The UAE opens its doors to thousands of expatriate residents every year. Getting a national ID card is one of the first things people ask when moving to a new country. To this end, we have compiled all the necessary information about the Emirates ID, a mandatory document issued to citizens and residents, including newborn babies in the country.
This to-do list could include all tasks, like applying for business licenses or signing apartment leases or job contracts. Nevertheless, applying for an Emirates ID will always be part of the process.
The good news is, with the help of an expert, applying for an Emirates ID is both fast and straightforward. This article covers everything you need to know to get yours, including:
What Is Emirates ID?
Emirates ID is an identity card issued by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security-ICP. UAE citizens and residents are legally required to apply for one and carry it with them at all times.
There are several types of Emirates ID, such as:
- Citizen ID card for UAE citizens, issued for a period of 10 years
- GCC ID card for citizens of GCC countries living in the UAE, valid for five years
- Expat ID card for foreigners’ validity depends on the validity of the visa
Despite being used for identification, it has much more to offer. The Emirates ID card allows citizens and residents to:
- Access government services
- Vote in the elections of Federal National Council
- Travel freely within the GCC (citizens only)
- Pass immigration through eGates and smart gates at several airports in the UAE
In an announcement earlier this year, ICP said that Emirates IDs would replace the visa sticker on residents’ passports and serve as primary proof of residency. This means that an Emirates ID is required for an individual to prove that they are a legal resident of the UAE and what the residency details are, like issue and expiry dates.
Emirates ID is used everywhere, from day-to-day affairs to government services. Here are a few examples of its use:
- Opening of a bank account in the UAE.
- Applying for a Dubai driver’s license.
- Renewing your vehicle registration in Dubai.
- Pay/connect utilities.
- Rental or purchase of the property.
- To travel within the GCC for UAE citizens.
- Usage for eServices.
- To pass immigration through eGates and smart gates in some of the airports in the UAE.
- To vote in the Federal National Council for Emirati citizens.
- For insurance applications.
- To verify negative COVID-19 results in Dubai airports.
It is important for you to understand that your Emirates ID belongs to you and you alone; seizing another person’s ID card is against the law. Moreover, Emirates IDs cannot be withheld from customers, visitors, or employees by companies or other authorities.
Steps To Apply For Your Emirates ID
As a first-time applicant for an Emirates ID, you will need to follow these steps:
1. Submit An Application For A New Emirates ID
You can apply for a new Emirates ID card in two ways:
- Online, through the ICP website
- Through an accredited typing centre or an Amer centre which has an ICP section.
You can apply for a new Emirates ID card at the website of Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security– ICP, or through an accredited typing centre. This step is completed simultaneously with applying for a residence visa. If you are at a typing centre or an Amer centre (if you are in Dubai), you will be required to provide your passport and entry permit information. Your application will ask for this information.
2. Pay The Fees
Next, you’ll need to pay the service and card fee, which varies depending on the visa you’re applying for. If you have a one-year visa, the cost for the Emirates ID is approximately Dh170. For a two-year visa, the cost is approximately Dh270. If you apply for a 10-year Golden Visa, the cost would be approximately Dh 1,070.
3. Visit An ICP Centre For Your Biometric Scan
Next, you might need to visit one of ICP’s service centres to provide your biometric details for the Emirates ID database. To know more about how you can find an ICP centre near you, read our guide here.
It is important to note that this step is only required if this is the first time you are applying for an Emirates ID.
4. Collect Your Emirates ID
Once you have completed the steps above, you can track the status of your Emirates ID application with ICP. Once the Emirates ID has been issued, you will receive an SMS from ICP informing you of the post office location that you need to visit to collect your Emirates ID.
Now that you have your Emirates ID ready, what’s next?
Cost Of Applying For Emirates ID
The cost of issuing the Emirates ID card depends on the service channel you chose to acquire the Emirates ID. The cost of applying for an Emirates ID is approximate as follows:
AED 100 – Card Issuance Fee For Five Years
AED 200 – Card Issuance Fee For Ten Years (Only Available To UAE Nationals)
AED 40 – Service Fee
AED 30 – Printing Office Fee
How To Get An E-Version Of Your Emirates ID In The UAE
To allow residents and citizens to access the Emirates ID’s many benefits before receiving the physical card, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship issues an e-version for use in the interim.
To obtain this version, download the ICA UAE Smart app. From there, you can register your details to receive a QR code, enabling you to create an e-Emirates ID card. You can browse this information in the wallet section of the app. It is possible to access services using the virtual version in the same way as the physical Emirates ID.
In addition, Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security offers a 24-hour urgent service to get Emirates ID cards. The service is known as ‘Fawri’ and carries an additional fee for urgent service.
The service is available for all age groups for UAE nationals and GCC nationals officially residing in UAE and can be obtained for:
- first-time registration
- renewal of expired cards
- lost or damaged cards.
Besides GCC nationals, expats are entitled to urgent service only if they need to replace their identity cards because the issuance or renewal of identity cards is linked to proof of residency and related procedures.
Get started on your Dubai business dream with a “Free Consultation”!
Is it no longer necessary to stamp passports?
No. This will not apply to Dubai residents. Dubai visa holders will continue to hold an in-passport visa sticker alongside their Emirates ID.
Can I get an Emirates ID without a visa?
No. Emirates IDs are not issued in Dubai until your residency visa has been stamped on your passport.
How long does the Emirates ID application take to process?
The Emirates ID is usually issued within seven to ten days of the visa stamping in your passport. You can track your application online and will also receive updates via text. In the meantime, you are free to register and access your e-version.
How many days does it take to get an Emirates ID after the medical test?
You will usually have the result of your medical check-up within a day or two. Your Emirates ID is then issued within four business days.
Know More About Life In The UAE With Meydan Free Zone
Meydan Free Zone is a thriving, centrally located economic district with one of the most prestigious business addresses in the region. We offer our businesses a host of innovative investment and lifestyle benefits in a secure, regulated environment that empowers productivity. And we can help you join them too.
Our expert team can assist the entire company formation journey, from registering your company name to managing your license and visa applications.
Whether you want to know more about running or relocating your existing business – or you’re laying the groundwork to launch a new enterprise – we can help.
And it couldn’t be easier to get started. All your individual business needs can be met with a smooth registration process, tailored packages, and assistance on-hand.