Passengers at the passport control area at the Dubai International Airport's Terminal 1. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: You can now, from the comfort of your home, complete applications related to nationality, and residence, without having to visit typing offices or customer service centres.

The Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday launched "E-channels", a new system of smart services that lets nationals and residents apply for entry permits and residency visas within 10 minutes.

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Under the new system, people don’t need to physically visit different visa centres in the country. Instead, they can register at https://echannels.moi.gov.ae and select the services required. Individuals will need an email id and password to log into the system, said Brigadier Mansour Ahmad Al Daheri, director-general of residency and naturalisation department of Abu Dhabi.

In partnership with Tahaluf Al Emarat Technical Solutions, the ministry has worked on the development of the e-services system that allows typing centres, companies and individuals (citizens, residents and Gulf Cooperation Council nationals) to apply for residency and naturalisation services with ease.

Using "E-channels", GCC citizens and residents can apply for visas, follow up on applications and print visas.

Companies can submit applications without having to visit General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs centres.

Under the smart system, Emiratis can apply to sponsor individuals, residents can apply for new visas, or renew or cancel and GCC nationals can apply to sponsor individuals while GCC residents can apply for new visa permit. Visitors can apply for new visa permit.

Brig Al Daheri said that the new system aims to reduce the rush at government centres by 80 per cent by next year.

With the help of electronic services and smart phones, customers will be able to complete their transactions from any place in a very simple and accurate manner, he said.

The new system aims to enhance services at all centres and achieve the UAE 2021 vision, Brig Al Daheri said, and connects government entities involved in providing residency and visa services and offers first-time benefits in terms of similar procedures, with the ability to read official documents electronically, using face recognition technology to identify the applicants, handle routine requests as well as auditing, accounting, governance, protection and quality control, all without human intervention as per international standards.

An automated payment facility attached with the system through payment gateway Amwal is linked to the external partners of the ministry who provide the services.

The new system will help with financial transparency and facilitate payments via IBAN details.

Residents can also get back their security deposit and transaction fees through the same channel without furnishing extra documents. Even fines can be paid through the same system.

The ministry will link customers, partners and typing centres to streamline the implementation of the new system as well as train employees and supervisors providing user guides at customer service centres. It would also follow-up on feedback and suggestions.

The ministry has also selected a specialised team to support typing centre across the UAE to enable them obtain accessibility to the new system.

How it works

To use the E-channels service, nationals and residents have to register at https://echannels.moi.gov.ae.

Individuals need an email id and password to log into the system. For example, if you have selected an individual service, you have to simply type in your email id. Immediately, a reply will be sent to you via a link.

You can click on the Register button and obtain login details to access the new system.

One platform for smart services

According to the Ministry of Interior, people can complete their entry and residency permit transactions through Smart Gate for Naturalisation, Residency and Ports Services, or visit typing centres registered with the Smart Gate system for the services of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs, or simply submit the application through https://echannels.moi.gov.ae.

Those who cannot access the system or website, can visit typing or service centres to complete the process.

Visa in minutes

According to the estimates of e-transaction experts, the ministry said that a transaction should not take longer than 10 minutes, depending on the speed of data entry by the applicant.