What are the changes to UAE residence visas in passports?
It was announced that from the 11th April, all foreign nationals obtaining a UAE Residence Visa will no longer be issued with a UAE Residence Visa stamp endorsed in their passport. Instead, individuals will receive the visa electronically and then use the updated Emirates Identity card (EID). The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has coordinated with stakeholders in the aviation industry to ensure that airlines can now verify the residency status through the passport number and Emirates ID. This change is evident in some Emirates, such as Abu Dhabi and the UAE free zones like DMCC and RAKEZ. As for Dubai, this has yet to be implemented, but is expected to in the near future. In addition to this change, the Visa and Work permit data is also now present in an individual’s EID.
How does this effect the processing time when obtaining a UAE residence visa?
Furthermore, in Abu Dhabi the processing time for obtaining a residence visa has now been reduced. Previously a passport was required to obtain the visa stamp, which was done via submission to Empost who then liaised with immigration and returned the passport with the completed visa. The removal of the visa stamping in the passport will save between 3 to 5 working days, which is a significant benefit. Previously, the realistic timeline was 15 to 21 working days, which is now reduced if all relevant documents are in place and there are no delays of approvals from the government departments or in the issuance of health insurance.
How can you obtain a UAE Residence Visa?
The resident visa itself can be obtained through the ICA smart app and printed off in physical form if required.
There may be some potential issues that arise when dealing with other departments and organisations, such as local banks, utility providers, notary publics and more, that require a physical Resident Visa in order to authorize transactions. Hence, it is important for these organisations and government departments to update their systems to embrace the new combined ID document and smart app printing visa process.
Overall, this is a very positive step and will make the immigration process more efficient and streamlined, it is a very welcome update from the UAE Government.
How can PRO Partner Group help?
If you need assistance on obtaining residence visas, other visas, or any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar or Saudi Arabia then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.