Doha – East

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The UAE has suspended the issuance of visas to citizens of 13 countries, most of which are Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Syria and Somalia, according to a document issued by a government business complex.

The decision sparked great controversy, as the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said last week that the UAE had stopped granting new visas to its citizens and citizens of several other countries, and added that it was requesting information from the UAE on the reasons for suspending visas.

The document, which was distributed to companies operating in the complex, indicated a leaflet from the UAE Immigration Department, which came into force on November 18. According to Reuters.

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She said that requests to obtain work or visit visas are pending for those outside the country of citizens of 13 countries, including Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen, until further notice. She added that the visa ban also applies to citizens of Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Tunisia and Turkey. 

It was not clear if there were any exceptions to the ban. A source familiar with the matter told “Reuters” that the UAE has temporarily stopped issuing entry visas to citizens of Afghanistan, Pakistan and several other countries for security reasons.

The source did not clarify what these security considerations were, but said that the ban is for a limited period.

The ministry and the source said that holders of valid visas will not be affected by the new restrictions and can enter the UAE.

It is noteworthy that Tunisian media confirmed in the middle of this month that the UAE has prevented visas from Tunisian citizens, and the media quoted the head of the Air Transport Committee at the Tunisian University of Travel Agencies, Abdulaziz bin Issa, who confirmed in a statement to EFM Radio, that the UAE decided to prevent Assigning visas to Tunisians. According to the Tunisian official, people who are married, have children, or who are over the age of sixty are excluded from the decision.

This is not the first time that the UAE imposes restrictions on the Tunisian people from entering its lands. About two years ago, a deep crisis erupted between Tunisia and the Emirates, when Abu Dhabi decided to prevent Tunisian women from traveling on Emirates Airlines, which provoked Tunisia, which decided to suspend flights. The Emirati tanker to and from Tunisia, and demanded Abu Dhabi to apologize immediately for this action.