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Updated 11 May 2022
The Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship is committed to facilitating citizens, returning residents, and tourists looking to visit the UAE through its ICA Smart Services program. Among others, the services offered by the ICA include essentials such as visa validity check and vaccine registration.
Through its integrated service, travelling to the UAE is a relatively straightforward affair allowing tourists and visitors to focus more on other travel arrangements like booking their hotels.
Here’s all you need to know about ICA Smart Services for travellers to the UAE.
ICA Smart Services latest news
The ICA has announced the cancellation of its residency passport stickers previously issued to expat residents. Instead, the authorities will now ascertain the validity of residency visas through the residents’ respective Emirates IDs.
The directive has been put in place by the ICA with the aim of achieving the flexibility needed to reduce the steps associated with the process of issuing and renewing residency visas. Further, the new directive also allows airlines to verify the validity of residences by checking a resident’s passport number and Emirati ID card.
What is the ICA Smart Services?
— Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security UAE (@UAEICP) September 14, 2021
The ICA Smart Services provide UAE and foreign nationals a centralized portal from which they may access various services pertaining to visa inquiries, permit inquiries, payment of fees and fines and personal information updates.
The system provides a range of services for individuals according to each category, as follows:
- Citizens: Individual citizens can apply for services related to citizens (passport services, family book services, Emirates ID services) and services for the sponsored.
- UAE Residents: Individual residents can apply for services of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, such as visa, residency and Emirates ID services, for themselves and their sponsor.
- GCC Citizens: GCC citizens can apply for services related to their sponsored in addition to the services of the Emirates ID.
- GCC Residents: GCC residents can apply for services related to entry visas to the country for this category and administer the visa after its issuance.
- Visitors: Visitors can apply for services related to entry visas to the country by category and manage the visa after its issuance.
ICA Smart Services visa status
If you hold an Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah visa, you can check your visa status through the ICA Smart Services. The steps are as follows:
- go to the ICA Smart Services portal here
- select your preferred language (Arabic or English)
- select ‘passport information’
- select your visa type
- input your passport number and expiry date
- select your nationality
- click on the search tab
Provided the information submitted is accurate, your visa details including the visa expiry date will be promptly displayed.
If you hold a Dubai visa, however, you would need to visit the GDRFA-Amer portal in order to check your visa status.
ICA Smart Services vaccine registration
You must prove that you’re fully vaccinated and hold a negative PCR test result issued within 14 days before you enter public places in Abu Dhabi. You can do this by presenting the health app from your country of residence, or the Al Hosn app.
If you’d like to use the Al Hosn app, you must register through ICA Smart Travel Services (ICA Smart Services) before you fly to Abu Dhabi.
Otherwise, it’s not mandatory to register.
Registering your vaccine certificate or exemption can be done by accessing the ICA Smart Services link. You will then be required to indicate your current location, and fill in the form truthfully. Some documents you may need to prepare or upload later:
- Personal image
- PCR test result (optional)
- COVID-19 vaccination card (optional)
Once you have completed the form and uploaded all the documents, tick off the declaration that your information is correct, the reCAPTCHA, and click “Send”.
After completing the registration, you will be sent an SMS containing a link to download the Al Hosn app which allows you to display your test results and vaccination status.
The vaccination certificate registration is optional for passengers wishing to enjoy the benefits of being fully vaccinated by vaccines approved in the UAE. While vaccination is not a requirement for entry, non-exempt unvaccinated travellers will not be able to obtain the green pass required to access public places across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
International vaccine certificate registration
Travellers to the UAE whose vaccination certificates were issued outside of the UAE can register their certificates on the ICA as follows:
- Before travelling to the UAE, visit the aforementioned arrival registration portal
- Complete your register arrivals form and upload your international vaccination certificate. Upon completion, you will receive an SMS that includes a link to download the Al Hosn app
- Upon arrival, you will receive a Unified Identification Number (UID) either at the airport or via the ICA app or website
- You will then need to download and register on the Al Hosn app using the UID and your phone number used for ICA registration or when taking a PCR test in the UAE
- You will be sent a one-time password (OTP) required to complete your Al Hosn app registration process. Al Hosn app allows users to check status, vaccination information, test results and travel test requirements and use a live QR code.
ICA Smart Service for entry to UAE
ICA Smart Services for Abu Dhabi arrival registration
As per Etihad’s travel update page, obtaining approval from the ICA is not required to enter Abu Dhabi.
Thus it is recommended that you register via the ICA Smart Travel Service before you fly to Abu Dhabi.
By registering via the ICA, you’ll be able to use the Al Hosn app when you land in Abu Dhabi. You’ll be required to present the Al Hosn app or the official health app from your country of residence to prove your vaccination status before you enter any public place in Abu Dhabi.
If you’re looking to get in touch with the ICA regarding complaints, customer care, visa issuance, types and validity, or any other issues, you’re welcome to communicate with them directly at the toll-free number 600522222 or send an email to [email protected].
The ICA has also set up various customer happiness centres throughout the UAE that you can visit for a wide array of services.