The United Arab Emirates residency visas will be issued through Emirates ID (EID) cards from April 11 rather than paper stickers in passports, authorities said.
The Federal Authority for Identity, Nationality, Customs, and Port Security confirmed the change on Tuesday, according to the Emirates news agency WAM.
The new system will streamline the visa application process by reducing the number of steps taken, WAM said.
It will include all information previously listed on the visa passport stickers, which can be read electronically.
The new ID card visas are part of a wider raft of changes to improve government services, said Major General Saeed Rakan al-Rashidi, Acting Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, according to WAM.
Although the change will apply to visas issued after April 11, information from older visas will also be available through the citizenship authority’s smart application.
Emirates IDs were made mandatory and a legal requirement in 2011 for all residents and citizens except foreign diplomats.
The cards have a range of uses including accessing government services, housing, doctor’s prescriptions, banking, and legal proceedings.