ID card will soon be linked to government services

New deadline for nationals is 30/06/11 while expats can wait until residence visa renewal

Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) has extended the deadline for ID card registration for Emiratis as well as expatriates.

The new deadline for nationals is June 30, 2011, while expats can wait until they obtain or renew their residence visa, according to a media statement issued by Eida.

However, according to the statement, Eida's board has approved a recommendation to link the services provided by all departments, corporations and entities across the UAE to the ID card on a gradual basis, calling for continuous co-ordination with the concerned service entities to link their services to the ID card.

This would imply that expatriates who do not have an ID may face problems in accessing certain government services at some point, although no revised deadline has been mentioned.

In media comments this morning, Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director-General of Eida, has urged white-collared expats to not wait until their visa renewal, cautioning that the government will soon link the ID card with a string of services in the country, which may not be accessible without the ID.

Unlike blue-collared workers, professionals have to perform many transactions with the government and without an ID card, they will not be able to access many services, Al Khoury has been quoted as saying by Gulf News. "So they should not delay the registration," he added.

The extension in the deadline will nevertheless bring relief to applicants, some of whom were seen last week camping outside ID and typing centres in a last-ditch effort to meet the December 31 deadline.

As reported by this website earlier, the authorities had announced that residents who would not have met the National ID card deadline of December 31, 2010, were not to be denied any government services as no penalties were to be imposed.

Eida announced yesterday that 1.5 million people had registered for the ID in 2010, adding that it would do its utmost to double these numbers in the upcoming period as per the new registration plan and the relevant initiatives.

According to its statement, the registration of residents will be made through the registration centres annexed to the preventive medicine centres, as currently applicable in Umm Al Quwain. The statement added that this recommendation came as part of the actual implementation of the second theme of the new registration plan emanating from Eida Strategy 2010-2013 related to linking registration in ID card to visa issuance and renewal.

This theme is currently being implemented in Umm Al Quwain, which saw the trial of this theme based on the contract signed between Eida and Eimas for developing the Population Register system and linking registration for ID card to visa issuance and renewal through 25 registration centres annexed or close to the preventive medicine centres across the UAE.

This theme would continue to be activated on a gradual basis with Eida expecting to complete the construction and equipping of all registration centres annexed or close to preventive medicine centres in the last quarter of 2011, it said.

The authority stressed its keenness on completing the registration of all UAE nationals and residents in the ID card and Population Centre as well as its earnest endeavor to carry out all the projects and initiatives emanating from the new Eida Strategy 2010-2013.

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