Dubai: If you have changed your maiden name after marriage, and would like to update all the important documents under your name to your husband’s surname, how can you go about completing the task? A Gulf News reader wrote in with the query.
She asked: “I have lived in the UAE for 15 years, including many years before marriage. In my home country, it is the custom to take the husband's surname after marriage. If I get my passport changed to my married surname, how do I go about changing my name in the UAE on my residence visa, Emirates ID and driving licence? Also, I have a bank account, which includes a mortgage, and I would also need to change the name on the title deed with the land department and the Ejari. I am the landlord and tenants live in the apartment I own, which has 14 years left on its mortgage term. Please advise.”
Gulf News raised the query with Dr Ibrahim Al Banna, CEO of Dubai-based Ibrahim Al Banna Advocates and Legal Consultants, to find out the procedure that needs to be followed to update a person’s name on these essential documents.
Step 1: Update your passport and get the marriage certificate attested
According to Dr Al Banna, the first step is to apply for a new passport and get the necessary attestations for the marriage certificate.
He said: “The first step for female expatriates who decide to change their surnames after marriage is to apply for a new passport in their home country or in the consulate of that country in the UAE. The next step is to legalise your marriage certificate by the Foreign Office in the country of marriage and to attest it at the UAE Embassy in that country and officially translate it into Arabic. You will also need the marriage certificate attested by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), in order to ensure complete validity process.”
The cost of the passport application will vary depending on your consulate or embassy.
The attestation of marriage certificate with MOFAIC costs Dh150, according to the Ministry’s website.
The first step for female expatriates who decide to change their surnames after marriage is to apply for a new passport in their home country or in the consulate of that country in the UAE.
Step 2: Prepare a statutory declaration
A statutory declaration then needs to be drafted, where the individual clearly states their maiden name and the update to their husband’s surname. In the UAE, these services need to be done through your country’s consulate or embassy, or through a law firm. The declaration needs to be drafted clearly stating the name change and the supporting documents attached, which include the passport copies with the old and new name.
The cost for preparing the statutory declaration can also vary, depending on your embassy or consulate. For Indian expatriates, for example, the statutory declaration is drafted by BLS International, the licensed agency which offers passport and visa services for Indians in the UAE. The cost for a statutory declaration can vary from Dh450 to Dh650, depending on whether you choose a regular or premium service
Step 3: Update your visa and Emirates ID
“Once the expatriate has changed the name in her passport, then it is important that all the documents issued in the UAE should match the amended data of the individual. In order to amend the name in the residence visa in Dubai you must apply to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). For all other emirates, you should apply to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and pay the mandatory fees,” Dr Al Banna said.
Where to go
To apply for a fresh visa, you can approach GDRFA’s Amer centres in Dubai, which provide visa and immigration services for Dubai visa holders, or an ICA service centre for visas issued by other emirates.
Moosa Bin Ali Dayani, a public relations manager based in Dubai explained how the visa needs to be updated before the Emirates ID can be changed.
“You would need to fill out a ‘modification of the name’ application at the immigration department and provide your passport copies as supporting documents. Once the approval comes in, the passport will be stamped with the new visa. This process takes one or two working days. Once you have the new visa stamped on your passport, you would then need to go to the ICA service centre and apply for modifying your personal details on your Emirates ID. Here the new visa page is uploaded, along with your new passport copy. The Emirates ID is then delivered to a post office within one week,” Dayani said.
New visa application – Dh300
New Emirates ID – Dh450
Once you have the new visa stamped on your passport, you would then need to go to the ICA service centre and apply for modifying your personal details on your Emirates ID.
Step 4: Update all other essential documents
You would then need to approach the relevant departments based on the documents that you would like to update. This is where the statutory declaration can be helpful, according to Dr Al Banna.
“The statutory declaration for changing the name can be used to make amendments to other important documents that is bank accounts, driver’s licence, title deed with Land Department for the apartment and the Ejari,” he said.
Updating title deed
The process of updating the title deed with the Dubai Land Department can be done at the DLD main office in Deira’s Baniyas Road, or online, through this link.
• Dh250 per Title Deed
• One per cent of the value of property
• Dh10 Knowledge Fees
• Dh10 Innovation Fees
The Ejari can also be updated at the Dubai Land Department main office, or online if you have an online account with the Ejari system – ejari.dubailand.gov.ae – or through DLD’s official ‘Dubai REST’ app, which is available for Apple and Android devices.
• Tenancy Contract
• Copies of Passports and Emirates ID cards
Updating driving licence
The driving licence needs to be updated at the traffic department of the emirate in which it was issued. You would need to request to amend the details on your driving licence at the service centre.
• Valid Emirates ID with the new name