Abu Dhabi: With the linking of the visa processing and ID card registration yesterday, the Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) expects to register about 5,800 expatriates a day for ID cards in Abu Dhabi emirate.

Registration for Emirates ID cards has become compulsory for expatriates as it is needed to apply for and renew residence visas in the emirate.

Emirates ID had announced March 31, 2012, as the deadline for expatriates in the emirate to register for ID cards. After that date they will have to pay a fine of Dh20 per day up to a maximum of Dh1,000. Expatriates in Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman, and all expatriates working in the government sector across the country have to pay fines from December 1. But the fines will be applicable to expatriates in the emirates of Sharjah and Dubai from February 1 and June 1, 2012, respectively.

Medical tests

Expatriates undergoing medical tests for visas in seven Preventive Medicine Centres (PMCs) across Abu Dhabi emirate must now apply for their ID cards first.

"We expect about 5,800 expatriates a day to register for ID cards at the registration centres attached to the seven PMCs in the emirate," an official spokesman of Emirates ID told Gulf News yesterday.

The number of people registered for ID cards on the first day of the linking of visas and ID cards was not readily available with the spokesman.

"It will be available later," he said.

Registration centres for ID cards are either located with the seven PMCs across the emirate or close to them, he said.

The two centres in Abu Dhabi city expect about 3,600 applicants a day — Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (1,300) and Mussaffah (2,300). The Al Ain centre expects 1,500 applicants. The four centres in the Western Region expect about 700 applicants a day — Madinat Zayed (200), Gayathi (200), Al Sila (150) and Delma (150). The spokesman said Emirates ID has given training to typing centres about the new system.

Unified identity number

"They have to deal with new applicants with an entry permit only [newcomers to the country who have not stamped their residence visa]," the spokesman said. "Earlier, typing centres used to deal with expatriates who already had residence visas."

He asked applicants to carry original passports and get the UID (unified identity number) from the Immigration Department while filling the application at the typing centres. Applicants must ensure all information is typed correctly and all documents are scanned.