The promotion of technological innovation in various areas of life is a relevant characteristic of the UAE. That is particularly true in business affairs. Now, the country goes a step further by introducing new forms of identification for both nationals and foreigners. Specifically, they have decided to replace the stamp of the residency visa in the passport by using the number of the identity document.
In this article, we will cover the details of this new use of Emirates ID cards and the advantages that this will bring. For that, we will address the following matters:
- How have the rules on identification and residence in the UAE changed?
- Changes in the issuance of a new ID card in the Emirates
- What are the keys to understanding the new identification measures?
- How does the UAE Residency Visa system function?
- How can we help you with your documents in the UAE?
1. How Have the Rules on Identification and Residence in the UAE Changed?
The UAE introduced in its system a new generation of identification cards. In this country, the ID document is unique for each person and mandatory to carry. This new technology is prominent because, on April 11, 2022, the ID number will obsolete the stamp page of the resident visa.
Without a doubt, the Emirates ID card is of the utmost meaning because its unique number is used for each cardholder to access practically everything, from government services to smart gates at airports.
Indeed, the updated requirements ambition to make the ID and residency application process more direct for all those who apply, easing living and settling in the Emirates. All the departments and airlines related to these procedures received from authorities a message to comply with the verification of the status of residence through the passport document and the Emirates ID.
In short, it means that the Emirate ID is replacing the residency visa as the main residency document. No longer will it be necessary to stamp passports with visa stickers? This decision will lead to a significant change in the way of regulating the presence of nationals and foreigners in the country. So, it is pertinent to know the details of this measure.
1.1 What is the reason for such changes?
It should be noted that all citizens and residents must have an Emirates ID. Electronic Emirati IDs became mandatory and a legal requirement in 2011. As expected, the change is driven by this new Emirates identification card, based on a state-of-the-art smart system that contains all the details of the residency visa.
The new ID card has technologically advanced features that have made it possible to include data not visible without a proper reader and also has a longer useful life of at least ten years.
One of its virtues is that it includes a 3D image achieved with laser printing and shows the cardholder’s date of birth. It is a project that, in parallel, is renewing both identification cards and Emirati passports at a high technological level.
Of course, the cards have a variety of uses, including access to government services, housing, prescription drugs, banking, and legal proceedings.
1.2 What is a Residency Visa sticker?
We need to remember that foreigners with offers of jobs, investors, property owners, charges (relatives of valid visa holders), university students, and retirees (in some cases), can request and obtain residency in the UAE. Residency Visas are issued to immigrants when they are already within the country using entry permits or visit visas.
People over 18 years can apply for a Residency Visa after undergoing a medical check to prove that fit in health. They must also pass a security revision and apply for their ID card.
Previously, the final part of the visa application process included the stamping of the visa on the applicants’ passports. The applicants left their passports at the immigration office. The pink sticker stamping is the procedure that disappears as of April 11.
Although the change will apply to visas issued after that date, information on previous visas will still be available online through the app of the official residency authorities.
2. Changes in the Issuance of a New ID Card in the Emirates
Following its tradition of innovating in all aspects, the UAE created a new civilian and business instrument based on the best technologies. Effectively, an Emirates ID is the identity document issued by the UAE government for citizens and residents of the country. All UAE citizens and residents must apply for an Emirates ID and carry it with them at all times.
The technology change in 2021 gave new functions to the ID instrument, making it more powerful.
2.1 New ID card features
The new Emirates ID card consists of the following components that provide the highest levels of accuracy and security. For example, some core gears are:
- Electronic card
- Certificates of digital signature and authentication
Additionally, the card has:
- Identification number
Of course, the identity card has an identification number known as the ID number. That number adheres to its holder forever. With this number, you can benefit from all government services and some non-governmental and private entities, which require an identity card of who accesses the service. The identity number is a unique and non-repeating 15-digit number.
- Electronic chip
Each card has an electronic chip containing the personal data of the owner. For that, this data is only read by dedicated machines. Also, most data is encrypted and can only be read, written, or updated by legal officers, to protect data privacy.
- Other technologies
The ID card features include the last in smart-card technology, precise lettering, UV ink, and line drawing. There are also nine security features making it very difficult to counterfeit. Truly, these features exceed current standards used in many cards, such as bank credit cards.
2.2 For what is the ID used?
The Emirates ID is used for:
- Voting in Federal National Council elections
- Passing immigration controls through eGates and smart gates at various airports in the UAE
- Traveling within the countries of the GCC
- Gaining access to many government services
- Verifying passengers’ residency status when traveling out of the country.
