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Your Unified Number in the UAE (UID): Everything You Need to Know

Apr 23, 2024 | Entrepreneurship

Your Unified Number UAE (UID) is one of the most important identifying numbers relating to your time in the UAE. All visitors and residents within the United Arab Emirates have a Unique Identifying Number that is used for all government-related matters. The UID was introduced to streamline the immigration process. Over 8 million visas are now issued annually to expats moving to the UAE.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into everything you need to know about the Unified Number- its purpose, how it works, the benefits it brings, and the steps you need to follow to obtain and use it. Whether you’re a long-term resident or a new arrival in the Emirates, understanding the Unified Number System is essential for navigating the intricacies of life in this dynamic country.

What is a UAE Unified Number?

The UID number is a unique 9-15 digit identifier automatically generated during the issuance of your residence visa. It is first assigned when an individual enters the UAE and is crucial for linking all official transactions, such as visa applications, residence permits, and Emirates ID issuance. Once assigned, the UID number remains constant throughout an individual’s stay in the UAE, regardless of changes in employment, sponsorship, or visa status, thereby serving as a key reference for all immigration and residency-related matters.

The UID number is issued and managed by two main governing bodies: the General Directory of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICP). These organizations oversee the issuance and administration of residency permits and Emirates ID applications, among other identification processes essential for living in the UAE.

It’s important to distinguish the UID from the Emirates ID number, which is a separate card issued to all UAE residents, including nationals. The Emirates ID serves as a mandatory identification and citizenship card used for a wide range of civil, legal, and service purposes within the country.

How to Find Your UID Number on Your Residence Visa

Finding your UID number on your residence visa is straightforward. The UID, or Unified Identity Number, is a crucial part of your documentation as a tourist or expat in the UAE. It is typically located right above the file number on your visa document (as shown in the below image). This number is key to identifying you in various administrative processes throughout your stay in the UAE.

An image of an ID card which will need to be presented when applying for your unified number uae.

How to Find Your UID Online

If you want to find out your UID quickly, you can do so easily by following these steps:

  1. Click on this website: https://gdrfad.gov.ae/en/unified-number-inquiry-service.
  2. Enter your personal information, including your passport number, nationality, DOB, and gender.
  3. Then, solve the math question before proceeding.
  4. Lastly, click submit to find your unified number in the UAE.

A screenshot from the Government of Dubai on the landing page for how to find out your unified number (UID).

How to Obtain a Unified Number UAE

Obtaining a Unified Number (UID) in the UAE happens automatically when you enter the UAE on a residency visa for the first time. Here’s how the process typically works:

  1. Entry into the UAE: When you first enter the UAE on a visa that leads to residency (such as an employment visa or a family sponsorship visa), immigration authorities at the port of entry (airport, seaport, or land border) will issue a UID. This number is generated as part of your immigration file.
  2. Visa Stamping Process: After your initial entry, you’ll undergo medical testing and apply for your Emirates ID to get your visa stamped in your passport. Your UID is linked to all related applications and documents during this time.
  3. Check Your Visa: Once your residency visa is processed and stamped in your passport, your UID will be printed on the visa page. This number will be used consistently for all your official documents and procedures in the UAE.
  4. Emirates ID: When you receive your Emirates ID, your UID will also be listed on it. The Emirates ID serves as a vital document for identification and verification across various services in the UAE.

Remember, the UID is issued automatically; you don’t need to apply for it separately. It’s assigned to you based on your immigration and residency records. Always ensure that your entry and visa processes are handled correctly to avoid issues with your UID assignment.

However, if you don’t yet have a UID number or can’t find it using the online portal, you can use the contact form on the GDFRA website as a direct inquiry.

To contact by phone, use the below numbers:

  • Within the UAE toll-free number: 8005111
  • International phone number: +971 4 313 9999

You can also visit the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) headquarters in Al Jaffliya, Dubai, for help.

What is the Significance of the Numbers in My UID?

Your unified number is located above your UAE visa number. The UID number carries important information about you and the nature of your visit or intention to stay in the UAE. The UID number is not generated randomly, so let’s take a closer look at what each section of this important number means.

