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GOAL! How to score an Emirates ID win
As far as self satisfaction is concerned, this morning ranks pretty high. After months of dreading and pure ‘bureaphobia’ Eva Fernandes received her Emirates ID.
February 14, 2012 4:03 by Eva Fernandes
Lo and behold-I present to you cynical Kippers, my brand spanking new Emirates ID. I never even believed I would ever get here. Guess it is true what they say, dreams really do come true. What a milestone, indeed. And in the spirit of all the awards shows airing recently, I’d like to do my own awards speech.
I’d like to thank my editor Precious de Leon, she always supported me in my ambitious plans to secure an ID. I would like to thank the unfriendly man at the typing center who snorted grunts of confidence when I had lost all hope. To all those who believed in me, I thank you. And, to all those who didn’t believe things could run so smoothly—the naysayers, the cynics—well, don’t knock it till you try it. *cue annoying music to signal my ridiculously self-satisfied speech must end*
So there you have it folks, from A to Z, my application went pretty much without a hitch. It’s more than I can say for some of our colleagues who have experienced a less than pleasant time applying and renewing their National ID cards (one of which we’ll mention later in this story).
We can only offer the explanation that he’s almost too efficient card renewal was done at a time when EIDA’s processes for renewal were not quite standardized across typing centres and that each day, EIDA is continually making improvements.
My editor herself had renewed her ID card and within the promised two weeks, she had received the SMS notification that her card is ready for pick up. She hasn’t collected the card yet. But here’s hoping there won’t be any hitches from here on.
THE ABCs OF ID APPLICATION
So it could be that the processes for renewal and application are not a little more organised but just in case check out the step by step of what I had to do to apply for my Emirates ID in an article I wrote a month ago titled ‘Easy-Peasy Emirates ID‘
The entire time I spent submitting documents and scanning fingerprints amounted to a little over the hour. I was told I would get a SMS within three weeks. I received the SMS on the fourth week, notifying me that my ID is ready.
Preparing for the worst bureaucratic nightmare, I loaded my iPod with a good audio book before I trudged over to the Post Office to pick up my ID. Within 20 minutes, I was in a slight state of shock as I left with an Emirates ID in my hand.
THE JOYS OF RECEIVING AN SMS
My sentiments were shared with a colleague who burst into Kipp’s quarters waving his iPhone about, walking with a big grin on his face.
The source of his joy? He just got an SMS from EIDA, his ID has been renewed. So what, you ask? Well here’s the clincher, he submitted his ID for renewal a good six months ago. Our colleague, being the eager beaver that he is, was probably one of the first testing out EIDA’s renewal processes—only to discover why it is best to wait for a while when dealing with EIDA.
After submitting his application for renewal in August 2011, he was engaged in a constant back and forth with EIDA—apparently the details in his application had been inaccurately filled in. More than six months later, he has finally received the ID. This, of course, was after having visited four EIDA centres no less than 15 times, countless phone calls to the help desk and numerous visits to different typing centres to sort the whole thing out. It’s been a sticky journey for him-the road paved with lots of red tape, but he is out of the woods now: “I feel like I have passed an exam” he smiles as he leaves our room, and I really know the feeling.
If you are anything like me, you probably have heard the nightmare-ish horror stories of ID’s going missing, application forms being inaccurately filled in and EIDA officials being anything but competent. And yet, my experience with EIDA, is making me view the body in a slightly different light. And to all those who have yet to apply for their ID, here’s hoping that our rather easy experience with the ID, will convince you otherwise.
THERE’S NO TURNING BACK
After all, a link-up between the Emirates ID and one’s visa is definitely on the cards with officials saying it is likely to happen in April. According to a statement released by EIDA: “The link-up between the ID and residence visas is now almost complete after it was enforced in all emirates except in Dubai. This link will be implemented in Dubai on April one in coordination with the residence and immigration department in the emirate.”
In addition, for better or for worse, EIDA has clarified that those employees working within freezones in in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to April 1 and June 1, 2012 respectively. So if you work in a freezone and were one of those fined for delays for crossing the deadline set for semi-government Dec 2011, well, you might want to see EIDA about getting your money back. The authority has started seeing cases for that. Mind you, we’ve heard it isn’t a dreadfully quick process.
Through the years, Kipp’s been through a lot of EIDA deadlines—but we have always thought them a game of chicken: if you stare hard enough a new deadline will be announced. Yet for all the sensible deadlines being set and adequate forward notice—Kipp thinks this time is for real. And we aren’t calling EIDA’s bluff any more.