Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.
On Wednesday, the Foreign Office said that the temporary ban of visas for a dozen countries including Pakistan, by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was believed to be linked to the second wave of Covid-19 visas and would not apply to visas already issued.
Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, however, stated in a statement that officials were in contact with the related UAE authorities in order to seek official approval of the measures.
The declaration came after the “second wave of Covid-19” temporarily halted the issuance of visitor visas to 12 countries including Pakistan.
“We have learnt that the UAE has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visit visas until further announcement for 12 countries, including Pakistan,” confirmed Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri.
He added that it was assumed that the step was related to Covid-19’s second wave. “We are seeking official confirmation from the UAE authorities in this regard.” He added the suspension would not apply to visas that had already been issued.
The government of the UAE has also halted the issuance of visas to Turkey, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Kenya and Afghanistan, among other countries, according to media sources.
On Sunday, the UAE said it would extend its “golden” visa system – which grants 10-year residency in the Gulf state – to certain professionals, specialized degree-holders and others.
Foreigners in the UAE usually have renewable visas valid for only a few years tied to employment. The government in the past couple of years has made its visa policy more flexible, offering longer residencies for certain types of investors, students and professionals.
Over the last two years, the government has made its visa programme more stable, giving some types of investors, students and professionals longer residencies.
All doctoral degree holders, medical doctors and also computer, electronics, programming, electrical and biotechnology engineers are eligible, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, said in a statement.