Abu Dhabi: By the end of this year, registration procedures for Emirates ID cards will be linked with residence visa issuing and renewal formalities across the UAE, a top official confirmed in the capital yesterday.
This will be done by linking the preventative medicine departments across the country with the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), said Dr Ali Al Khouri, director-general of Eida.
"Currently, these ID registration procedures are already in sync with residence visa processes in Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. We are looking at ways of implementing the same system in the other three emirates," Dr Al Khouri said.
In Abu Dhabi as well, applying for a new or renewed residence visa at the Mussaffah centre, which is located outside Abu Dhabi city, automatically initiates the process of acquiring an Emirates ID card.
Within the capital city, the preventative medicine department at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City will be linked to Eida by September.
Two preventative medicine centres will also be linked in Dubai Free Zone in July, Dr Al Khouri said.
"Currently, 14 preventative medicine centres across the country are operated by Eida. We are working to increase this number to serve as many residents as possible," he added.
Al Khouri also encouraged residents to apply for their Emirates IDs as early as possible.
"Not only will these smart cards soon allow people to avail of a range of services, like paying utility bills for instance, but their advanced security features and records with the Eida will also guarantee identity security while guarding against identity theft," he added.
To acquire an Emirates ID, residents need to visit authorised typing centres to submit their preliminary details and schedule an appointment at an Eida centre. During the appointment, residents submit biometric information like fingerprints and iris scans, after which the ID cards are printed and delivered to them by a courier service company or can be picked up at a designated post office.