It’s expected to be implemented in Dubai at a later stage…

Officials announced last month that the UAE residency visa process was set to be updated, with Emirates ID cards replacing the need for a visa stamp in the passport. And as of May 16, Emirates ID cards have officially replaced residence visa stickers across all emirates – except Dubai.

Rather than needing residency details on the new resident’s visa sticker in a passport, all relevant residency-related information is stored within Emirates ID cards.

For all new applications from May 16, only the Emirates ID application will be required for new residents in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman. Reported by Gulf News, the Federal Authority of Identify, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICA) has announced that there will be one unified form for all new applications for UAE residency and Emirates ID going forward.

However in Dubai, these two applications will continue to be processed separately, at least for now. It’s expected that Dubai will join the rest of the UAE in replacing the passport visa stamp in due course.

Any applications made before May 16 across the UAE will be completed in the traditional format, with new residents or renewing residents still getting the visa sticker pasted into their passport.

The move is part of a wider UAE government shift to upgrade services and achieve customer happiness.

Traditionally, visa stamping was part of the residency visa application process for all UAE applications, completed once a new resident underwent their medical examination. Two-, three-, five- and ten-year visa stickers were placed in passports, depending on the type of visa a new resident had applied for.