In this week's issue

Emirates ID: Confusion over five-day deadline

SMS alerts warning applicants to complete formalities within short time-frame stumps residents and typing centres

  • By Jay B. Hilotin, Chief Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 March 20, 2013

At a typing centre in the UAE
  • Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/XPRESS
  • Chaotic: Residents say the five-day period for visa renewal after ID application is too short.

Dubai: Linking tenancy contract and Emirates ID with residence visa renewal is causing confusion among residents and typing centre staff because of the number of steps involved.

Emirates ID is a prerequisite for official transactions including visa renewal for expatriates.

The pressure builds as Emirates ID applicants must get their residence visa renewed or apply for it within five days. If they fail to do that, they get a warning that their ID application has been cancelled and they have to go through the process all over again.

An SMS sent by the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) to applicants states: “Confirmation of new residency information for (application number) was incomplete. Kindly proceed to an authorised typing centre within five business days to scan the new residency sticker to avoid cancellation of the application and to complete the registration process. If you have received ID card, please ignore this notification.”

PROs and typing centre staff say the period is too short given the volume and requirements for completing visa renewals.

There’s a huge volume of applications for Emirates ID alongside applications for family residence visas. EIDA expects the number of transactions at the ID card system (and Population Register) to reach two million per year. These include registering new expatriates, newborns and ID card renewal transactions.

Related Links

Time is too short

Abu Bakr Abdul Rahman, a typing centre supervisor in Al Quoz said: “We don’t question the process. But EIDA should understand that five days is too short. It’s not possible for most people to meet this deadline.”

Emirates ID card and residence visa processing have been linked across the country, though applicants must apply for them separately.

Dubai residents renewing residency visa for their spouses and children are required to attest their tenancy contract with Ejari, an online lease registration service. To register with Ejari, applicants must submit their original tenancy contract, the affection plan/title deed (supplied by landlords) and their Emirates ID.

A seamless data link between Emirates ID and visa application would curb paperwork and reduce stress, say applicants.

“Why can’t they link the two — have one application process for both?” said Babu, an expatriate applying for a residence visa for his wife and child. “You have to take a day off from work, pay the fees for every step, but the time to get all these things done is too short.”

A PRO described the current process as “chaotic”.

“When you renew residence visas for your family members,” the PRO said, “you must also provide a receipt for Emirates ID renewal (issued by an accredited typing centre). Then you get a SMS message that the application will be rejected if the renewed visa is not scanned within five business days. This is too short. The medical test required for residence visa renewal takes a few days already. It’s stressful, confusing,” he added.

People who ignore the Emirates ID warning find their applications cancelled, said a typing staff.

“In my experience, people who wait a month to submit the new visa for scanning would find their Emirates ID application deactivated,” said Abu Bakr.

A typing staff said the actual grace period is about 15 days.

Nehal Ahmad of Shakeel Darwish Typing in Bur Dubai said most people don’t know about the deadline. “We’re happy to help the applicants. After an application is filed, it’s our duty to wait and scan (new visas). The process is a bit repetitive. We tell them that if they do not act fast enough — usually within 15 days they might end up where they started.”

EIDA speaks

XPRESS spoke to an EIDA spokesperson regarding the confusion:

Is this an automated SMS from EIDA?

Yes it’s an automated SMS for all expat applications.

Applicants, typing centre staff and PROs say the five-day requirement is too short. Others say the message is causing confusion and undue stress as applying for a residence visa takes time due to medical tests.

This SMS acts as a reminder for applicants to complete the residency issuance process in the communicated time frame mentioned on their application. Emirates ID is keen to serve its customers by communicating with them and reminding them about the deadlines and procedures.

For how long do you extend the grace period before the ID application becomes invalid?

This SMS is a reminder tool for the customers to motivate them to complete registration procedures within the deadline.

Some typing centre staff say a Emirates ID application remains valid for up to three weeks, but not one month. Is this true?

EIDA won’t spare any effort to help and support our customers them in the procedures. If a customer faces a situation of invalid application because he/she crossed the grace period, the customer care team will do the needful to re-open the application and continue the application process.

Documents and fees for Emirates ID

A: Ejari (Online registration must for lease contracts)

1. Original tenancy contract

2. Affection plan/title deed (suplied by landlord)

3. Passport Copy and Emirates ID

4. Fee: Dh200

B: Emirates ID

1. Original ID of applicants (spouse and children)

2. Original ID of sponsor

3. Original Passport

4. ID picture if below 15 years old (newborns require original birth certificate for scanning)

5.Fee: Dh370 for three years, Dh270 for two years, Dh170 for one year (length of time depends on validity of residence visa)

C. Visa Renewal (for spouse and children)

1. Original passport of applicants

2. Original passport of sponsor

3. Medical test (for those above 18 years)

4. Two pictures (white background)

5. Original Emirates ID

6. Fee: Dh300 for two years, including typing + Dh20 Zajel courier service

Comments (13)

Share your views
  1. Added 12:57 March 21, 2013

    Good concern shown by XPRESS in the right time. This is a serious issue now in the ID application. I applied for three IDs for my family and two were deactivated for the same reason and for ID I scanned and uploaded the residency sticker. Finally I got one ID only for the deactivated account (even though the residency sticker was not uploaded) and other two IDs are still pending even after so many complaints. I got the SMS on February 1 and the application was deactivated on february 2, whereas their system is showing that the SMS had been sent on January 28. It's total confusion and the authorities should look into this matter...

