Immigration is of huge importance to the UAE and its economy. The country’s transformation into one of the world’s most prestigious centres for trade and industry was only made possible thanks to immigration from every corner of the globe. It is the leading factor behind the country’s sharp rise in population numbers from just 1m in 1980 up to 9.6m in 2019.
Immigration is of such importance, in fact, that approximately 90% of the country’s population is made up of expats.
With immigration playing such a huge part in a thriving economy, it follows that the country would do all it can to make the process as simple as possible. One such initiative, along with the recent introduction of the long-term residency visa, is the e-channel services portal.
Introduced to make the immigration process more transparent and straightforward, the e-channel is designed to improve the speed and accuracy of visa and residence permit issuance.
What is the e-channel services in UAE?
The E-channel is a smart service, introduced by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) of the UAE aimed at improving the immigration, residency and visa process.
The e-channel service removes the need for applicants to attend service centres in person as all registration and approvals take place online via a specially designed portal.
The portal was created by the Ministry of Interior along with Tahaluf Al Emarat Technical Solutions to allow typing centres, companies and individuals to apply for residency and naturalization services online quickly and easily.
The e-channel service allows users to apply for a visa, check the status of an application and print visa-related documentation. As well as removing the need to physically visit an immigration centre, the e-channel service ensures that applications are processed faster, more accurately, and with greater integration across the UAE.
The following can be carried out via the e-channel:
- UAE nationals can apply for sponsored individual services.
- GCC nationals can apply for sponsored individual services.
- Individual residents can apply for new services, renewal or cancellation of services.
- Individual GCC residents can apply for new visa permits.
- Visitors can apply for new visa permits.
- Establishments can also apply for residence and visa permits.
The e-channel system has been designed with ease of use in mind. This all begins with the incredibly straightforward e-channel registration process.
If you have registered your business in a free zone, you must use the free zone’s details to log in. Therefore, in this instance, you should register for e-services via your free zone agent or authorised typing centre.
If you are not a free zone company, you can register for e-channel services via the MOI website.
To register, you should:
- Select the option for individual or establishment.
- Click the registration button.
- Enter your email address.
- Click the link in the verification email which will be sent to your registered address.
- Click ‘complete registration’.
- Complete the registration fields.
- Click ‘register’.
After completing the above e-channel registration process, you should receive confirmation of your registration via email.
In order to use e-channel services, you must first pay the registration fee. This consists of a one-time fee of AED 2,200, and a refundable security deposit of AED 5,000.
Benefits of the e-channel system
The e-channel system was launched under the ‘UAE 2021’ scheme accompanied by the slogan ‘Smart Services with Future Vision’. It is perhaps no surprise then that its greatest benefit is efficiency. The ability to manage all visas, renewals and amendments online via a single portal has seen a marked improvement in both the speed and accuracy of the process.
As well as streamlining a previously time-consuming process, the new system has also eradicated excessive paperwork. Documents such as passports or ID cards no longer have to be submitted as hard copies. They can simply be scanned and uploaded to the e-channel portal. Fees can also be paid online quickly and securely. It is estimated that this all-online approach has reduced the need for physical visits to government immigrations centres by up to as much as 80%.
Visa checks can also be carried out via the portal, once again improving the ease and efficiency of the process. And that is not all. As all license and visa-related activities – such as upgrades, renewals, amendments etc — now take place under a single roof there is greater cohesion across the Emirates, vastly improving the user experience.
UAE – the home of straightforward business
The e-channel services portal was designed to make the visa and immigration process simple. And it is just one of many initiatives created with the sole aim of making it easy to do business in the UAE.
At Trade License Zone, we’re committed to the same. That is why we aim to make company formation as straightforward as possible – whether you’re an individual, SME or large corporation.
However, while the application process isn’t difficult, it does require an expert eye as errors in your application could lead it to be delayed or rejected. That’s why we will take care of the whole process for you, liaising with all government departments and free zones on your behalf.
When you work with Trade License Zone, all you need to provide is some basic documentation and a little information about the nature of your business. Then, sit back and let us take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you are ready to start trading. It really is that simple.