Expat-sponsored maids must renew UAE ID cards every year

Housemaids sponsored by expatriates in the UAE will receive identity cards with one-year validity, according to a top official.

Dr. Ali Mohamed Al Khouri, Director-General, Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), said ID cards must be renewed every time residency visas expire.

While employees of federal institutions get a three-year visa, private sector staff get only two-year visas. And their ID cards will also hold respective expiry dates, he said.

Explaining ID card validity terms for domestic helps, Al Khouri said housemaids working for Emirati sponsors will get a visa for two years and, therefore, their ID cards will need to be renewed every two years at a cost of Dh200.

However, housemaids sponsored by expatriates will get a visa for one year and their ID cards must be renewed each year at a fee of Dh100.

When reminded about the added cost to sponsors, Al Khouri said:  "The operational cost of one ID card is more than Dh200. Plus the cost of staff, building and state-of-the-art techniques involved in the process...all these are borne by the government."

Speaking of the benefits of ID cards, Al Khouri said residents will realise its importance in the coming months.

According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Abu Dhabi, currently five per cent of the total population comprise housemaids.

And 80 per cent of them are Filipinas and Indonesians.

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