ABU DHABI // UAE residents who work in the private sector will now need to renew their Emirates ID card every two years, rather than every three years.
The change is in line with the Ministry of Labour's new laws that shorten the validity of work visas.
Abdul Aziz al Maamari, the public relations manager for the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), said the validity of ID cards for expatriates was linked directly to the length of work visas. For Emiratis, the ID cards are valid for five years.
Eida is finalising plans to issue the cards as people enter the country, and when they renew residency visas. In Fujairah, Umm al Qaiwain and Ras al Khaimah, officials already have begun registering new residents after they complete preventive medical procedures for the work visa.
By the end of the year, registration for ID cards should be linked directly to the visa process in all emirates, Mr al Maamari said.
Fees for renewing ID cards will not change. Residents will be charged Dh100 for each year their visa is valid, plus Dh20 for delivery. Emiratis renewing their five-year-old IDs are charged Dh120.
To register for a new card, Emiratis pay Dh100 and Dh70 for a service fee. Other residents are charged Dh100 for each year that residency is valid, plus a service fee of Dh70.
The ID cards are mandatory for Emiratis to get a driving licence, and to register and re-register a vehicle. For other residents, the ID card is required only for new procedures — registering a vehicle for the first time or applying for a driving licence.
The card will eventually be used as a regional passport, health card and a credit card for government-related financial transactions.
The new labour laws, effective at the beginning of this year, are meant to allow workers more flexibility in the market, while also increasing competitiveness in recruitment.