Feb 13, 2012

Emirates ID-visa link in Dubai from April 1

Plans to link the national identity card to visas will be enforced in Dubai on schedule on April 1 after it was implemented in all other emirates.

The Emirates National Identity Authority (EIDA), which is carrying out a nation-wide ID project, said applicants would not receive their cards before their residence visas are renewed or issued.

It said those applying for an ID and residence at the same time must first fill an application at an EIDA registration office before they are allowed to have blood test, which is a pre-requisite for have a visa issued or renewed.

“The link-up between the ID and residence visas is now almost complete after it was enforced in all emirates except in Dubai,” EIDA said in a statement carried by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily Emirat Alyoum.

“This link will be implemented in Dubai on April one in coordination with the residence and immigration department in the emirate.”

EIDA said the link-up, once completed, would allow its registration offices at preventive medicine departments to handle at least 22,000 applications a day.

Feb 8, 2012

ID card deadlines eased in free zones

Abu Dhabi: Thousands of expatriates working with private companies in free zones in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will get time to register for or renew their national ID cards without paying fines until March 31 and May 31 respectively, Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) announced yesterday (Tuesday).

The authority had started imposing fines on the expatriates working with private companies in free zones from January 1, 2012 for delayed registration and renewal of ID cards along with the expatriates in government and semi-government sector, an official spokesman of the authority told Gulf News yesterday.

It was because the government considers free zones as ‘semi-government sector’, he said.The spokesman made it clear that the reprieve is not applicable for free zones in other emirates [except Abu Dhabi and Dubai] because the deadline for expatriates in the five other emirates has already expired.

Penalties: confusion abounds

Many expatriates in the government and semi-government sectors have started paying fines because of the confusion about the status of their companies. Many others mistook the reprieve announced for expatriates in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. As Gulf News reported on January 19, only the family members of expatriate employees in government and semi-government sector in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will get time to register for or renew ID cards without paying fines until March 31 and May 31 respectively.

Feb 7, 2012

UAE visit visas not tied to Emirates ID… for now

Is Emirates ID card mandatory when applying for a visit visa?

As per Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department call centre, it is mandatory for all applicants to have an Emirates ID card. However, typing centres do not ask for it.

“You need to have an Emirates ID if you want to apply for a visit visa for your spouse or parents,” the call centre staff said.

A person, who recently applied for the three-month visit visa at the Jebel Ali DNRD branch, however, was not asked about it.

“I was told over the phone to bring the Emirates ID card, but when I went over to apply no one asked me if I had the ID card. Even when I asked if they wanted to see my Emirates ID, they said ‘no’ at the typing centre.”

On February 3, Dr Ali Mohammed Al Khouri, director-general of Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), told this website: “There is full co-ordination between Eida and all federal and local departments and institutions. Already, many government departments provide services only if the applicant has an ID card. Currently, it is not compulsory to have the ID card to avail of government services, but it will become so at the beginning of next year.”

He added that having the ID card will become compulsory after Eida’s linking with all government institutions is completed.

The authority had fixed November 1, 2011 as the deadline for Emiratis to registered for the ID card. December 1, 2011 was the final deadline for employees of the government and quasi-government (federal and local) bodies and their families.