Otherwise, it is good to know that in the UAE is illegal to confiscate other people’s ID cards. Thereby, firms may not retain the ID cards of their employees or their customers and visitors. So, they can only take note of the personal data on the ID cards.
3. What Are the Keys to Understanding the New Identification Measures?
The main thing about the measures is that the Emirates ID replaces the UAE Residency Visa as the main element of identification. As we already indicated, the ID contains the relevant information related to the residence. A summary with some more information is as follows:
- This ID update substitutes the system of residency visa stickers applied to passports
- The processing of residency visas is still in force
- Now, the Emirates ID serves as a document proving residency in the UAE
- When the user passes a medical test, the resident visa status is ready and all relevant information about residency is available on the ID
- Residency visa and Emirates ID can be renewed within a single application, as opposed to two separate processes as of now.
- The ID card increased the services to residents in the country using it
- Thanks to a smart application, it obtains an electronic copy of the ID
- It is a measure in line with the objectives of using technological innovation to be increasingly efficient
- The most sensitive data in the cards is not visible. Only chip-reading machines with approval can read it. Thus, the security of the users improves knowingly.
4. How Does the UAE Residency Visa System Function?
Foreign people who want to live in the UAE must have a residency visa and a work visa.
4.1 Resident Visa
In the past year 2020, the UAE introduced long-term residency visas for different sorts of people, particularly entrepreneurs and talented doctors. They do not need a sponsor and can hold one hundred percent ownership of their businesses.
The country introduced:
- Golden visa, a ten-year resident visa for specialists, high-level investors, and other prominent individuals
- Green visa, allows highly skilled people to sponsor themselves without ties to an employer
- A freelancer visa is for independent workers
Evidently, these measures intend to promote the boom of competitiveness and seek to attract a very significant quantity of foreign direct investment. The plan is for ten years.
As a result, this system of visas allows residents and immigrants to live and study in the country to obtain residence without an Emirati sponsor. Doubtless, it is an impressive advance in the cordiality of the country.
4.2 Working Visa
The UAE allows you to work in the country simply with a work visa and a permit. First of all, you need someone to hire you and then initiate the procedure to obtain the visa. You and the firm that wants you to work must comply with:
- You must be 18 years old or more
- The work you will do must match the report of the firm
- The license of the firm must be active
- The employer must be free of infractions
Work visas in the UAE have specific rules to protect workers’ rights. In short, any foreigner over 18 can work in the UAE if meets the official standards. There is no highest age for working in the UAE, but over 65 years, the firms must pay a higher fee.
4.3 Golden Visa
The Golden Visa appeared in 2020. It is a ten-year permanent UAE visa for doctors, scientists, innovators, researchers, outstanding students, humanitarian workers, entrepreneurs, managers, and specialists in almost all fields of science, humanities, and businesses.
Undoubtedly, it is a mechanism for attracting highly qualified people to the country for their contribution to improving the development of their respective sectors. By the way, eligibility for these visas has recently expanded considerably.
4.4 Green Visa
Within its new visa scheme, the Green Visa distinguishes between work permits and residency visas. It also aims at highly qualified people, investors, and the best students and graduates. It also seeks to ease visa restrictions for self-employed workers, widows, divorced, and similar.
Additionally, green visa holders will be able to sponsor parents and children up to 25 years old instead of 18 years old.
Previously, in the United Arab Emirates, the residence status of foreigners was linked to their employment. Employers were sponsors and if an expatriate lost his/her job had to leave the country, or find a new job within a month.
4.5 Freelancer Visa
The self-employed worker visa is the first plan of its kind in the UAE. It allows these workers to sponsor themselves through their independent commercial activities.
Other specific regulatory changes include the extension of business travel permits until six months. It also allows parental sponsorship for family, an extension of residency for humanitarian causes, and a longer grace period after job loss.
5. How Can We Help You With Your Documents in the UAE?
It is relevant to know the legal issues related to your installation in the UAE. The changes in the use of the Emirates ID are relevant for everyone thinking about investing in the Emirates. Moreover, among the most delicate and essential procedures are those related to residency.
Advance your immigration plans safely and confidently by accessing our services. Based in Dubai, our firm, Connect Business Centers, allows you to find the best local partners.
Also, if you would like to set up a business as a foreigner, you must make sure to have the proper office space you need. Make sure everything goes well by using our property listings database, the largest in the Emirates.