How is your Emirates ID linked to your UAE Residency Visa?

How is your Emirates ID linked to your UAE Residency Visa

To align with the UAE’s goal of offering top-notch services, expatriates living in the country no longer require a residency visa. In the past, this sticker served as physical evidence of your legal residency status. Instead, all the information previously found on the residency sticker is now included on your Emirates ID.  

This change is part of a broader effort to enhance government services and enhance residents’ experiences. For business owners and entrepreneurs, this new procedure brings positive outcomes. It simplifies the process of printing residence details for employees, reducing it to just three simple steps.  

Meaning & Role of Emirates ID 

The Emirates ID Card is a form of identification issued by the UAE government to its citizens and residents, serving as proof of both identity and residency status within the country. The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security (ICP) is responsible for issuing Emirates ID cards, a requirement for all citizens and permanent residents of the United Arab Emirates. The Emirates ID serves several purposes:  

  • Access to Government Services  
  • Identification for UAE Nationals Traveling Within GCC Countries  
  • Proof of Identity at UAE Airports’ Electronic Gates  
  • Voting in Federal National Council Elections  

Emirates ID Features – An Overview  

The UAE government recently introduced the ‘next generation’ of Emirates IDs, demonstrating cutting-edge smart card technology.  

With nine security elements, the Emirates ID is highly resistant to forgery, surpassing industry standards set for cards like banking credit cards. Each card is assigned a unique 15-digit number, enabling access to government services and verification by non-governmental and commercial organizations requiring proof of identity.  

What is a Residency Visa?  

To obtain a residency visa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), expatriates initially enter the country on a visit visa or an entry permit. Individuals aged 18 and above seeking a residency visa are required to undergo a medical examination to verify their health status. As per the UAE Government website, applicants must also pass a security check and apply for an Emirates ID card from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.  

What’s the difference now and why?  

As of April 11, 2022, the ICP (Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security) has ceased issuing residency stickers to expatriates. Instead, the Emirates ID cards serve as proof of their valid residency status in the UAE.  

This change follows a decision by the UAE Cabinet aimed at enhancing service quality, adopting best practices, and streamlining residency procedures. The goal is to reduce the number of steps required to obtain or renew a residency permit.  

Previously, individuals had to apply separately for residency and Emirates ID. Now, these processes are unified under a single application form, simplifying both issuance and renewal procedures. Additionally, the cumbersome process of physically affixing residency stickers to passports has been eliminated, enhancing customer satisfaction and flexibility in residency services.  

The ICP’s smart application also allows individuals to receive an electronic copy of their Emirates ID, promoting its versatility and enhancing online identity verification capabilities. This further underscores the value of the Emirates ID in confirming personal identity in digital transactions.  

How to Renew Your Emirates ID Card?  

As a UAE resident, it’s important to renew your Emirates ID card within 30 days of its expiry to avoid fines. You can check the validity and status of the Emirates ID on the ICA website.  

To renew your ID card, you can apply online through the ICP website, the ICP App, or at an authorized typing centre. After completing the application and submitting the required documents, you’ll need to pay the renewal fees, which vary based on validity and processing centre.  

You’ll receive an SMS confirming your application status. In some cases, biometrics may be required at an ICP service centre.  

Once processed, you can track your Emirates ID status online and will receive an SMS from the post office to collect your renewed card.  

Why Do Entrepreneurs Choose SPC Free Zones?  

One of the great advantages of partnering with us for your company setup is securing a prime business address. Our offices are conveniently located in the heart of Sharjah, with easy access to Dubai International Airport. Whether you’re aiming to obtain a UAE residency visa or need assistance with your Emirates ID card application, we’re here to help you! 

At SPC Free Zone, we provide comprehensive support services tailored to your business needs, guiding you from the beginning of your journey and beyond. These encompass a wide range of assistance, including spouse and children’s visa services, documentation, corporate banking assistance, and more when you obtain a business license through us.  

Moreover, you have the flexibility to choose from over 2,500 business activities and obtain as many visa quotas as required. Our clients set up businesses in Sharjah-free zones and enjoy numerous benefits, including zero paid-up share capital requirements.  

With immigration services available onsite, you can expect your license to be issued swiftly, often within minutes, and your UAE residency visa processed in just 5 working days. Whether you’re considering a business setup in Sharjah or anywhere else in the country, let us help you explore the possibilities.   

Start your journey towards business setup in Sharjah with us today! 


Sawsan Alsharanee

Sawsan is an Arabic copywriter and translator with over 12 years of experience in EnglishArabic translation and 6 years of experience in copywriting across various domains including business setup, technology, healthcare, and marketing. Sawsan has a rich portfolio of high-quality, culturally appropriate translations and articles, crafted to drive engagement and conversions, and help businesses connect with their Arabic-speaking clients.

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