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Sunday, 28 July 2013

UAE stops visas for Bangladeshis

UAE stops visas for Bangladeshis

The United Arab Emirates have temporarily stopped issuing all kinds of entry permits for Bangladeshi passport holders because of security concerns over identification and fake documents.
But the Bangladesh authorities do not know about the UAE action.
‘The suspension of issuing visas is not permanent and is not a ban,’ Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary for Naturalisation and Residency and Ports Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Interior was quoted by Dubai-based Gulf News as having said.
Al Menhali said the situation will return to normal once a number of issues are resolved by the Bangladesh government.
For the time being, he said there will be no new visit visas, resident visas, tourist visas or any other kind of visa for Bangladeshi nationals.
Current Bangladeshi visa holders in the UAE will not face any difficulties in extending their visa or renewing residency permits.
‘We are not issuing any new visas to Bangladeshis but we are renewing for those who already have residence visas,’ Al Menhali said.
He said the step was taken recently, but did not specify when the restrictions would be lifted. He said the UAE is concerned over the validity of the passports.
When contacted, expatriate welfare minister Eng. Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told New Age on Thursday evening that he was not aware of the information. ‘I’ve just heard about it from you.’
Asked whether he will take up the matter being the minister in charge of the expatriate welfare ministry, Mosharraf said, ‘I’ll definitely take up the matter with the UAE authorities to meet their concerns as soon as I will officially be informed of it.’
Gulf News said they learnt that there were cases of Bangladeshi people caught trying to enter the country with forged passports.
Weeks before the visa suspension, a number of Bangladeshis were arrested for entering the country with illegal documents. Many were found carrying forged passports and forged visas.
Minister Mosharraf did not outright reject the allegation of forged passports and visas held by some Bangladeshi expatriate workers.
He blamed a section of recruiting agencies who were members of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies for sending these workers abroad with fake travel documents.
The minister said BAIRA should take action against those dishonest recruiting agencies which were registered with their association.
Mosharraf said the government is now sending workers abroad with SMART cards containing all information about a particular worker going abroad with job. He said if any SMART card holding worker commits forgery ‘we will be held responsible for our lapses.’
Over 700,000 Bangladeshi expatriates are now staying in the oil rich gulf state. The number of workers coming from Bangladesh to the UAE has witnessed a jump.
The statistics show that 2,03,308 traveled to the UAE from Bangladesh in 2010 for different job purposes while the number grew up to 2,52,734 in 2011.