United Arab Emirates Ranks First in Speed of Passport Issuance Worldwide
Significant improvements were made in the Identity and Nationality Affairs sector of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs in Dubai. From 2019 until 2021, the sector has been exceeding expectations, as indicated on the Global Competitiveness Report for the year 2020 with regards to travel documents, particularly the period taken to complete passport transactions. In the past three years, the department has successfully completed 128, 045 transactions.
The Lieutenant-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, the Director Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs, praised the noteworthy endeavors of the sector. The United Arab Emirates clinched the top spot when it came to swift passport issuance, beating out countries from the European Union and the United States of America. Passport issuance in the country takes only 8 minutes and 42 seconds. In second place is Australia with a turnaround time of 24 to 28 hours and in third place is the United States of America with a turnaround time of 1 to 6 weeks.
Happy employees result in happy customers and the sector’s employees secured first place when it came to happiness for the last three years, and customers shared the same sense of happiness for 2020, exceeding the target of 92% by 5% to register a record-high happiness rate of 97% for public administration sectors. Evidently, having passport transactions successfully completed swiftly puts a smile on the faces of customers.
However, improving customer happiness did not happen overnight. The sector made substantial changes to eliminate unnecessary steps for obtaining citizenship and identity. From more than 20, the steps were reduced to only one that used the smart application and decreased the number of paper documents, as well as lessened the time taken for submission down to 30 seconds.
The smart channels resulted in an increase of customers utilizing it for a variety of passport issuance and renewal transactions for 2021. From a measly 15% of users in 2020, the number of smart channel users this year skyrocketed to 56%. Customers using personal status services with the help of smart channels also increased by 93%, a notable increase from last year’s 75%.