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September 18, 2012

Indian workers find jobs difficult to get as Dubai tightens visa rules

     Manama: Indian workers may now face restrictions over getting entry in Dubai for employment opportunities as the Middle East city has reportedly adopted stricter rules for tourist, visit and conference visas to curb the influx of foreign workers from certain labour exporting countries. A senior official said the move was prompted by the recent arrests of scores of foreigners on tourist, visit and conference visas, who were either engaged in organised crimes, human trafficking or were found unemployed and looking for jobs or begging in the streets, or near hospitals, mosques and malls. "The Federal Residency Department, which oversees residency departments across the country, has decided to adopt stricter regimes for tourist, visit and conference visas to curb the influx of blue-collar workers from many labour exporting countries into the country," the official told Gulf News on the condition of anonymity. "This would help significantly reduce the risk that individuals engaged in organised crime or the trafficking of persons could gain entry to the country," the source added. The new regime would see bans on visit visas for some foreign workers, especially from traditional labour exporting countries to the UAE, and set a university degree as a prerequisite for obtaining a visa, plus other requirements, the official said. Other countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Philippines, are some of the largest countries exporting labour to the UAE. Categories banned from obtaining tourist, visit or conference visas include electricians, pipe fitters, masons, farmers, drivers, tailors and cleaners, the report said. The source stressed the UAE continues to welcome genuine visitors. "These visa requirements will give authorities a greater ability to manage the flow of visitors into the country and allow residency departments across the country to screen more travellers for security risks prior to their arrival in the UAE," he said.
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