Mar 28, 2012

Emirates ID registration in Dubai linked to visa process


Abu Dhabi: From April onwards, residents in Dubai must register for an Emirates ID card immediately after applying for a residence visa, a senior official at the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) confirmed on Tuesday.
This follows the linking of six major Preventive Medicine Centres (PMCs) in Dubai with the ID card registration process, Dr Ali Al Khouri, director general at the Eida told.
"Visa applications are already linked to ID card registration in all other emirates. In Dubai, this linkage took a while as we wanted to ensure that the country's largest PMC, which is also open 24 hours and processes nearly 3,000 visas on a daily basis, could handle the load," Dr Al Khouri said.
The rollout of the system in Dubai completes a countrywide scheme that links the Population Register and National ID Card (PRIDC) and visa applications. The linkage is already in place in all the other emirates.
With this integration, an expatriate who goes for medical examination at one of the PMCs for visa purposes can then go directly to an Emirates ID centre annexed to the PMC to complete the registration procedure.
The new ID card will be issued by Eida only upon the issuance of a residency visa by the relevant entity, explained an Eida official.
The deadline for Abu Dhabi residents over the age of 15 years to apply for an ID card is set for the end of March; for Dubai residents, the deadline is end-May.
Once these deadlines lapse, "delay fees" will be charged to applicants, the official said.
Fee range
"The fees range from Dh20 to Dh25 per day, with a maximum fee of Dh 1,000 for delayed registration. On our website, we have already put in place a counter to remind Abu Dhabi residents about the deadline, and will update the counter for Dubai residents once the Abu Dhabi deadline lapses," Dr Al Khouri said.
As such, an Abu Dhabi resident over the age of 15 who has a valid residence visa but has no national ID card or possesses an expired one, has until March 31 to apply for the card without being charged "delay fees", while for a Dubai resident, the deadline is May 31.
The official also reminded employers not to wait for the last minute as nearly 90 per cent of residents who have not yet applied for ID cards are blue-collar workers.
"Employers must therefore ensure that their workers apply for the cards before the deadlines," he said.
Nearly 6.2 million — or 77.5 per cent of about eight million inhabitants across the country — have already registered for Emirates ID cards, and about 30,000 applications are still being filled out every working day at over 1,200 typing centres across the country.
"The year 2012 will continue to be a challenging year for Eida, with nearly four to six million new applications and ID card renewals expected to be processed over the year," the official said.
He added that Eida operation volumes would reach "normal" levels of two to three million applications and renewals over a period of one year only in 2013.
New application system
  • A new version of the Eida online application system that allows residents to apply for or renew their ID cards without visiting typing centres is currently in the works, Dr Ali Al Khouri said.
  • "While the current system has seen quite a few applicants, a new faster system will be introduced within the next two months," he said.
  • "We have compiled user feedback on the current system, and the new version will, therefore, provide greater speed and user-friendliness for those who want to complete ID card registrations on their own," Dr Al Khoury added.
  • Dh1000: maximum ‘delay fee' for late registration
  • May 31: registration deadline for Dubai residents
  • 6.2m: UAE residents have already registered

Mar 8, 2012

Police clearance certificate needed for Jobs in UAE

Dubai: Private companies are demanding a police-issued clean criminal record from job applicants in the UAE.

Those failing to produce police clearance or with a bad standing at previous jobs or colleges are weeded out by HR managers and job agents even if they are otherwise deemed ‘job-worthy'.

Employers and recruitment agencies told XPRESS on the sidelines of the Careers UAE job fair in Dubai this week that job seekers face closer scrutiny nowadays.

It is not clear why more companies are going to greater lengths to investigate applicants, but headhunters said the credit crunch had seen a rise in dodgy candidates "desperate to get their foot in the door".

Others said the procedures are "best practices" at big firms which smaller companies want to copy. Ammar Shehada, business development manager at recruitment firm Ershaad.ae, said: "The majority of employers are asking for police background checks, work references, academic documents or professional certificates after shortlisting potential candidates. Recruitment agencies must ensure they are forwarding the right candidates to employers by ensuring that whatever is mentioned in the CV is true, as we recruit human beings and not a piece of paper. Otherwise it's all a waste of time, effort, money and reputation."

Mohammad Al Suweidi, managing partner of Dubai law firm Al Suweidi and Co, said the government requires employees to get police clearance. "This requirement of a police certificate of good conduct makes sense for the private sector because it safeguards the interests of employers. As an employer, it's my right to know that the person I am hiring has no criminal record. It's good practice. You wouldn't want an embezzler to handle your accounts."

Besides producing original education and employment history documents attested by officials, a police Certificate of Good Conduct is demanded by many private firms. They also make calls to former line managers and even past school teachers to see if the applicant had behaviour or attitude issues.

Referrals by prior bosses or education providers are cross-checked and validated, but more sensitive information is shared over the phone, a long-serving HR manager at one of the UAE's biggest conglomerates said.

"If there was a minor problem in the past, I really don't care. If it was serious, it'll get flagged up in the police or immigration checks," he said on condition of anonymity.

"With former line managers, they don't like to put things down in writing for legal reasons — the applicant could file a case, ‘why did you say these bad things about me?' So I call them up and we verbally discuss everything — why the candidate left or was terminated. There was someone we wanted to hire for a senior position where everything was looking good. But because of bad feedback, we didn't go ahead."

A manager of a leading job agency said on condition of anonymity: "You need to know what's the candidate's background, they could be a threat to the company.

"After the recession, there were many non-genuine applicants who wanted to hurt employers financially. There were fraudsters, fake referrals and fake documents. They were desperate to get their foot in the door.

"There is a real concern, and the demand for police certificates is on the rise. What you say about yourself should not contradict what the police say. But it's also happening because medium companies want to follow big companies' best [recruitment] practices. This is a sweeping trend, which is starting to take off across the board."

Another recruitment firm, JustJobs.ae, believes many applicants are becoming aware of the police background checks.

"They know about this; it's part of getting hired in so many companies and government departments. And why should they be offended or worried if they have nothing to hide?" said senior recruitment specialist Sami Al Zubaidi.

No immediate comment was available from Dubai Police.