Abu Dhabi: Millions of expatriate employees in the country can save the cost of over Dh200 for ID card renewal every two years, thanks to a new move by the Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID).
Sponsors have to bear the costs of national ID cards of their expatriate employees, according to a top official.
“Now national ID cards are issued as part of the residence visa processing, whose costs have to be borne by the sponsors as per the existing laws,” said Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Emirates ID, told Gulf News on Sunday.
After linking the ID card and residence visa processing across the country, ID cards are an integral part of the residence visa, he pointed out.
Since applying for and renewing a residence visa for an expatriate employee is the responsibility of the sponsor, the two cannot be separated, Al Khoury explained.
Now it is the sponsor’s responsibility to apply for and renew the national ID cards of their employees along with their residence visa, he said.
The official said many private sector employers have already started paying for their employees’ ID cards ever since the ID cards and visas were integrated. This announcement is to make the rest of the employers follow suit, Al Khoury said.
The official did not specify a particular date to implement the latest move. But he hinted that he is making this announcement as part of an awareness campaign to prompt the employers to take the entire responsibility of their employees’ ID card processing at the earliest.
Asked about the action against the employers who do not follow this, he said : “The authority, in consultation with the other relevant government authorities, will think of a legal framework to implement it after watching the situation.”
Al Khoury said Emirates ID has made this move now because the mass enrolment of expatriate workers in the country for ID cards has recently been completed.
Even after completing the integration of ID card issuance and visa processing last year across the country, Emirates ID did not implement this move because expatriates who already had a residence visa were still registering for ID cards, the official said. It means many people were applying for ID cards separately until recently, he pointed put. “But we completed enrolling all people recently. Now expatriates are applying for ID card or renewing it along with the residence visa only, that’s why this move,” Al Khoury explained.