Expats and citizens, listen up – the new online process takes just a matter of minutes.

If you’ve ever dreaded the queues of a customer service centre, we have some rather good news for you.

A new smart system has been launched that means you can now apply for UAE visas from the comfort of your own home, rather than face a slog down to an office.

Even better? It only takes 10 minutes to get your application in, according to the UAE’s Ministry of Interior, and it eliminates the need for hard copies of documents.

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The E-channels system can be used by expats and GCC and UAE nationals, as well as companies applying on employees’ behalf.

So what can you use it for? Well, Emiratis and GCC nationals can apply to sponsor individuals, while UAE residents can either renew, cancel or apply for visas.

You have to register online (click here to visit the E-Channels website), and if you need help, you can still visit a typing centre.

There are payment options on the site – you just need your bank account’s IBAN number – and residents can also use the system to pay fines and claim back security deposits, according to Gulf News.

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E-Channels will “guarantee speed and accuracy in the visa and residence permits issuing process, and will eliminate the need for its users to go in person to service centres throughout the UAE”, official news agency WAM reported.

Government centres should see an 80 per cent reduction in visa-related visits from customers by 2018, Colonel Mansour Ahmed Al Dhaheri, director-general of the Residence and Foreigners Affairs Directorate in Abu Dhabi, said.

Anything that involves less paperwork piques our interest, so we’re signing up now…

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Image: Getty