Emirate Code: The first three digits of your UID indicate the specific Emirate from which your visa was issued. For example, visas from Abu Dhabi start with 101, Dubai with 201, Sharjah with 301, and Ajman with 401. Notably, visas issued from Abu Dhabi or Sharjah include a forward slash following these numbers.

Year of Issue: The next four digits represent the year your visa was issued, providing a clear indicator of the visa’s issuance timeline.

Visa Number: The final 7-9 digits at the end of your UID are actually your visa number, also referred to as your residence number. This is the part of the UID you will typically need to use when filling out official government forms in the UAE.

Significance of the UID Number in Dubai

The Unified Identity Number (UID) is indispensable across various sectors in Dubai, enhancing efficiency and security in many essential services. Here’s how it streamlines services in the UAE:

  1. Government Services The UID number is essential for streamlining interactions with government services. Whether it’s for permit applications or healthcare access, the UID number simplifies these processes and minimizes bureaucratic delays.
  2. Residential and Commercial Transactions In both the real estate and business sectors, the UID number plays a critical role. It enables smooth transactions by ensuring fast and secure information transfer, which is crucial for property transactions and business contracts.

How to Merge Your UID Numbers (if you have more than one)

If you find yourself with multiple UID numbers due to a system error, it’s important to address this promptly, as it can complicate the issuance of your resident visa and affect your immigration records. Fortunately, there is a straightforward solution.

The relevant immigration authority, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), can consolidate these multiple UIDs into a single record. This ensures that your immigration status is accurately maintained.

Here are the steps to merge your UID numbers:

  1. Visit the GDRFA: Their website has contact information and directions to the nearest office.
  2. Bring Necessary Documents: Ensure you have copies of your passport and any entry visas (including any old, expired, or canceled visas), as they may be referenced during the process at the immigration service center. Ensure your visas show the UID numbers that need to be merged.

Make Your Move to the UAE

Now that you know what a Unified Number in the UAE is and how to check what yours is, you are set to move to the UAE. Navigating UAE immigration rules can be tricky, especially if you’re new to the country. So, if you have your sights set on starting a business in Dubai, we’re here to help.

We can help you get started. Our team of experts at Virtuzone can help make the business formation process seamless, including any aspect of your UAE residency.

We’ll provide professional help with your residence, family, and employment visas. We’re ready to answer your questions and can provide expert advice on setting up your business in the UAE. Book a free consultation today if you’d like to learn more.

Unified Number UAE (UID) – FAQs

What are the Benefits of the Unified Number (UID)?

Your UID is a critically important identifying number, and it has several applications. It is used to apply for your residence visa, submit an application for your Emirates ID, and support your identity in the UAE immigration system.

Which Governing Authority Issues a Unified Number in the UAE?

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) issues a UID number to each person moving into the UAE.

Can a Person Have Several UID Numbers?

No, not in most circumstances. A single UID is issued to each person entering, traveling, and residing in the UAE. However, occasionally, there are system errors whereby multiple UID numbers can be mistakenly assigned to one person. If this occurs, it’s best to visit the GDRFA to have your unified numbers merged.

Is the Unified Number (UID) the Same as the Visa Number?

No, the UID number is different from the UAE visa number. Your visa number will change as your visa status changes (e.g., from a temporary permit to a residency visa). Yet, whatever changes occur with each visa you have, your UID number remains the same.

Where Can I Find My UAE Visa Number?

Your UAE visa number is embedded within the file number on your visa document. To find your UAE visa number, check the actual visa copy. It is situated above the passport number and below the UID number on the visa.

What Part of My UID Do I Need to Include for my Emirates ID Application?

The first 9 digits are required to complete your Emirates ID card application.

Can my UID number change over time in the UAE?

No, your UID number does not change. It is assigned to you upon your first entry into the UAE and remains the same, serving as a permanent reference number for all official purposes throughout your stay, regardless of changes in your visa or sponsorship status.

Is a UID the Same as an Emirates ID?

No, the UID is used specifically for residency and immigration tracking, while the Emirates ID serves as a multi-purpose national identity card for accessing various government and private sector services.

Is it Safe to Give Your UID Number?

Your UID (Unified Identity) number in the UAE is a sensitive piece of personal information, much like your social security number in other countries. It is linked to various official records, including your immigration status, residency, and visa details. While you must provide it for legitimate and official purposes, it is best not to share it with others.

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