Issues with issuing Visas
It’s not just the Canadians with issues: Moving the goalposts for visa entry to the UAE is not in anybody’s interest, least of all the country.
November 11, 2010 5:23 by Eva Fernandes
A recent chain mail in Kipp’s in box started something like this: “You know you are an expat from the Gulf when the word VISA conjures images of credit cards for most, but for you means a page in your passport.”
It couldn’t be any truer. Living in this limbo-like security of the UAE, the possession of a UAE visa is source of much importance and contention for expats: Your visa could tie you down to your current employer or, on the flip side, if you employer decided to cut the ties between the two of you, your visa could also render you homeless as well as unemployed. Or even worse, unable to return to the country for a while.
For a while, the UAE was granting long-term visas for investors of real-estate, but it seems the offer crashed along with the property boom (not to mention without a lucid explanation of any kind).
The arbitrary and almost irrational handling of visas has long since fascinated (and occasionally frustrated) Kipp, and when we heard of the recent developments with Canadian visas we couldn’t help but feel a little weary. It was announced this week that Canadians travelling to the UAE will now be required to obtain a visa prior to entering the country. The new and unexpected regulations come after a series of diplomatic crossed words between the two nations. For starters the Canadian government refused Emirates and Etihad more access to Canadian airports, and the UAE retaliated by not renewing the lease of Camp Mirage, a Canadian logistics base in Dubai used by the Canadian military for their operations in Afghanistan. And let’s not forget there was the UAE’s recent spat with RIM and the perhaps empty threat to ban the use of the Blackberry services in the UAE.
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