Abu Dhabi: Since many expatriates in Dubai emirate have not yet registered for national ID cards as the May 31 deadline gets closer, the Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) has asked companies to use a special service to fast-track the applications of their employees.
In a desperate attempt to complete the application process and avoid fines from June 1, many applicants in Dubai have reportedly left their passports with crowded typing centres, risking identity theft.
But the companies with at least 500 employees can use a special service to apply for ID cards faster and cheaper without depending on typing centres, a top official told Gulf News on Monday.
"Those companies seeking this special service will be able to file applications of their employees from their own offices through ‘emaratech', an [outsourced] company responsible for electronic application process," said Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Emirates ID.
"By not depending on typing centres, they can save a lot of time and save Dh30 typing fee per applicant," he said. An applicant will be charged Dh40 each instead of Dh70 charged by typing centres, Al Khoury said.
He said the authority introduced this service last year for the companies with at least 5,000 employees.
"But considering the rush at typing centres in Dubai due to the impending deadline, we have extended the this service to companies with at least 500 employees since the first week of May," the official said.
He said many expatriates have not registered in Dubai although exact figures were not readily available with him.
"That has been the trend in the country since the introduction of the ID card. Many people wait until the last minute, causing huge rush at typing centres." Al Khoury said.
He requested the companies with more than 500 employees to avail of the special service for their employees.
The deadline for the expatriates in other emirates had already ended. After the deadline, Dh20 per day is the fine which will go up to a maximum of Dh1,000.
Expatriates whose residence visa expires in 2012 in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah have to apply for a new ID card while renewing their visa.
All children under 15 years of age, Emiratis and expatriates, are exempted from the fines until October 1, 2012.
Fewer online applicants
Only 20 per cent of the total ID card applications are submitted online, a top official said. About 80 per cent of the applicants depend on typing centres, Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Emirates ID told Gulf News.
He asked internet-savvy residents to use the online application system on www.emiratesid.ae to save time and money. Those who apply for national ID cards online using a credit card will be able to save the Dh30 typing fee.
Companies wishing to avail of the special service can contact: email@example.com
23,774 text messages
Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) has sent 23,774 SMSs to the executives of private sector companies in Dubai, reminding them to alert employees to register for ID cards before the May 31 deadline.
The messages in Arabic and English are meant to help employees avoid being fined, Emirates ID said. The authority said the texts are part of media campaign and advertising to remind residents to rush to register for ID cards. It said the majority of people who have not yet registered are private sector employees. The text messages were sent in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour which provided a list of phone numbers of representatives of large and medium-sized companies in Dubai. The authority launched a campaign a year ago, urging people not to wait until the last minute to register for ID cards.