Starting April 11, UAE residents’ Emirates ID will serve as their residency document. It replaces residency visa stickers that are stamped on to passports.

For residency applications — new or renewal — made from tomorrow, residents won’t need to go through two separate visa and Emirates ID processes. The process can be done within a single application. Moreover, applicants won’t need to leave their passports behind at immigration offices for visa stamping.

Arabic newspaper Al Khaleej quoted a top official at the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) saying that the move would reduce efforts and time to get residency documents by “30 to 40 per cent”.

After “extensive studies”, the decision was taken to cut down on the number of steps required to issue residency documents.

The Emirates ID — which received a major upgrade recently — contains all relevant residency-related information that’s available on the visa sticker. The new generation of Emirates ID contains personal and professional data, the issuing entity, and other readable data via an e-link system.

The residency sticker will be available only via the authority’s app. Additionally, people can get their residency details in a printed format with the authority’s stamp in three steps. This can be done via the app or website (

The ICP has coordinated with all the relevant stakeholders in the aviation sector to ensure they are updated about the latest residency-related updates. For residents outside the UAE, officials can verify their entry status via a passport reader.


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