UAE bans visitors from Pakistan, 11 other countries

Temporary ban is believed to be related to second wave of Covid-19, says Foreign Office

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday temporarily suspended the issuance of new visit visas to Pakistan and 11 other countries.

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFa) clarified that the suspension would not applicable on already issued visas.

"We have learnt that the UAE has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visit visas until further announcement for 12 countries, including Pakistan," Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said.

He said that the measures are believed to be related to the second wave of Covid-19. "We are seeking official confirmation from the UAE authorities in this regard," he added.

According to media reports, the UAE government has also suspended the issuance of visit visas to Turkey, Iran, Yamen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Kenya and Afghanistan among others. All airlines have been informed about the decision.

On Sunday, the UAE said it would extend its “golden” visa system - which grants 10-year residency in the Gulf state - to certain professionals, specialised degree-holders and others.

Foreigners in the UAE usually have renewable visas valid for only a few years tied to employment. The government in the past couple of years has made its visa policy more flexible, offering longer residencies for certain types of investors, students and professionals. m