• publish: 26 November 2020
  • time: 12:09 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 16086

UAE stops issuing visas to 13 countries

The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A source briefed on the matter told Reuters the visas had temporarily stopped being issued to Afghans, Pakistanis and citizens of several other countries over security concerns, but did not provide details of those concerns.

A document, sent to companies operating in a business park and seen by Reuters, cited an immigration circular that came into effect on November 18.

The document said applications for new employment and visitor visas had been suspended for nationals – those outside the UAE – of 13 countries until further notice.

The ban also applies to citizens of Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Turkey, it says.

It was not clear if there were any exceptions to the ban.

The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

The visa ban comes two months after the Gulf state established formal ties with Israel, a move that broke with decades of Arab policy and angered some Muslim states and communities, Reuters reports.

Still, the source familiar with the matter said the ban was unrelated to the UAE’s relationship with Israel and was expected to last only for a brief period.

Last week, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the UAE had stopped processing new visas for its citizens and those of some other countries, but that those already holding valid visas were not affected and could still enter the UAE.

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