DUBAI: Days after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) temporarily suspended the issuance of new visas to more than a dozen countries, including Pakistan, until further notice, a document issued by a state-owned business park cited “security concerns” as the reason.
The Emirates on November 18 announced to halt the issuance of new visit visas to applicants from 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries. At the time, the Foreign Office said the decision is “believed to be related to the second wave of Covid-19”.
However, it had clarified that the suspension will not apply to visas that have already been issued. It had also said it was “seeking official confirmation from the concerned UAE authorities in this regard”.
It was not immediately clear how many categories of visas would be affected by the suspension. The UAE has various visa categories including business, tourist, transit, student, etc. The FO is yet to comment on the report.
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 Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen, until further notice.
The visa ban also applies to citizens of Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey, the document says.
The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.
A source briefed on the matter told Reuters the UAE had temporarily stopped issuing new visas over security concerns. However, the source did not say what those concerns were but said the visa ban was expected to last for a short period.