If you are staying in UAE, it is mandatory for you to have a Residence VISA and an Emirates ID. The Emirates ID is a very important document and is issued by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security and this card confirms your identity across all the 7 emirates of UAE.
It is a legal requirement for all UAE Citizens and Residents to apply for an Emirates ID and carry it with them at all times. A person with a valid Residence VISA and Emirates ID can stay in any emirate and it is not necessary to stay in the same emirate from where the ID Card has been issued.
The Emirates ID is printed in both the soft copy as well as the Hard Copy while the Residence VISA is only issued in the soft copy. Residence VISA is not issued in hard copy anymore and the requirement of Residence VISA Stamping on the Passport has also been removed.
The Emirates ID now officially serves as the Residency document and the requirement of fixing pink stickers on the passport for residence visa has been removed. Both the Residence VISA and the Emirates ID have now been unified and the individuals are now not required to go through separate processes for the Residence VISA and the Emirates ID.
The Emirates ID contains an electronic chip wherein all the personal data (including fingerprints and biometrics data) of the card holder is stored an encrypted manner. The name, photograph, signature, date of birth and nationality of the card holder is written on the front side of the card. The date of issue and date of expiry of the emirates ID is also written on the front side while the back side of the card consists of the details like place of issue and other related details.
The hard copy of the Emirates ID is delivered via courier while the soft copy of the Emirates ID and the Residence VISA can be downloaded through the ICP App which is the official app of the UAE Govt for such services.
Benefits of UAE Residence VISA and Emirates ID
1. Opening a Bank Account in UAE
To be eligible to open a bank account in the UAE, the individual should have an Emirates ID and Residence VISA. The bank account will verify the hard copy of the Emirates ID and soft copy of the Residence VISA before opening the bank account.
In case a company is opening a bank account, the person representing the company should have a valid Emirates ID and Residence VISA.
It is a requirement of all banks and No Bank can open an account with the Emirates ID and Residence VISA.
2. Applying for Driving License and Vehicle Registration
The Emirates ID is required to be presented to the Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) while applying for Driving License, Vehicle Registration etc.
Depending on the nationality of the applicant, you may be able to get the Driving License issued by your home country to a UAE Driving License. If not, you would be required to apply at a driving institute, take driving license and clear the test to get the Driving License.
3. Apply for a Phone Number
To be able to apply for a Phone No., you should have a Residence VISA and Emirates ID. Although a mobile no can be issued on a tourist visa as well but the validity of the SIM Card in such a case is very small and is limited till the validity of the Tourist VISA only.
Anybody who intends to keep a phone number for a longer duration can only apply for the same if he has a mobile number
4. Register Children in Schools
The parents must possess an Emirates ID to register the children in UAE Schools. There are 17 different curriculums followed in the UAE with the most popular being the Arabic Curriculum, Indian Curriculum, British Curriculum and the American Curriculum.
5. Apply for Loans
If you have a valid Residence VISA and Emirates ID, you get eligible to avail loans from banks like Personal Loan, Vehicle Loan, Home Loan etc
6. Travel VISA Free to certain Destinations
Holders of UAE Residence VISA and Emirates ID can travel without VISA to several countries. A lot of countries also offer VISA on arrival for UAE Residence VISA holders.
List of countries where UAE Residents with can travel VISA Free are:-
- Sri Lanka
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- Cook Islands
- South Africa
7. Withdraw Cash from ATM
Some banks like Emirates NBD also allow its customers to withdraw cash from the ATM Machines using the Emirates ID. As the Emirates ID is linked with the bank account, the bank is able to do the verification and cash can easily be withdrawn.
Other Relevant Points
- The soft copy of the Residence VISA and Emirates ID can also be downloaded through the ICP App
- The holder of the Emirates ID is required to update any change in his particulars within 1 month from the date of change and this change can be intimated through the ICP App.
- Tourists are not eligible for Emirates ID as this service is only for Residents.