LAHORE – The United Arab Emirates Consul General has denied the reports that authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have restricted visit visas for Pakistanis belonging to some specific cities.
The restriction was not officially announced, but people with certain cities as their ‘place of birth’ faced hiccups in securing the visit visa for Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Despite the denial, some travel agents whose clients have been victims of this restriction say that Pakistani citizens having the following cities as their 'place of birth' might not get the UAE to visit visa:
Abbottabad, Attock, Bajaur Agency, Chakwal, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Hangu, Hunza, Quetta, Kasur, Kohat, Kotli AJK, Khushab, Kurram Agency, Larkana, Mohmand Agency, Muzaffargarh, Nawabshah, Parachinar, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Skardu and Sukkur.
The restriction doesn’t mean all visa applications would be rejected, but chances are slim Pakistanis having the cities above as their 'place of birth' will get a UAE to visit visa, despite the clarification.
On the other hand, the Consul General of the United Arab Emirates in Karachi, H.E Bakheet Ateeq Al Romaithi has quashed the impression that visit visas are being denied to people from specific cities of origin.
'No ban has been imposed on Pakistani citizens and visas are being issued indiscriminately,' he told a private TV channel and added that he himself was issuing visas to people belonging to different cities.
The official expressed remorse over the news and stated that he was unaware of who was behind this disinformation campaign.
Besides the official version, Daily Pakistan got in touch with immigration officials in Lahore and one of them said on condition of anonymity that the restriction has been imposed by the UAE immigration authorities due to multiple reasons, including visa rules violations.
"Potential visitors with a clean travel history and sound bank statement still have good chances of getting a UAE visit visa," he said.
He said that initially the restriction was imposed on visa seekers from 6 Pakistani cities, but later the number of cities was increased to 24.
"The immigration department gives go-ahead only to potential visitors with approximately 5,000 DHS and a return ticket," said the official.
It is to be mentioned that UAE hosts about 1.7 million Pakistanis, the second largest Pakistani expat community in the world.
The data by the State Bank of Pakistan confirms that the volume of remittances from the UAE to Pakistan in fiscal year 2022 was $2555.22 million, implying that a sizeable Pakistani workforce is employed in the country in diverse fields from banks to real estate.
Note: The story has been updated to incorporate the latest developments.
Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.
Euro comes down to 300 for buying and 303 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.5 for buying, and 354 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.15 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.
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