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    UAE halts new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim states

    Synopsis

    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.

    AFP
    The document, sent to companies operating in the park and seen by Reuters, cited an immigration circular that came into effect on Nov. 18.
    DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a document issued by a state-owned business park.

    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.

    The document, sent to companies operating in the park and seen by Reuters, cited an immigration circular that came into effect on Nov. 18.

    Seen by Reuters, the document said applications for new employment and visit visas had been suspended for nationals - those outside the UAE - of 13 countries that also included Somalia, Libya and Yemen until further notice.

    The ban also applies to citizens of Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, 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 circular took effect a week after the French Embassy in the UAE urged its citizens to maintain vigilance after a bomb attack in Saudi Arabia on diplomats claimed by Islamic State.

    The explosion, which occurred during a World War One commemoration ceremony in Jeddah, was the first attack in years where explosives were used in an attempt to hit foreigners in the conservative kingdom.

    The visa ban also 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. Others welcomed it.

    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.

    A diplomat commented that the UAE had strained relations with some of the states listed, such as Turkey.

    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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    20 Comments on this Story

    Shivam56 days ago
    UAE Circular made it as specific countries mainly war torn and where fundamentlist area ctive and hence banned people from these countries.Good decision...No is no place for fanatic religious fundamentalism (Ban people from countries, particularly those who subscrinbe to a religion which advocates killing of people who don't believe in that religion or those who worship in a different manner)...... That is what UAE has made.
    TheLostJedi56 days ago
    Really shows that a new age has dawned in UAE and they are looking at the future. Leadership in UAE must be commended for their strong will to be more collaborative and compassionate with other communities which would ensure long term sustainable development unlike what is seen in other Arab states. UAE in the next couple of decades is likely to be the center of the Middle East in every sense. Amazing leadership indeed.
    Gopal Sriniwasan57 days ago
    UAE is turning its country into a modern tech-savvy Country with aggressive focus on AI,IT,Space,Nuclear Energy programme.
    While making transformational change the Young dynamic Country requires high skilled expat workforce which only India and other Western Countries can provide.
    The Citizens of the Countries which has been put on the blacklist as such cannot make any significant contribution except spread anarchy and mayhem.
    It is a well-thought decision which should be welcomed
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