This can be done online or at an approved typing office for a fee of AED 30.
  • Next, you must visit EIDA. When you submit your application, you will receive an SMS with the date and location of the EIDA branch you will need to visit. Depending on whether or not you are a national, you will need to submit the required documentation on your visit.
  • Then, pay the necessary fees. The ID has a cost of AED 100 per year of validity.
  • After you register, you will be able to track your application by going to EIDA´s website and typing your account number.
  • When this process is completed, the ID card is sent to a local post office. When it arrives, you will be notified by an SMS sent to your phone. However, you can check its status online. Nevertheless, you need to remember that you will need to collect your Emirates ID in 90 days or the post office will return it to EIDA and discard it.
  • Finally, when the ID expires, you will need to follow the same process to renew it.

5. How can EOR Middle East help you immigrate to the United Arab Emirates?

EOR (also known as Employer of Record) Middle East strives to offer our immigration services to those who need them. With our services, you will be able to plan your expansion to the United Arab Emirates successfully. You will do this easily since we will take care of obtaining the necessary Residency Visas for your company´s employees.

As you can see, the UAE has constantly changing laws for procedures related to immigration. Because of this, we recommend you get a team of professionals ready to help you at any time and support you. EOR Middle East´s specialists and professionals are always up-to-date with any latest changes in regulations and laws.

Are you interested in knowing more about this new regulation and the Emirates ID obtention process? Please submit all of your inquiries to our email at [email protected]. Our professionals will clarify all of your doubts related to the services we offer to our customers.

If you are looking for a job, visit, where you can apply for diverse openings in various industries. The Talent Point is a website for job searching that aims to connect potential employees to recruiters looking for their talent. You can also send your CV to [email protected].

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