World

UAE stops issuing visas
for Bangladeshis

The United Arab Emirates has temporarily stopped issuing all kinds of entry permits for Bangladeshi passport holders as Dhaka has failed to resolve the UAE's security concerns over identification and fake documents, Gulf News reports.

However, officials at Bangladesh foreign ministry and the Bangladesh embassy in Abu Dhabi said they were yet to know about any such move.

Earlier in August, the UAE imposed stringent measures because of the increasing number of Bangladeshis there, many with fake documents, expired passports and visas.

The UAE had considered this large number of people as a security threat.

Maj Gen Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, an assistant undersecretary at UAE ministry of interior, confirmed that there would be no new visit visa, resident visa, tourist visa or any other kind of visa for Bangladesh nationals.

“The situation will return to normal once a number of issues are resolved by the Bangladesh government. The suspension of issuing visas is not permanent and is not a ban,” he was quoted as saying by Gulf News on Wednesday.

But Md Nazrul Islam, director general (West and Central Asia Wing) of the Bangladesh foreign ministry, said: "We do not have any information on the suspension of all types of visa issuance for the Bangladeshis.

"Our embassy in the UAE or the foreign ministry has not received any letter or notification from them [UAE].”

However, Nazmul Quaunine, Bangladesh ambassador to the UAE, told The Daily Star over the phone that the UAE government had not stopped issuing visas to Bangladeshis.

Asked whether the UAE government had imposed any restrictions on Bangladeshi workers, he said, “We cannot say it because we have not received anything officially.”

When his attention was drawn to the Gulf News report, the ambassador said the newspaper had published a similar news report a couple of months ago, but “there has been no official confirmation till date.”

“We have no knowledge about any fresh move by the UAE government. People are coming from Bangladesh every day,” he added.

Maj Gen Al Menhali told Gulf News that the current Bangladeshi visa holders in the UAE would not face any difficulties at the time of extending their visas or renewing residency permits.

“We are not issuing any new visas to Bangladeshis but we are renewing for those who already have residence visas,” he said.

Ali Haider Chowdhury, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira), told The Daily Star that they had come to know from the UAE media that the authorities there had stopped issuing all kinds of visas for Bangladeshis.

“We have long been asking the government to address the concerns of the UAE when the restriction was imposed over a month ago," he said.

But the government did not pay attention to the UAE's concerns, and even ruled out the fear that the country many impose some restrictions.

"Now, finally the UAE has stopped issuing all kinds of visas,” he added.

The restriction, a month ago, caused a drastic fall in manpower export to the UAE. In June, Bangladesh exported 23,025 people and in July 27, 535. But the figures came down to 15,771 in August.

The UAE, which now hosts about 1 million Bangladeshi workers, the second highest number after Saudi Arabia, has been a sustained labour market for the last couple of years despite the global economic recession.

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