UAE stopped issuance of visas to Pakistanis on security concerns Reuters claim

 UAE banned visas for citizens of 13 Muslim majority countries including Pakistan

The American news agency Reuters has claimed that the United Arab Emirates stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan due to security concerns. The document, which was sent to companies operating in the park and was seen by Reuters, cited an immigration circular that came into effect on November 18.

It said applications for new employment and visit visas had been suspended for nationals, who are outside the UAE, of the 13 countries, including Pakistan, Iran, Somalia, Algeria Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen, Tunisia, Iraq and Turkey until further notice.

It was not clear if there were any exceptions to the ban. The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship hasn’t clarified and made no public statement in this regard. Reuters has quoted a source in UAE authorities that ban has been imposed due to security concerns without further elaboration or explanation. 

 The source did not say what those concerns were but said the visa ban was expected to last for a short period.

Last week, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the UAE had stopped processing new visas for its citizens and those of some other countries. It said it was seeking information from the UAE on the reason for the suspension but that it thought it was related to the COVID-19 surge.

The Pakistani foreign ministry and the source said those holding valid visas were not affected by the new restrictions and could enter the UAE.

                                                                    Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor

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