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Reviewed 06 June 2022

Whether you’re an Emirati national or an expat resident, an Emirates ID is a vital part of your day-to-day life in the UAE. With it, you may access government services and pass immigration at a number of airports in the UAE along with a number of other things.  

Here’s all you need to know about Emirates ID, how to apply for one, how to get a replacement ID in case it is lost, stolen or damaged, and how it can help you on your travels as a resident of the UAE. 

What is an Emirates ID?

The Emirates ID is an identity card of the UAE’s citizens and residents. issued by Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) is a legal requirement for all UAE citizens and residents, including newborn babies. It protects the individual’s identity and facilitates identification and verification as per international standards.

UAE citizens and residents are obliged to apply for one and carry it with them at all times.

For more information regarding the Emirates ID, you could contact the service via a live chat session or the phone by calling 6005-30003.

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Emirates ID news

Effective 16 May 2022, residence visa stickers have been officially replaced by Emirates ID cards across the UAE with the exception of Dubai. This means that the residency information of an individual will now be stored on their Emirates ID. The change also eliminates the need for residents to apply for two different processes; Emirates ID and residency visa issuance/renewal.

Applicants may also obtain a soft copy of their Emirates ID upon submitting their issuance or renewal request. The new generation of the Emirates ID card will be able to accommodate all details including personal, professional, and other pertinent data.

How to get an Emirates ID: a step-by-step guide

Step 1: Register yourself at the official ICA website.

Use your email address as a username. You will also need to indicate your UAE phone number.

Step 2: Get your documents ready

For UAE nationals

  • A personal photo (4.5 cm x 3.5 cm) with a white background for those under 15 years old, the elderly and people with special health and medical needs which restrict them from visiting a service centre.
  • Original of the birth certificate for those under 15 years old.
  • Passport or UAE ID card of either parent (for those under 15 years old)
  • Social insurance certificate attested from the Ministry of Community Development (for those benefiting from social insurance) to be exempted for the ID card issuance fees.
  • A valid medical report from the Ministry of Health or UAE health authority to exempt people with determination or the elderly from ID card issuance fees.
  • Original POA for the person acting on behalf of the customer, if the competent person is absent and the application is submitted by a third party

For UAE expats

  • Original of the passport
  • Original of the valid residency permit, a residency under renewal or a valid residency for a person who has not renewed the ID card when the residency was issued.
  • A personal photo (4.5 cm x 3.5 cm) with a white background for those under 15 years old, the elderly and people with special health and medical needs restrict them from visiting a service centre.
  • Original of the birth certificate for those under 15 years old.
  • Passport or UAE ID card of either parent (for those under 15 years old)
  • Original of the diplomatic/consular card/membership card of international organizations for heads and members of diplomatic and consular missions and international organizations existing in the country to be exempted from ID card issuance fees.
  • A valid medical report from the Ministry of Health or UAE health authority to exempt people with determination or the elderly from ID card issuance fees.
  • Original POA for the person acting on behalf of the customer, if the competent person is absent and the application is submitted by a third party

Step 3: Getting the correct UAE ID card photo

As per the latest requirements by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP), the provided photo must meet the following requirements:

  • Image: high quality, recent, coloured, not older than six months (40 – 35 mm in width)
  • Background: white.
  • Features: Neutral facial expressions (natural, not exaggerated).
  • Head position: Straight, not tilted, parallel to the photographic lens.
  • Eyes: Open towards the camera and without the use of colored lenses.
  • Glasses: Acceptable as long as they do not obscure the eyes and do not reflect light.
  • Dress code: Similar to the dress on the holder’s passport.
  • Head covering: Allowed according to national dress or religious belief.
  • Resolution (pixels): At least 600 dpi without ink traces or shrinkage 

Alternatively, you can use the Visafoto.com UAE ID photo page to get a new photograph. It will turn your selfie into one that meets the above requirements. There is a guarantee: if your photo is not accepted, you will get a 100% refund.

Step 4: Application

After filling out the application form, go here and click on “Apply for a new ID card”. Enter all the required details carefully and correctly.

Step 5: Make a payment

The fee of the Emirates ID card is AED 100 for every year of validity.

Step 6: Visit EIDA Branch

After the submission, you will receive an SMS informing you about the next steps. The message will mention an EIDA branch you must visit. You will have to provide your personal data, employer’s information, and biometrics (photo, fingertips etc.).

