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What is a PRAN Number UAE and How to Get One

Dec 18, 2023 | Human Resources

Understanding what a PRAN number is in the UAE is crucial for residents who are navigating the country’s identity verification processes. The PRAN, or Personal Registration Acknowledgment Number, is a unique identifier assigned during the application for an Emirates ID card. This document is essential for both citizens and expatriates in the United Arab Emirates. This number facilitates the tracking of your Emirates ID application and plays a significant role in managing your National Pension System (NPS) account.

Whether you’re a new applicant or need to renew or replace your ID card status, knowing how to obtain and utilise your PRAN number is vital. This article will guide you through the importance of the PRAN number, the eligibility criteria, the registration process, and how to manage and secure your PRAN in the UAE effectively.

What Is The PRAN Number in UAE

In the United Arab Emirates, the PRAN number is a key element in the administrative process for residents dealing with identity-related documentation. PRAN stands for Personal Registration Acknowledgment Number. It’s a unique identifier you’re given when you apply for an Emirates ID card.

This number isn’t just a random sequence of digits. It’s your ticket to check the status of your Emirates ID application. You’ll find the PIN code for the PRAN on the Emirates ID application form itself.

The PRAN number’s main job is to help you track your Emirates ID card application. It’s used whether you’re applying for a new Emirates ID card status, renewing an existing one, or requesting a replacement for a lost or misplaced card. The PRAN number is your go-to reference for all inquiries about how your application is moving along. You can get up-to-date information about your application by entering your PRAN or IDN (Emirates ID card number) on the official website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).

The Importance of PRAN in UAE

The PRAN number’s role in the UAE is enormous. It’s an essential tool for you to keep an eye on the progress of your Emirates ID card application. When you punch in your PRAN or IDN number on the first screen on ICA’s website, it spills the beans on where your application stands and what you need to do next.

This includes a detailed timeline. It spans from the dates of application submission through the printing process, verification of information, and dispatch to the post office. But the PRAN number is for more than just the status check updates. It’s also a crucial part of the process to snag a replacement Emirates ID card. If your original ID has gone missing, the PRAN number is vital in kicking off and keeping tabs on the replacement process.

If you need extra help or have questions about your PRAN number or the current status of your Emirates ID, the ICA has your back. You can reach out to them at 600-522-222. The ICA website also boasts a nifty chatbot called ‘Ask Hamad’. This buddy is there to help with questions about your PRAN number and guide you through Emirates ID status inquiries.

The PRAN number is an integral part of the identity management system in the UAE. It makes sure that you have an easy way to handle your official identification documents. It’s a testament to the UAE’s dedication to a smooth and user-friendly approach to bureaucratic processes, mirroring the nation’s push for digital governance and improved customer satisfaction.

Screenshot Of ICP Website

How To Get Your PRAN Number

The PRAN is a vital 12-digit identifier for the National Pension System (NPS) subscribers in the UAE. It’s unique to each subscriber and can’t be duplicated. So, you can only have one PRAN at any given time. This number is vital as it helps manage the NPS accounts in Tier I and II. The Tier I account is a mandatory pension account, while the Tier II account is optional and acts as a savings facility. It’s important to note that the funds in the Tier I account are usually locked until retirement, ensuring they’re saved for that period.

Eligibility Criteria for PRAN

To get a PRAN, you’ll need to join the NPS, which is a voluntary contribution pension scheme. The eligibility criteria are straightforward: you must be an individual subscriber and still need to get a PRAN.

Step-by-Step Registration Process

If you’re looking to get a PRAN, you can choose between two application methods: offline and online. For the offline route, you’ll need to visit a Point of Presence (PoP) associated with the NPS. There, you’ll fill out the PRAN card application form, known as the NPS Application Form Annexure S1. This form asks for a range of information, including personal details, employment info, nomination details, your preferred pension fund, and a self-declaration to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

The online method offers a more convenient process through Alankit’s website. You can start by using your PAN or Aadhaar numbers. If you’re using your Aadhaar, an OTP is sent to your registered mobile number for KYC verification. Once verified, your details are automatically filled in on the online form. However, if you’re using a PRAN, you’ll need a bank account with a participating bank for KYC verification. The online form requires you to enter all necessary details and upload scanned copies of the application number of identification documents, such as your PAN card and a cancelled cheque, along with a scanned signature and photograph.

After completing the form, you’ll need to make a payment towards your NPS account through the payment gateway. The form can be signed manually or e-signed before being sent off to the Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA). Once you’ve done all this, your application for a PRAN is all set.

Required Documentation for PRAN Application

For a successful PRAN application, you’ll need a set of documents. You’ll have to provide your PAN Card and, if it was used for the application, your Aadhaar Card. A scanned copy of a cancelled cheque is necessary to verify your bank details. Plus, you’ll need a scanned image of your signature and a recent photograph. Non-resident Indians (NRIs) must also submit a scanned copy of their passport. These documents are crucial for verifying and ensuring the information you’ve submitted is accurate.