    Mohamed, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:14 March 21, 2013

    My child's ID renewal applied in August 2012 has still not been delivered. Many visits have been made to the ID and typing centres for re-uploading the documents. Whenever you follow up with them, the answer is the ID is under process and within 14 days you will get, which I have been hearing it since January 2013. This could be the case with thousands of applicants and if the authority is technicaly not capable of delivering, they could have avoided to enforce this on residents. Instead this should have been along with the resident visa renewals.

    Anil Jacob, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:06 March 21, 2013

    We do not know whether this ID is first or the last. Keep on spending money on typing and for the cards.

    Bruce Lee X, US, United States

  4. Added 11:24 March 21, 2013

    I never believed money grew on trees. However, after paying charges after charges during the visa processing in the UAE, I felt that there are people who believe money grows on trees.... and the processes they follow are as disjointed and caotic as they can be...

    Ranga, Dubai, Sri Lanka

  5. Added 11:11 March 21, 2013

    Then what about Abu Dhabi? Please include Abu Dhabi rules and regulations to make us more aware....

    Mohammad Aasif, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 10:57 March 21, 2013

    The authorities should specify which step must be done first or in advance to avoid any confusion.

    R G S, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 10:02 March 21, 2013

    I think Emirates ID is just a waste of money and cause more tension. I have renewed my Emirates ID on January 20, 2013. I got an sms to complete the formalities within five days. I forced my PRO to hurry up and get it stamped in five days. Anyhow I completed the formalities and went back again to the typing centre to scan the visa page but when I went to scan the visa page I was surprised to hear that modification is not allowed and that I have to to the Emirates ID office. I called the call centre to check with them and they told me that I don't need to scan the visa page as we are linked with DNRD, so it will be done automatically. They also told me to just track the application online. Since that date I am just tracking the application every day to check the status. I have visited AL Barsha, Satwa and Karama (WHICH IS CLOSED NOW) to check my application. When I visited all these offices they just told me to wait for the SMS to come. I checked the status online and it is showing that the printed card has been dispatched to Emirates Post. When I am calling Emirates Post for the delivery, they are telling it is not with them and taht I should check with Empost. When I am calling Empost, they are telling me to wait for the SMS AS they cannot do individual delivery and that they only do bulk delivery. A lot of time and money have been wasted in calling Emirates Post, Empost and Emirates ID for my card to deliver. And in the market there are a lot of other people who have different experiences and different stories for getting the Emirates ID. Urgent action must be taken to sort out the issue and have the card as we have paid for it. (When we are defaulters in making Emirates ID or late in renewing the ID, we are charged per day)! So is it right if the authorities cannot give us the card since the last three months even after we pay for it in time?

    LODHI AZMATULLAH, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 07:59 March 21, 2013

    The entire EIDA team needs to be reshuffled. We're dealing with unprofressional people who can't link the different process to help automate the system. Why must we have to revisit the typing centre to scan our visas? Why can't EIDA automatically link up that information from the relevant immigration database? Hire professional people please and spare us this misery!

    Tony, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 07:34 March 21, 2013

    I have registered in 2011 and till date my ID has not been yet been delivered. After continuous follow up with the EIDA and KMK Courier I still have no response. I have made many compliants with the EIDA personally and via the website and I got a certificate signed by the EIDA Staff, which states that I could use whenever I require the Emirates ID. But, some banks are not accepting...They are telling that it cannot be used as an ID. Now, again, I contacted the EIDA and they are asking me to apply again through the typing centre for a replacement card. Is it my fault? Why should I pay again and wait for months again to get a new ID? I cannot proceed for any official transaction now??


  10. Added 00:10 March 21, 2013

    This system is getting very complicated day by day. First thing there shouldn't be any expiry date on the Emirates ID card just as it is for a national and a resident of the UAE. The same card should be used for visa renewal and the money should be collected only at one time. Immigration, Emirates ID system, etc, should be linked to avoid people going up and down for updating the applications after renewal of the visa. The ID card shouldn't be taken back from the person. Whether he leaves the country or not, it is his property as he is paying for it -- just as in case of driving license. Let the authorities consider the public opinion and make things easier rather than more complicated.

    Imran, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  11. View more comments