Step 7: Collect your card

After you pass all the procedures, you will receive an account number that will allow you to track the status of your application on the EIDA website. Once it is completed, your ID card will be sent to a local post office. You will receive an SMS from Emirates Post, inviting you to visit your local post office and collect your Emirates ID. Make sure you carry your passport and Emirates ID application form.

Emirates ID status 

If you’re looking to check your Emirates ID status or track the progress of your Emirates ID application, you can do so here.

Simply input your PRAN/ID number to learn your Emirates ID status or application progress. For further assistance or enquiries, you can contact 600522222.

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How to update details on my Emirates ID?

According to Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), the Emirates ID cardholder must report any change in the details of the card to the competent department in ICA within one month from the date of the change.

In order to modify any details related to an existing and valid ID card, you are required to visit one of the ICA’s customer happiness centers with your original passport and the Emirates ID card.

Note: The details related to an existing ID card cannot be updated online. This applies to Emirates ID cards issued to nationals and expatriate residents.

Emirates ID cancellation process

Residents who intend to cancel their UAE residence visa for the purpose of leaving the country or for the purpose of changing jobs are required to hand over their ID cards to the respective General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

The respective General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs will hand over the returned ID card to Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC), which had issued the card.

For more information regarding the Emirates ID, you could contact EIDA via the ‘Ask Hamad’ service or the phone by calling on 6005-30003.

Emirates ID renewal

For UAE nationals, the validity period of the Emirates ID is for 5 or 10 years. For GCC nationals residing in the UAE, the validity period is for 5 years. For other expatriates, the validity period depends upon their residency visa validity. 

UAE residents including UAE nationals, GCC nationals and other residents of the UAE will need to mandatorily renew their Emirates ID card by following the required steps.

The time limit to renew an expired ID card is 30 days from the date of expiry.

Late fines of AED 20 per day will be applied with a maximum of AED 1,000 (one thousand). You can check all fines on your Emirates ID from the Abu Dhabi Police official website. Follow the given steps mentioned on the website to check the fine.

Note:  After the Emirates ID expires, the ID holder must apply for its renewal. Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) will send you a notification via SMS requesting you to renew your ID card. You will need to submit your renewal application in person at an accredited typing centre or online via the website of FAIC.

You might need to visit one of FAIC’s service centres or preventive medical centres to provide your biometric details.

UAE nationals can apply for renewal of Emirates ID between six to one month before the expiry date. UAE residence visa holders can only apply for renewal when their residence visa is renewed or reissued.

What if I need a new ID or lose mine?

If you have yet to acquire your Emirates ID and are looking to acquire one fast, or if your Emirates ID has been stolen, lost or damaged, the FAIC provides an urgent service to provide you with a replacement within 24 hours. The service is known as ‘FAWRI’ and is available against the regular fees plus an urgent service fee.

To obtain this service, applicants must visit the FAIC Customer Happiness Center with no prior appointment and provide the aforementioned documents.

The following FAIC Customers Happiness Centres provide FAWRI services:

  • Al Jazeera and Khalifa City in Abu Dhabi
  • Al Barsha, Al Rashidiya and 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

Emirates ID center and typing offices

Before you visit the EIDA centers below, please confirm beforehand if they have a biometrics facility there since some centers may not have said facility. The following are the EIDA centers and biometric facilities in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi

Al Ain
Phone 3 701 5000. From 7.00 to 20.00

Al Ghayathi
Phone 02 495 7704. From 7.00 to 14.30

Al Jazira Club
Phone 02 495 5821. From 7.00 to 14.30

Al Mafraq
Phone 02 419 7729. From 7.00 to 14.30

Al Marfa
Phone 02 495 7721. From 7.00 to 14.30

Al Quaa
Phone 03 701 5090. From 7.30 to 19.30

Al Sila
Phone 02 495 7732. From 7.00 to 14.30

Al Wahda Mall
Phone 02 495 5700. From 7.00 to 20.00

Central Post Office
Phone 02 495 7718. From 7.00 to 14.30

Dalma Island
Phone 02 495 7757. From 7.00 to 14.30

Khalifa City
Phone 02 244 5555. From 7.00 to 14.30

Khalifa Medical City
Phone 02 495 5895. From 7.00 to 14.30

Madinat Zayed

02 419 7769. From 7.00 to 14.30

Mussafah
Phone 02 495 5864. From 7.00 to 14.30

Sweihan
Phone 03 701 5085. From 7am to 14.30

Dubai

Al Baraha
Phone 04 383 2189. From 7.30 to 14.30

Al Barsha
Phone 04 383 2222. From 7.30 to 14.00

Al Jafiliya
Phone 04 383 2399. From 7.30 to14.00

Al Karama Centre
Phone 04 383 2333. From 7.00 to 20.00

Al Lusaily
From 8.00 to 14.00

Al Quoz
04 383 2282. From 8.00 to 16.00

Al Rashidiya
Phone 04 284 5252. From 7.00 to 20.00

Hatta
7.30 to 14.30

JAFZA
04 383 2225. From 8.00 to 15.00

Knowledge Village
Phone 04 383 2225. From 7.30 to 14.00

Muhaisnah Center
Phone 04 383 2172. From 8.00 to 20.00

Ajman

Ajman centre
Phone 06 748 4777. From 7.00 to 14.30

Medical Centre
Phone 06 748 4777. From 7.00 to 14.30

Ras al Khaimah

Al Rams
Phone 07 266 2338. From 7.00 to 14.30

RAK Centre
Phone 07 202 6000. From 7.00 to 20.00

Fujairah

Dibba Al Hosn Centre
Phone 06 507 3795. From 7.30 to 13.00

Dibba Centre
Phone 09 201 7080. From 8.00 to 14.00

Fujairah Centre
Phone 09 201 7000. from 7.00 to 20.00

Fujairah Centre
Phone 2 09 201 7090. From 7.30 to 14.00

Sharjah

Al Dhaid North
Phone 06 507 3784. From 7.30 to 14.00

Al Dhaid South
Phone 06 882 2230. From 7.30 to 14.30

Al Rams
Phone 07 266 2338. From 7.30 to 14.30

Al Ghubaiba
From 06 575 9195. From 8.00 to 20.00

Al Hamriyah
Phone 06 507 3790. From 8.00 to 15.00

Al Madam Centre
Phone 06 507 3790. From 7.00 to 14.00

Industrial Area
Phone 06 507 3797. From 7.30 to 14.00

Kalba
Phone 06 507 3781. From 7.30 to 14.00

Khor Fakkan
Phone 06 507 3761. From 7.30 to 14.00

Municipality Clinic
Phone 06 507 3758. From 8.00 to 20.00

Sharjah Airport
Phone 06 507 3758. From 8.00 to 20.00

Municipality Clinic
Phone 06 507 3786. From 7.30 to 14.30

Sharjah Centre
Phone 06 507 3777. From 7.00 to 20.00

What can the Emirates ID be used for?

image © Arabian Business

In general, the Emirates ID can be used for the following purposes:

  • Mandatory ID Card for all citizens and legal residents
  • Identification and verification as per International Standards
  • Protect individuals’ identity
  • Can be used to access secure eServices
  • Provides Identity Information
  • Stores many ID applications in future
  • Prevents fraud & Identity theft
  • Portable personal database

Additionally, having an Emirates ID will allow you to fulfil various administrative requirements associated with utility services, bank account opening, insurance applications, and many others.

Aside from these, there are other functions of Emirates ID:

Residency proof

The Emirates ID has now replaced the residency visa stickers on passports, per the new circular issued by the ICA. The merging of residence and identity card applications in the UAE will help in simplifying residency services.

The Emirates ID will include details previously stored in the residence sticker and will have a service life of more than 10 years. Upon passing a medical test, residents’ visa status will be available in the Emirates ID.

Airlines will now verify residency status through residents’ Emirates ID and passport numbers. Smart gates at any airport in the UAE will be accepting biometric passports. If a traveller is registered for the smart gates, they can pass through by simple face recognition.

Allows residents to travel to GCC countries 

After being suspended for two years, residents can once again travel within the GCC using their Emirates ID. The reinstatement of the Emirates ID as a valid document for travel means that UAE residents will no longer need a passport to travel to neighbouring Gulf states. 

Conversely, the UAE now also allows travellers from Gulf countries to enter its borders using only their national ID cards. 

COVID identification

The Dubai Health Authority has just announced its partnership with Emirates Airlines to remove the need for UAE residents to present a physical negative test certificate or vaccine card in lieu of the Emirates ID at Dubai airport. 

Residents will simply need to insert their Emirates ID into a card reader at the check-in desks and their COVID credentials extending to the latest COVID test results as well as inoculation status will instantly be verified. This latest feature is expected to significantly shorten the time needed to confirm all the necessary travel requirements of UAE residents.

Emirates ID contact number

For further assistance or enquiries, you can contact ICA at 600522222. The contact center is available 24/7.

 

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