Screenshot Of ICP's Website 'Ask Hamad'

Utilising Your PRAN Number

Accessing Government Services with PRAN

The PRAN is a reference number and a gateway to various government services. It is essential to participate in the NPS, which is open to employees from different sectors, with the exception of armed forces personnel.

The number serves as a permanent identifier that simplifies the management of retirement savings. It remains constant throughout an individual’s life, ensuring a secure connection with the country and pension system.

Financial Transactions and PRAN

The PRAN facilitates pension-related services and simplifies financial transactions within the NPS. Subscribers have the choice between Tier 1 and Tier 2 accounts. The former focuses on retirement savings and restricts withdrawals until retirement, while the latter offers more flexibility without the tax benefits associated with Tier 1. The PRAN is crucial for tracking contributions, investment choices, and accumulated savings. It is also used when obtaining a physical PRAN card, which serves as a convenient form of identification within the NPS.

PRAN and Employment Verification

For government workers, obtaining a PRAN card is a requirement, and the registration process requires employment details. This establishes a connection between one’s career and pension contributions, acting as a verification mechanism. When applying for a PRAN, applicants must provide employment information and personal, nominee, and scheme preferences. These details contribute to a robust and transparent pension fund system regulated by the PFRDA.

Managing and Securing Your PRAN

Updating Personal Information Linked to PRAN

It is crucial to maintain current personal details associated with your PRAN. This ensures that the FAIC can efficiently process your Emirates ID card application and communicate with you regarding any updates. To modify your personal information, utilise FAIC’s official platforms, including their website, mobile application, typing centres, or customer happiness centres.

Ensuring that your contact details are accurate is particularly important for receiving timely notifications about your application status.

Protecting Your PRAN from Fraud

Safeguarding your PRAN against unauthorised access is paramount. Treat this number with confidentiality to prevent misuse. Be vigilant against fraudulent attempts to acquire your PRAN, such as phishing attacks. Should you suspect any fraudulent activity, promptly contact the FAIC for assistance.

The FAIC’s customer service team is available to address any security concerns and provide support.

What to Do if You Lose Your PRAN Number

If your PRAN is misplaced, it is imperative to retrieve it quickly. Contacting the FAIC’s customer service is the first step in the recovery process. They will assist you by verifying your full identity number and reviewing your application details. Once retrieved, ensure that your PRAN is noted down in a secure location to prevent future loss.

Screenshot Of ICP Website Happiness Centers

Common Questions About PRAN

Renewal and Validity of PRAN Number

The PRAN is intrinsically linked to the lifespan of your Emirates ID, which, in turn, is dependent on the validity of your UAE residency visa. Upon the renewal of your visa, a new Emirates ID number is issued, and you can collect this updated card from an Emirates Post branch. The government allows a 30-day period for ID renewal post-expiration.

Failure to renew within this period results in a fine of $5.45 (AED 20) per day, capped at $272 (AED 1,000). To avoid penalties, SMS reminders are sent for ID renewal. The renewal process is simplified as your biometric data is retained from your initial registration.

Can Expats Obtain a PRAN Number?

Expatriates are eligible for a PRAN as part of the Emirates ID application process, which is typically linked with the visa application. Employers often manage this for those on employment visas, while entrepreneurs may apply independently or seek assistance from business setup consultants. The PRAN remains constant for each individual within the UAE.

Resolving Issues with PRAN Registration

For any challenges encountered during PRAN registration, the FAIC provides support through their customer service and ‘Ask Hamad’, an online chatbot. In the event of a lost or damaged Emirates ID, a new application is necessary. The loss should be reported to the police and the FAIC within a week, and a replacement can be requested at any FAIC office for $82 (AED 300).

Additional fees apply for services at typing centres or via the eForm on the ICA website. An expedited service is available for $41 (AED 150) at the ICA’s main Customer Happiness Centre. These fees apply uniformly to all residents.

When a residence visa is cancelled, the passport number associated with Emirates ID is also invalidated. The card must be surrendered to the employer or immigration authority during the visa cancellation process. Retaining your PRAN for future reference and monitoring the status of your Emirates ID on the FAIC website is beneficial.

Embrace Your PRAN Journey

Embarking on the process of obtaining and managing your PRAN in the UAE is a significant step towards ensuring a stable and secure future. It’s the linchpin of your identity documentation and will serve you well across various governmental and financial platforms. From keeping tabs on your Emirates ID status to paving the way for a hassle-free retirement, your PRAN is more than just a number—it’s your anchor in the UAE’s digital governance ecosystem.

Remember, safeguarding this number is as important as obtaining it. Stay vigilant, keep your information up-to-date, and don’t hesitate to contact the FAIC for guidance whenever needed. With your PRAN securely in hand, you’re well-positioned to confidently and easily navigate the UAE’s administrative landscape.

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