As any new resident to the UAE, Shelly M. from India had to submit her documents in order to apply for her Emirates ID card.
Knowing that this was required from her, she started the process as soon as she had settled in, which was halfway January. But until now, she does not have her ID card, and she has no idea what she has to do to get it.
"The entire process of applying for the ID has been difficult for me and my friends... I think the process needs to be made simple and uniform if not already because I have wasted so much time and effort,"she says.
In this, Shelly is not alone. The easy process that was laid out for residents when the Emirates ID card became mandatory last year does not seem to be smooth for some.
On the official Twitter page of the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), questions pour in on a daily basis. "Waiting for the ID since
2 mnth almost, have checkd online"this application deactivated' pls advise what next?" tweeted a user with the Twitter handle @Sebin.Kallarakkal.
"I am waiting for my kid card since september 2012 my case no is (...), please help," tweeted another applicant with the Twitter handle @SafdarZaman.
To be fair, Eida has been quick to respond on the social media site, and applicants were asked for their case numbers, and with this information, the queries were forwarded to the support team, as the Eida team responded to the tweets.
According to Eida, the relatively simple process can hit a roadblock when an applicant fails to correctly follow the required process mentioned on the application form and take action on the text messages sent by Eida.
"The procedures are the same [for everyone]. Emirates ID has always stressed that customers must ensure following the instruction mentioned on the application form, and adhere to the modification or fingerprint capturing reminder SMS's," says Eida in a written response to this website.
"Applications which are being deactivated are done so due to the following reasons: not performing the required modification at the typing center; or not performing fingerprints and picture capturing.
"It's important to mention that the applications include all the required NEXT STEPs to ensure successful completion of the application submission process.
"Additionally an SMS is always sent for each applicant as a reminder for modification and fingerprint capturing, mentioning that the application is to be deactivated in case the required is not preformed," Eida states.
When applicants do not receive proper feedback on their application, Eida advises applicants to contact the call centre on 600530003, or use any of 12 communication channels available. More information on this can be found on www.emiratesid.ae.
"Twitter proves to be a useful tool," says Vashna Chand, another applicant who waited for the renewal of her ID card for 2 months.
"Whenever I checked my application online, it said it was deactivated. I did not understand what this meant, so I tweeted Eida.
After that I received an SMS that I could come to pick up the ID card within two weeks' time," says the Dubai resident.
Not everybody, however, may be aware of the communication channels, and many applicants end up waiting for their ID card for months.
Mustafa Khalil, a Dubai resident from Jordan says: "When the ID card became mandatory, I applied for the card my children, although I only needed to renew mine. My children received the ID card within two weeks, and I waited for 5 months. I just picked it up, but it was really difficult to get."
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