As a business owner in the UAE, compliance will always play a big part in your business life. Over the years, the UAE has come out with various rules and regulations that have contributed to creating a strong, vibrant and business friendly economic climate. An Emirates ID serves as a common thread that connects various compliance requirements for business owners. Therefore, your Emirates ID status plays a huge role in ensuring that you avoid the pitfalls of non compliance. Read on to understand the significance of the Emirates ID and how it can help you do business smoothly
- What is an Emirates ID?
- How to get an Emirates ID? The process in detail
- The application process
- Your key to government services
- How the UAE Pass benefits business owners
- Making immigration hassle-free
- Your gateway to seamless banking
- Medical insurance at your fingertips
- Extra benefit for Abu Dhabi Residents
- Checking the status in real-time
- A bouquet of unique features
- How to get your card in a day
- How to renew your ID?
- Updating or Cancelling the card
What is an Emirates ID?
Since its introduction in 2006, your Emirates ID holds significant importance as a resident, citizen, and business owner in the UAE. For non-business purposes an Emirates ID is very much the starting point for getting anything and everything done in the UAE. Your valid Emirates ID is essential for various purposes, including renting housing, paying fines, utility bills, banking, and vehicle registration.
For business purposes too your Emirates ID is a necessary document that needs to accompany any application form. Whether it’s a memorandum of association or applying for a corporate tax ID number, the Emirates ID is a mandatory document.
How to get an Emirates ID? The process in detail
In general, residents apply for an Emirates ID along with the visa application. If you choose a business setup consultancy for your application, the cost of the Emirates ID is likely included in the visa application cost. Depending on the Emirate, you will be paying anywhere between AED 2500 to AED 7000 for a visa.
The very first document that you will receive is an Entry Permit that will entitle you to enter the UAE as a legal resident. The document has a validity of 60 days, during which you must undergo a medical test and apply for your Emirates ID. Once the Emirates ID is ready you can get your resident visa stamped in your passport with ease. As mentioned earlier, your Emirates ID status becomes very much the central point of your existence as a resident because it is essential even for stamping your resident visa.
A medical checkup is a mandatory procedure and it is only after this that you will be able to get your resident visa. The checkup is done at Preventive Medicine Centres which conduct comprehensive tests for AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Tuberculosis.
The application process
To initiate the Emirates ID application process, you first need to visit the nearest office of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. For customer convenience, many of these offices are already located near Preventive Medicine Centres. The process will involve the scanning of your biometrics like retina scans, fingerprint scans etc. This biometric data will remain in the authority’s database and will help you renew your Emirates ID in the future with ease.
Once your application is processed, your visa will be stamped in your passport, and the Emirates ID will have the same validity as your visa. Depending on whether you are in the mainland or in a Free Zone, the validity of your visa could be 1 – 3 years. After the visa stamping process is over, you will receive your Emirates ID within 7-10 days. Throughout the process, you can track your application and receive updates via SMS messages from the Authority. The Emirates ID tracking message has all the details of how to collect your ID.
Alternatively, you can visit the website of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security and enter your Application Number (PRAN) or your Emirates ID Number (for Renewal / Replacement Applications) to know the exact status of your Emirates ID Card application.
Your key to government services
The concept of the Emirates ID and Emirates ID status was the result of envisioning the true potential of technology in making business easier in the UAE. The Emirates ID is at the very core of a wide and ever-growing list of digital services being provided by the government. UAE has always been at the forefront of digital-first initiatives in the region and the Emirates ID helps create a robust digital ecosystem that provides easy access to a range of government services.
The UAE Pass, launched approximately two years ago, provides a single digital identity for citizens, residents, and visitors. By downloading the UAE Pass app and entering your Emirates ID details and biometric facial recognition, you can create a digital identity card. This becomes useful for accessing government services without the need for creating separate accounts for separate services. It currently helps users access more than 6000 services offered by federal and local authorities in the UAE.
This is just one example of how disruptive and important an Emirates ID is for residents in the UAE. The government’s focus on digital transformation across the board has resulted in various such innovations being rolled out in the past few years and has set new standards for security as well as ease of access to services.
How the UAE Pass benefits business owners
The official website of the Federal Authority For Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security has a wide range of online services for residents, citizens and organisations. When you click on the Organisation Service section on the website, there are 3 different services available: Renew Establishment Card, Issuance of entry permits from ports (Land, Sea, and Air) and Issue Establishment Card. The easiest way to start accessing these services is using the UAE Pass Login for which you will need your Emirates ID. A number of other online services available on the website like Emirates ID status and Emirates ID tracking are also easily accessible using the UAE Pass.
