By Elizabeth Broomhall
Workers in city’s free zones will need to register for ID cards ahead of visa renewal
Workers in any of Tecom’s eleven free zones will need to register for their Emirates ID card before renewing or applying for visas, authorities said Tuesday.
Effective from Sunday July 31, expatriates and Emiratis in the free zone will need to register for the identification card before they can complete the medical tests needed for visa applications.
In a statement to companies working in its free zones, Tecom Investments said linking the two processes should smooth the path for workers applying for identification cards.
“Applying online or offline for a new or renewal of residence visa… automatically initiates the process of acquiring/renewing an Emirates ID card,” said the circular, seen by Arabian Business.
Tecom’s free zones span Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Outsource Zone, DuBiotech, Dubai Knowledge Village, Enpark Energy and Environment, Dubai Healthcare City and Dubai International Academic City complex.
Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) has faced an uphill struggle in convincing UAE residents to sign up for their mandatory identification cards, despite a series of deadlines.
Each card contains the holder’s address, photo, date of birth and fingerprints and can be used as an official source of identification in the UAE.
Eida has long planned to tie the scheme to the compulsory medical test that residents are obliged to take when their residency visas are renewed, but workers in Tecom’s free zones are the first in Dubai to be forced to apply for the ID cards before undergoing their visa medicals.
It is likely the UAE government will increasingly require expatriates to present ID cards when dealing with federal agencies, in a bid to pressure residents into signing up for the scheme, said
Browyn Colgan, a senior associate at Clyde and Co and specialist in employment and immigration law.
“It is our understanding that the Eida will put no final deadline in place [for expatriates to have ID cards] and there is no plan to issue fines to expatriates who don’t have the ID cards,” she said.
“But what they have said is that it will become increasingly difficult for individuals to deal with government departments and to complete transactions if they don’t have ID cards. What is happening in Tecom, you will see rolled out by other government departments in the UAE.”
The implementation of the Emirates ID Card initiative has to be in my books one of the worst planned projects I have ever come across. It has been marred by unrealistic deadlines, insufficient resources and poor enforcement.
Logic would dictate that the ID card application process for expatriates be automatically tied to the visa application/renewal process. Why is the medical testing mandatory as part of the residency visa renewal, but not the ID issuance. You need to merge the two processes into one, such that the validity of the ID card is in line with that of the visa and is issued automatically as part of the visa issuance/renewal process.
Also, I have tried to use my ID card in dealing with government departments. However, most departments are still demanding a copy of your passport and visa. One would think that an electronic system that contains all your personal and identification details would be the sole requirement for all government departments...too much to hope for!
Eventually I get my ID card, which I had applied for eight month ago (eye test was four month ago) when I get my visa renewed in two years. And hopefully I get the money paid for it refunded...
Recently i renewed my ID card. Iwas asked to do scanning finger prints again. Since the data is already availble in te system, i do not understand the necessity for re-scan