UAE temporarily bars visas for unskilled Pakistanis

In Dubai, Pakistanis, constituting over 10 percent of the population, are experiencing a surge in visa rejections, particularly in the issuance of labor visas for unskilled workers. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has imposed a suspension on these visas without providing reasons for the decision.

The Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters Association expressed concern, stating that the unanticipated ban on unskilled labor visas is leaving many individuals in difficult circumstances. According to Adnan Paracha, a spokesperson for the association, the UAE Immigration Department implemented the ban without offering any explanation. This new policy is resulting in the rejection of job applications and is expected to significantly impact the working class in Pakistan.

Paracha highlighted the economic consequences, emphasizing that Pakistan receives over $450 million in remittances from the UAE each month, and this sudden policy change will cause substantial losses. The situation adds to existing concerns as the UAE recently imposed a ban on Dubai visit visas for residents of 20 nations, citing issues such as overstaying and illegal work activities. Some reports also suggest that specific backgrounds of Pakistani residents are being targeted in the visa rejection process.

This development is particularly worrisome given the significant size and historical presence of the Pakistani diaspora in the UAE, drawn to the region for employment opportunities and an improved quality of life. While earlier denials by Pakistani officials claimed such reports were baseless, the growing evidence of visa rejections raises concerns within the expatriate community.

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