Making immigration hassle-free
One of the biggest benefits of your Emirates ID, especially for business owners, is that it makes immigration really simple and hassle-free. The ID already has your visa status details in it and therefore you can move to the e-gates at the Dubai International Airport, scan your ID and authenticate using your fingerprint to pass through without waiting in queues. Additionally you can renew your licence or vehicle registrations using the kiosks at RTA. Here too, you will need your Emirates ID details for verification and authentication.
Your gateway to seamless banking
Al Etihad Credit Bureau Customer Service Centres offer quick credit reports to individuals with Emirates IDs. Your Credit Score is essential for getting loans, credit cards, mortgages and other financial products in the UAE. Your credit history, directly linked to your Emirates ID, serves as a reference point for evaluating your creditworthiness. Banks and other authorised financial institutions can access your credit history and Emirates ID status using your Emirates ID to offer you their services and products.
Medical insurance at your fingertips
The Emirates ID also facilitates the processing of medical insurance. You can use the ID instead of a medical card as it is also linked to the medical insurance system. All leading insurance providers have linked their customer details into the databases in healthcare institutions and this makes it much easier to process medical insurance using the card.
Extra benefit for Abu Dhabi Residents
If you have an active ADNOC Wallet in Abu Dhabi, then you can use your Emirates ID instead of your credit card or debit card to pay for the fuel. You can do so at the smart service stations available in various locations.
Checking the status in real-time
Your Emirates ID status is key to accessing any service in the UAE; and therefore it is advisable to always know the exact status of your card. There are multiple ways to do so and the easiest one is to log into the ICA website and check the status of your card by entering the relevant information. Users can conveniently download the ICA UAE Smart app, which contains an electronic version of the Emirates ID card, eliminating the need for a physical card. It can be read by service providers using a QR Code, which makes it really user friendly and effective.
A bouquet of unique features
The usage of the Emirates ID for things like paying utility bills and getting bank accounts is very well known. But the card’s list of great and unique features does not end there. The new generation of the card has been designed to prevent fraud and identity theft. It serves as a portable personal database, providing easy access to various services. Made with a material called Melinex, the cards have different layers of security features and can easily last up to 10 years.
It also meets multiple ISO standards with a very high level of data security. It can act as a smart card and also has features for acting as a digital signature and authentication certificate using biometric verification. It also has an embedded chip that can only be read by authorised authorities like the E-link system of the ICA. The data is therefore encrypted and is in addition to the nine inbuilt security features. For residents the new ID will make the process of stamping the visa in your passport a thing of the past. All the necessary information about residents will now be available through the Emirates ID and passport number.
How to get your card in a day
For citizens & GCC nationals looking to get an Emirates ID really quickly, the ‘Fawri’ Service is the best option. While there is a premium charge for this service, you will receive the card within 24 hours. Customers who are registering for the first time, or are renewing an expired card or have lost or damaged their cards can avail this service.
For residents this service is only available in case of ID card replacement. The service is available at Customer Happiness Centres located in Al Jazeera and Khalifa City in Abu Dhabi, Al Barsha, Al Rashidiya and Karama in Dubai, Madinat Zayed in the Western Region, Al Ain Centre, Ajman Centre, Sharjah Centre, Fujairah Centre, Ras Al Khaimah Centre, and Umm Al Quwain Centre. You will have to pay AED 150 over and above the normal charges to avail the service.
How to renew your ID?
You will have a total of 30 days after the expiry of the card to renew it without paying any penalty. ID holders receive advance SMS notifications when their card is about to expire, prompting them to renew it. For renewals, you can visit the ICP website or download the ICP app from the App Store or Play Store. You will need to visit the nearest ICP service Centre to provide your biometrics to renew the card.
The fee for replacing a lost or damaged card is AED 300. This is in addition to the application fee of AED 70 while applying from a typing centre and AED 40 while applying through the ICA website.
Updating or Cancelling the card
You can visit the ICP website for modifying or updating your details. Any changes in the card’s particulars should be reported to the relevant department at the earliest. In case you want to cancel your existing card for reasons like leaving the UAE for good or while changing jobs, you can hand over the card to the relevant General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs. You can also chat online with the Ask Hamad chatbot to get more clarity about the procedures.
As a leading Chartered Accountancy & Accounting Firm in the UAE, our team is well versed with the legal framework for personal as well as corporate compliances including Corporate Tax in the UAE. If you are looking for timely, knowledgeable and professional assistance in setting up a business in the UAE, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +97143577678 to learn more about our services and how we can help you comply & avoid penalties.