Government official says the move aims to curb the influx of blue collar workers into the country
The UAE government has said that it is banning tourist, visit and conference visas for workers from certain labour providing countries as it aims to curb the influx of blue collar workers into the country, it was announced on Monday.
A government official quoted in a Gulf News report said that the move is intended to help protect the country’s citizens and residents by preventing foreign criminals from coming to the UAE.
“The Federal Residency Department, which oversees residency departments across the country, has decided to adopt stricter regimes for tourist, visit and conference visas to curb the influx of blue collar workers from many labour exporting countries into the country,” the official said, who asked the newspaper not to be named.
The new regulations state that some workers from traditional labour exporting countries, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, are banned from applying for visit visas.
The possession of a university degree has been set as a prerequisite for obtaining a visa, along with other requirements, the official said.
These include round-trip tickets, proof of a confirmed hotel booking and enough money to finance the stay.
Categories banned from applying for visit visas include electricians, pipe fitters, masons, farmers, tailors, drivers and cleaners.
The move was prompted by recent arrests of a number of foreigners who were found to be on tourist, visit and conference visa. These individuals were either engaged in organised crime, human trafficking or were unemployed and looking for jobs. Others were picked up for begging in the streets, or near mosques, malls and hospitals.
However, the government source stressed that the UAE was open to genuine visitors.