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Effective 12 December 2022, the UAE will drop its residency visa stamping requirement with the Emirates ID replacing the visa stamp. 

As per the latest directives of the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), the UAE has scrapped the procedure of stamping residency visas in the passport. Instead, citizens of the UAE can now submit a single unified application to obtain both their Emirates ID and residency visa to ease the application process and shorten the application time.

This news update follows the announcement by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security (ICP) that residency stickers on passports will be cancelled. The country has instead started issuing Emirates ID cards to expats settled in the UAE.

The Emirates ID includes 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. 

This means that passports need not be collected for stamping, and once the applicant’s request for the Emirates ID has been authorised, they will be able to download their e-Residence copy online and use Emirates ID for travel. The merging of residence and Emirates ID in the UAE will help simplify residency services. 

The Residence permit and Emirates ID can be easily applied via the official ICP website or via mobile applications, available both on iOS and Android. You can check out our article below on how to get your UAE residency under the New Visa stamping rules below: 

UAE Visa Stamping 2023: How to Obtain Your UAE Residency Under the New Visa Stamping Rules?