UAE Visa stamp removal from passports

Your Emirates ID will soon serve as your UAE residency document. From next week, residence visas won’t be stamped on to your passports, as authorities ramp up services offered to residents in the country.

The move effectively reduces the number of steps required to issue or renew one’s residency documents. With this, residence visa and Emirates ID can be renewed within a single application, as opposed to two separate processes as is the case now.

What has changed?

As per the current procedure, the final part of the visa application process is visa stamping. After all relevant documents are typed out, the applicant leaves his/her passport at the immigration office for stamping the pink-coloured sticker.

Starting Monday, April 11, the visa won’t be stamped on the passports. The Emirates ID will be considered as proof of residence.

Does the Emirates ID contain all relevant information?

According to a circular issued by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security, the ID contains all relevant residency-related information.

The new generation of the Emirates ID card issued to expats includes all the details that are available on the residence visa sticker.

What is a residence visa sticker?

A residence visa is issued to an expat when he/she is already inside the country after entering the UAE using an entry permit or a visit visa.

“A residence visa requires applicants who are 18 and above to undergo a medical test to prove that they are medically fit. They must also pass a security check and apply for an Emirates ID card from Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship,”

the UAE Government website states.

At the end of this process, the residence visa sticker is stamped on to an applicant’s passport.

Will the residency stickers continue to be available?

Major-General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, acting director-general for Foreigners Affairs and Ports at the authority, said the stamps will only be available via the authority’s smart application. This will help in the transition phase between the use of residency stamps and the Emirates ID.

When residents travel outside the country, how will airlines/immigration officials verify their residency status?

According to the circular, airlines will be able to do this through residents’ Emirates ID and passport number. This can be done through a passport reader. The circular will be distributed among the stakeholders to apprise them of the change.

Who needs to get residency documents?

Expats who have been offered a job, investors, property owners, dependents (family members of valid visa holders), university students and retirees (special

News Source: Khaleej Times