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How to Apply for a New Emirates ID Card



New Emirates ID Card

Thousands of expats live in the UAE every year. The first thing people ask when moving to a new country is how to get a national ID card. As a result, we have compiled all the necessary information about the Emirates ID, a mandatory document issued to citizens and residents. It could include everything from applying for business licenses to signing apartment leases and job contracts. However, Emirates ID applications will always be required.

What Is Emirates ID?

Emirates ID, issued by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security (ICP), stands as a crucial identification document for both citizens and residents of the UAE, mandated by law to be carried at all times.

This identification card comes in various types:

  • Citizen ID card: Valid for 10 years and exclusively for UAE nationals.
  • GCC ID card: Valid for five years and designed for citizens of GCC countries residing in the UAE.
  • Expat ID card: The validity is contingent upon the visa’s expiration date for foreign nationals.

Beyond its primary function of identification, the Emirates ID offers an array of benefits:

  • Access to governmental services.
  • Participation in Federal National Council elections.
  • Facilitation of intra-GCC travel for citizens.
  • Expedited immigration clearance through eGates and smart gates at select UAE airports.

In a recent announcement, the ICP disclosed that Emirates IDs would replace visa stickers in residents’ passports, serving as the primary proof of residency. Consequently, possessing an Emirates ID is imperative for proving legal residency status in the UAE, including key details like issue and expiry dates.

The versatility of the Emirates ID extends across various spheres, including:

  • Opening bank accounts.
  • Obtaining a Dubai driver’s license.
  • Renewing vehicle registrations.
  • Managing utility payments.
  • Engaging in property transactions.
  • Traveling within the GCC for Emirati citizens.
  • Accessing eServices.
  • Streamlining immigration processes at designated UAE airports.
  • Exercising voting rights in the Federal National Council (for Emirati citizens).
  • Facilitating insurance applications.
  • Verifying negative COVID-19 test results at Dubai airports.

Why do I need the card?

It can be used by both government agencies and private companies to prove residency. At airport immigration desks, it can be used as proof of identity. An Emirates ID is required for opening a bank account, paying bills, getting a driving licence, and accessing government services such as renewing licenses or visas. The card serves as proof of the user’s identity.

In accordance with law, employers can’t withhold an Emirates ID card from an employee. Citizens of the UAE are required to carry their Emirates ID when voting in Federal National Council elections and when visiting GCC countries.

How to Apply for a New Emirates ID Card

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Step 1: Visit the ICA Official Website

The first step in applying for a new Emirates ID card is to visit the official website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). The website provides comprehensive information about the application process, required documents, and fees. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the guidelines and instructions provided.

Step 2: Register or Use UAE Pass

Before initiating the application process, ensure you have either registered on the ICA website or have a UAE Pass account. UAE Pass is a secure digital identity solution that allows you to access various government services online. If you haven’t already done so, registering for UAE Pass is simple and can be completed online.

Step 3: Apply and Pay Fees

Once you have registered on the ICA website or have your UAE Pass account ready, you can proceed to fill out the Emirates ID card application form. Ensure that you provide accurate information and upload all required documents as per the guidelines provided. Upon completing the application, you will need to pay the applicable fees through the online portal.

Step 4: Take Fingerprint and Signature

After submitting your application and payment, you will be required to visit an authorized Emirates ID service center to complete the biometric registration process. At the service center, your fingerprints and signature will be captured for verification purposes. It’s essential to carry all necessary documents and the application reference number for this step.

Step 5: Issue Residency (Residents)

For residents of the UAE, obtaining or renewing their Emirates ID card is closely tied to their residency status. If you are applying for a new Emirates ID card as a resident, ensure that your residency visa is valid and up to date. If any updates or renewals are required, it’s advisable to address them before proceeding with the ID card application.

Step 6: Receive ID Card

Once you have completed all the necessary steps, including biometric registration and residency validation, your Emirates ID card will be processed. You will receive notifications regarding the status of your application through the ICA website or via SMS. Once your ID card is ready for collection, you can visit the designated service center to collect it in person.

Emirates ID Costs

The fee structure for obtaining an Emirates ID card varies depending on the chosen service channel. Here’s an approximate breakdown of the costs associated with applying for an Emirates ID:

  • AED 100: Card Issuance Fee for a Five-Year Validity Period
  • AED 200: Card Issuance Fee for a Ten-Year Validity Period (Exclusive to UAE Nationals)
  • AED 40: Service Fee
  • AED 30: Printing Office Fee

How to Get an E-Version of Your Emirates ID in the UAE

In order to provide residents and citizens with access to the Emirates ID’s myriad benefits prior to receiving the physical card, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship offers an electronic version for interim use.

To obtain this e-version, download the ICA UAE Smart app. Once installed, register your details to generate a QR code, which enables the creation of an e-Emirates ID card. You can access this virtual ID in the wallet section of the app. The e-version can be utilized to access services in the same manner as the physical Emirates ID.

How Quickly Can I Expect to Receive my Identity Card?

Typically, the card is issued within a few days after obtaining a residency visa.

  • For those in urgent need, there’s a 24-hour service called “fawri” available.
  • This expedited service is accessible to expatriate residents exclusively for replacements or renewals of their Emirates ID.
  • UAE and GCC citizens, on the other hand, can utilize the 24-hour service for initial registrations, renewals of expired cards, or in cases of lost or damaged cards.

FAQs About Apply for a Emirates ID

Can I get my Emirates ID online?

You can apply for an Emirates ID card through the website of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security – ICP, or through an accredited typing center. To provide your biometric information, you may need to visit one of ICP’s service centers.

How much is the fee for Emirates ID?

For replacement of a lost or damaged ID, the applicant must pay AED 300 in addition to application fees of AED 70 if applying through typing centers or AED 40 if applying through the ICA website eForm. All UAE citizens, GCC citizens, and expats are subject to these fees.

What are the documents required for Emirates ID?

Suitable for all ages, a white background personal photo (4.5 x 3.5 cm). For those under 15 years old, an original birth certificate, passport, or Emirates ID is required. Original trade license in good standing. A property’s original ownership. 18-Mar-2024


Thousands of expats migrate to the UAE annually, and one of their foremost inquiries pertains to acquiring a national ID card. Recognizing this, we’ve compiled comprehensive information about the Emirates ID, a mandatory document for citizens and residents, indispensable for various transactions and legal requirements. From business licenses to apartment leases and job contracts, Emirates ID applications remain essential in navigating life in the UAE.



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