Easy-Peasy Emirates ID?
A bad rep? The Emirates ID application process isn’t quite as tedious as you’d think. Eva Fernandes finds out first hand when she steps out to finally apply for her ID.
January 10, 2012 12:49 by Eva Fernandes
When I wrote of my intentions to get an Emirates I.D. on our Facebook Wall, a simple and cynical ‘Good Luck’ is what response I got from frequent Kipp commentator Kate Mullen. And yet, having written bitter diatribes against the Emirates I.D Authority (EIDA, as we lovingly call them) for the past year and a half about their convoluted processes, I was a bit apprehensive about the process. Nonetheless, being the balanced title that Kipp is, I kept an open mind.
Remembering that I had read something about the ID process going online, I first checked EIDA website. It took some time to navigate, but eventually I got to the e-form. Not only can you track your application online, but you can even submit, renew and apply for a new card. Fantastic-I found myself thinking, I won’t even have to leave the office. And then I saw a small discrete asterisk that linked down to a statement that said ‘online services only for UAE Nationals”- Ay, there’s the rub! It had to be good ol’ fashioned manual application for this Kipper.
It is worth noting that EIDA has a little poll on its homepage for the precise purpose of giving them a pat on the back. Here is what the poll asks:
“The “Secret Shopper” project, which the Emirates Identity Authority will begin to activate shortly will contribute to upgrading the services provided to customers.”
Wow. So not only has EIDA yet to roll out its ‘Secret Shopper’ project, but it is looking for a hypothetical kudos, to its hypothetical project. Sure there is the option of ‘Disagree’ but I have yet to find someone who thinks negatively of the concept ‘Secret Shopper.’
Getting stuck in to find what I was required to bring with me for the application, the website says expats need only bring their passport to any of the registered typing centres. A list of all the certified typing centres is available on the EIDA website—though it might be smart just to go to one that has been tried and tested by someone you know. In my case I went to the typing centre bang opposite the Karama General Post Office. At the typing centre I filled in a form and then waited for verified the typed-version of the form. There were no errors in the form, what do you know? I was in and out of the typing centre in 40 minutes. The man there told me I could have an appointment to meet with EIDA three or seven weeks from now. I chose the earlier date, but someone in the shop told me to try my luck anyway and go to the EIDA office straightaway.
Which is what I did. Armed with my appointment for the first week of February, I walked across the road to the EIDA centre and told the receptionist I wanted to get my Emirates ID. Without a blink of the eye she processed my papers and sent me to the finger printing room. Ladies, you will be happy to know waiting time is relatively faster for women than men, because of the gender specific rooms. Though my hands were too dry for my finger prints to get detected (I had to apply hand moisturiser twice!), I was out of the room within ten minutes. “You will get an SMS” within three weeks with instructions when your ID is ready.”
Now, I am not going to jump the gun and claim the EIDA to be the most efficient process known to mankind. No, I am going to wait (and keep you informed, obviously) of when I get that precious SMS. I have heard some horrific stories of applications get lost, official complaints needing to be sent and others claiming a wait of more than six months for the ID…The cynic in me is all too ready to jump on the bandwagon of EIDA hate and complaints, but for now I will just keep waiting.
What was your experience like when applying or renewing your National ID? Share your stories in the comment section below!
1) The only document you need for your Emirates ID is your passport
2) Charges are Dh100 for every year your UAE residence visa is valid for + Dh40 EIDA service + Dh30 Typing centre fee, all of which is payable at the typing centre.
3) You will be handed an appointment date-generally two to three weeks after you visit the typing centre.
We found that you can ignore this date and walk in whenever you want. Make sure the typing centre you go to is close to a EIDA centre.
4) You will never ever be required to leave your passport with anyone for processing. EIDA warns against typing centres that keep passports for days on end.
5) Deadline for EIDA:
Sharjah Residents February 1, 2012
Abu Dhabi Residents April 1, 2012
Dubai Residents June 1, 2012