The all-new Emirates ID: Photo guidelines & Features

The Emirates ID will be used as primary proof of residency as an expatriate and visa stickers on passports have been eliminated. These changes have taken effect as of April 11, 2022. Here is a quick guide to avoiding delays on your Emirates ID application.

The following are the photo guidelines for expatriates per the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security:
The specifications must be met when submitting your photo for your Emirates ID application.

  • Image: high quality, recent, colored, not older than 6 months (mm 40 – 35)
  • Background: White
  • Features: natural facial expressions (natural, not exaggerated)
  • Head position: straight, not tilted, parallel to the photographic lens
  • Eyes: open towards the camera and without the use of colored lenses
  • Glasses: acceptable as long as they do not obscure the eyes and do not reflect light
  • Dress code: similar according to national dress or religious belief
  • Resolution (pixels): at least 600 dpi without ink traces or shrinkage

Once the application has been submitted and printed, the Emirates ID sends it to the Emirates Post for delivery. Emirates Post then sends the customer a text message requesting the collection of the card at the post office specified in the application form.

Since the residence visa sticker is no longer in place, more features have been added to the new Emirates ID. It now contains other information such as your occupation, employer, and the emirate where your ID is issued.


  • Enhanced protection of non-visible data – reads through ICA’s e-link system.
  • Advanced technical and technological characteristics – higher chip capacity and non-touch data reading feature.
  • High-quality card with longer service life – made of polycarbonate material that exceeds life service up to 10 years.
  • Consolidated three-dimensional (3D) photo–laser printing feature authenticated with the date of birth.
  • Additional fields and codes definition – professional data, issuing authority, and population group.

Citizens and residents of the UAE are required to possess an Emirates ID. It serves as a proof in confirming one’s identity through an identification number that is linked with the cardholder for life. The card can be used on several transactions like getting a bank account, obtaining a sim card in the Emirates, or going through airport smart gates for easy and hassle-free travel.


  • The ID card is currently used by all government, semi-government, and private entities as a standard and official form of identification.
  • Secure access to computers and websites based on the electronic signature on electronic forms, e-mail, and files to prevent hacking.
  • Access the UAE Pass application using your Emirates ID to access several government services.
  • UAE nationals can use the Emirates ID to travel within the GCC.

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