Prerequisites of UAE visa spark mixed reactions
As the government aims to curb the influx of blue-collar workers from certain countries in South East Asia, Kipp ponders the possible long term ramifications...
September 18, 2012 12:01 by M. Aldalou
Workers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and The Philippines will soon face a difficult if not impossible time flocking to the UAE for work opportunities since the country’s Federal Residency Department has announced stricter visa regimes for tourist, conference and visit visas, particularly for countries they described as large labour exporting countries.
Visa regulations in the Middle Eastern country have always received a great deal of attention and a Smorgasbord of mixed reactions, particularly from those they set out to affect. There are currently several nationalities on the UAE’s, shall we call it, ‘blacklist’ whereby it is either impossible or rather extremely challenging for them to successfully receive a visit or residency/work permit.
This recent ruling, as Kipp would have guessed, is receiving mixed reactions as well. Why mixed you ask? Mainly because of its declared motives, end results and possible ramifications to the actual country. The initial reaction would be to immediately dismiss or vote against such a rule but then you hear that it is done with the best intentions and you remain uncertain of what to conclude.
While speaking with Gulf News, an official said that adopting stricter rules will ‘curb the influx of blue-collar workers’ from many labour exporting countries into the UAE. Kipp’s immediate counter-reaction would be to wonder why curbing an influx of those workers is a positive step, since it was that exact influx that has helped the country’s many growing sectors reach where they are today?
The official however, on condition of absolute anonymity (beats me?) further assured GN that they are in fact, being implemented with positive intentions. “This would help significantly reduce the risk that individuals engaged in organised crime or the trafficking of persons could gain entry to the country,” said the official.
The consideration of this ruling was, according to the report, provoked by the number of arrests of foreigners who have either resorted to illegally residing in the country while looking for work, begging or engaging in unlawful activities including human trafficking. Some people just spoil it for everyone don’t they?
Thanks to the aforementioned detainees, categories of workers including electricians, masons, farmers, tailors, cleaners, drivers and pipe fitters (among others), will be receiving a visit ban. The department has also set the prerequisite bar higher to include proof of hotel bookings, sufficient money, round trip airline tickets and a university degree.
The topic naturally took to the powerful trends of Twitter where many were bemused at this ruling, many said ‘we shouldn’t be surprised’ and others called the pre-requisites, particularly needing a university degree, ridiculous.
The Indian Consulate in UAE declined to comment on this matter as of now.
Whether the authority has genuinely pursued this ruling to cut down on unlawful activities, begging and illegal immigrants, one can hardly debate. Still, considering that the ‘heavy labour exporting’ countries included in this new regime do bring a lot of economic advantages to the country’s many industries, will the UAE, in essence, be biting the hand that feeds it?