UAE denies workers visit visa ban

Ministry of Interior official says that visit visa transactions were being processed in accordance with standard procedures

A top government official has denied press reports that there is a ban in place for unskilled workers who wish to apply for tourist visas.

Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, assistant undersecretary for Naturalisation and Residency, and Port Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, said that departments of naturalisation and residency across the country were processing visit visa transaction for would-be applicants in consistence with standard procedures.

He explained that should there be any further developments, the new procedures would be announced to the public beforehand and be posted on the Ministry’s website.

The Major General added that press reports of the changes were ‘untrue news that were drawn from unofficial and unreliable sources.’

He said any official communications from the Ministry of Interior would be released to the media by the Security Information Department.

Earlier this week, a Gulf News report had cited an unknown government agent as saying that the UAE was banning tourist, visit and conference visas for workers from certain labour supplying countries.

The reasoning behind the move was that it would help curb the influx of illegal blue collar workers into the country and help protect the country from ‘foreign criminals’.

The unnamed official said that the new regulations meant that some workers from countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines would be banned from applying for visit visas.

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