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The Emirates ID is a crucial document for residents of the United Arab Emirates. It serves as an identification card that is required for various transactions and services within the country. Whether you are a citizen, expatriate, or even a newborn baby in the UAE, having an Emirates ID is crucial for accessing government services, opening bank accounts, signing leases, and much more.

Therefore, here we will explore everything you need to know about the Emirates ID requirements, from application processes to renewal procedures.

What is an Emirates ID?

A UAE Emirates ID is a unique identification card issued by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to all its residents, including citizens, expatriates, and other residents. It serves as the primary form of identification for individuals living in the UAE and contains essential personal information such as name, date of birth, nationality, and a unique identification number.

Why do you need an Emirates ID?

There are several reasons why you would need an Emirates ID:

1. Acts as proof of identity

The Emirates ID is required for many activities such as opening a bank account, getting a mobile phone plan, or registering for government services.

2. Residency

For expatriates living and working in the UAE, the Emirates ID is often required as part of the residency visa process. It helps verify the individual’s legal status in the country.

3. Access to Services

Many services in the UAE, such as healthcare, education, utilities, and banking, require presentation of the Emirates ID for registration and access.

4. Security Purposes

The Emirates ID enhances security by providing a standardized means of verifying an individual’s identity, reducing the risk of fraud and identity theft.

Who Needs an Emirates ID?

In short, anyone living in the UAE, whether a citizen or resident, needs an Emirates ID. It’s essential for day-to-day life in the country.

1. Citizens

All UAE citizens are required to have an Emirates ID.

2. Expatriate Residents

Expatriates living and working in the UAE under residency visas are also required to obtain an Emirates ID.

3. Dependents 

Dependents of residents, including spouses and children, may also be required to obtain Emirates IDs depending on their visa status.

4. Employees

Many employers in the UAE require their employees to have Emirates IDs as part of the documentation process for employment and residency.

Emirates ID Requirements for Application

Apply for a new ID Card

The requirements for applying for an Emirates ID in the UAE will vary slightly depending on your age and nationality. Here’s a breakdown of the general documents you’ll need.

1. Original Passport

Applicants must present their original passport for verification purposes. The passport should be valid and not expired.

2. Passport-Sized Photographs

Applicants typically need to submit passport-sized photographs with specific emirates ID photo requirements such as size (typically specified as 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm), white background and the applicant’s face visible.

3. Residence Visa

Expatriate residents need to provide a valid residence visa issued by the UAE immigration authorities. The residence visa must be valid for at least six months.

4. Proof of Address

Some applicants may be required to provide proof of their residential address in the UAE, such as a utility bill or a tenancy contract.

5. Completed Application Form

You can get the application form from an Emirates ID typing centre or download it from the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) website.

6. Additional Requirements for Minors

Original Birth Certificate or passport of one of the parents or Emirates ID for those under 15 years old. Original of the Agency Certificate for the person acting on behalf of the minor if the minor was not present and the application was submitted by a third party.

7. Biometric Data

Applicants will be required to provide biometric data, including fingerprints and a facial scan, at the Emirates ID service centre.

UAE Emirates ID Application Process

There are two main ways to apply for an Emirates ID in the UAE:

1. Online through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) website:

  • This is the recommended method for ease and convenience. 
  • You’ll need to create an account or use your digital identity/username on the ICP website [Apply for a new ID card]. –  https://icp.gov.ae/en/. 
  • Once logged in, search for the service “Apply for a new ID card” and fill out the application with your details. 
  • The website will guide you through the process, including uploading any necessary documents. 
  • You’ll likely need to pay the application fees online as well. 
  • You may still need to visit an ICP service centre to provide your biometric data (fingerprints, iris scan) depending on your situation. 

2. In-person at a typing centre or Amer centre:

  • Typing centres and Amer centres (in Dubai) are authorized to assist with Emirates ID applications.
  • Visit a typing centre or Amer centre with an ICP section.
  • Provide them with your passport and residence permit information (if applicable).
  • They will guide you through the application process and may charge additional service fees.
  • Biometric data collection might be done at the center or you might be directed to a dedicated ICP service center for this step.

After submitting your application you’ll be notified when your application is processed, and your UAE Emirates ID is ready for collection. You may be able to track the application status online or through the typing centre.

There are several legal implications associated with not having an Emirates ID in the UAE. Here are some of the potential consequences:

1. Illegal

It’s actually against the law for UAE citizens and residents not to have an Emirates ID.

2. Fines

You could face fines for not possessing an Emirates ID or not renewing it on time. The specific amount can vary.

3. Difficulties with daily life

An Emirates ID is essential for many daily activities in the UAE. Without it, you may encounter problems with:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Getting a mobile phone contract 
  • Renting a property 
  • Registering for utilities 
  • Accessing government services 
  • Travelling within the UAE (restrictions for citizens) 
  • Using eGates at airports 

4. Issues with residency status 

For residents, not having an Emirates ID could complicate your residency status and potentially lead to delays or difficulties when renewing your visa. 

5. Potential for arrest 

In extreme cases, authorities may detain someone who doesn’t have an Emirates ID for identification purposes. 

Renewal and Replacement for Emirates ID

Your Emirates ID is valid for a certain period, typically three years for UAE citizens and residents and five years for GCC citizens. After that, you will need to renew it. 

You can renew your Emirates ID if it is about to expire or has already expired (within 30 days). 

Here’s a checklist of the documents you will need to renew your Emirates ID: 

  • Original passport with a copy of your residence visa 
  • A recent passport-sized photograph with a white background 
  • The expired Emirates ID card 
  • Payment of the renewal fees (AED 300) 

How to Renew Your Emirates ID?

How to renew Emirates ID

There are three ways to renew your UAE Emirates ID: 

Website: You can renew your Emirates ID online through the website of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP). This is the most convenient option, as you can do it from the comfort of your home.

ICP App: You can also renew your Emirates ID through the ICP app, which is available on Google Play, App Store and Huawei App Gallery.

Typing Center: You can visit a typing center and submit your application for renewal there.

What to do if Your Emirates ID is lost?

If your Emirates ID is lost, stolen, or damaged, you will need to replace it. The process for replacing a lost or damaged Emirates ID is similar to the process for renewal, but there are a few additional requirements. This may include: 

  • A filled-out application form for replacing a lost/damaged ID
  • Original passport (with a copy of the residence visa page for residents)
  • One recent passport-sized photograph with a white background
  • Payment of applicable fees
  • Police report (if your Emirates ID was lost or stolen)

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Moving Your Business to Dubai? Consult Shuraa

Understanding Emirates ID requirements is essential for anyone living or working in the UAE. Having a valid Emirates ID is essential for living, working, and accessing services in the UAE.

Considering a move to Dubai for your business? The legalities surrounding business setup and employee Emirates IDs can seem complex. Shuraa Business Setup can help!

Our team of experts will ensure you meet all legal requirements for Dubai company registration, visas, licensing, and more. We handle the paperwork, documentation, and PRO services, so you can focus on running your business.

So, don’t let the complexities of setting up your business in Dubai hold you back. Get in touch today at +971 44081900 or WhatsApp at +971 507775554 or drop an email at [email protected].

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