Emirates IDs : What you need to know about new mandatory standards taking pictures

Since April of this year, Emirates IDs have been recognised as legal proof of residency in the United Arab Emirates, replacing visa stickers in passports. Residents can apply for either a new or renewed residency at the same time, and there is no need to apply for a visa or an Emirates ID separately.

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Photos and supporting paperwork for obtaining or updating an Emirates ID can be uploaded digitally. Getting a good photo for an ID, however, is a regular problem for locals.

The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) has issued guidelines for acceptable photo requirements, which include:

This is the type of photograph required for an Emirates ID card:

  1. High-resolution, recently-taken, colour photograph (not more than 6 months old; 35 mm format).
  2. A white backdrop.
  3. Characteristics include expressionless faces.
  4. Keep your head level and parallel to the camera lens for the best possible photo.
  5. Without any tinted glasses or sunglasses on, and with eyes wide open for the camera.
  6. It's fine to wear glasses, but make sure they don't block your vision or scatter light.
  7. Dress code is same to that of the passport owner.
  8. Covering one's head is acceptable if doing so is part of one's cultural or religious traditions.
  9. Minimum resolution (dpi) of 600 without visible ink bleedthrough or reduction in size.

The ICP started handing out the upgraded IDs last year. To combat identity theft and boost national and international trust in travel credentials, the document has been updated with new visual and technological security elements.

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