UAE slams visa ban on all citizens of Nigeria, Ghana and 17 other African countries
The United Arab Emirates has slammed a blanket visa ban on all citizens of Nigeria, Ghana and at least 17 other African countries, according to reports.
“This is to inform you that we will not be posting 30 days visa applications for these nationalities effective today, October 18, 2022,” according to a report that cited a notice from Emirati authorities to travel agencies in Dubai and affected countries.
Countries affected by the visa ban include Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria, Liberia, Burundi, Republic of Guinea, Gambia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Congo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Comoros. The Dominican Republic is the only non-African nation on the list, and it was unclear why the country’s citizens were banned.
Peoples Gazette had reported earlier that the Middle Eastern country had begun rejecting valid visa holders and barring others from entering.
Two travel agencies confirmed to Peoples Gazette that their clients with visas were banned, and new applications were denied without refund. Six travellers told The Gazette that issued permits were immediately rejected.
In September, Nigeria’s foreign ministry announced that Nigerians under the age of 40 will no longer be issued tourist visas to the United Arab Emirates as the Emirati “introduced a new visa regime and has stopped issuing tourist visas to persons under the age of 40 years, except for those applying for family visas.”
A spokesman for the UAE interior department did not return a request seeking comments from The Gazette about the development. But authorities in the UAE have repeatedly claimed Nigerians and other Africans are constituting security threats in their country. Some Nigerians have been arrested for involvement in cultism, theft in the country, and homicide rates were also said to be high and linked to Nigerians and Cameroonians.
The Nigerian government has continued to insist that Nigerians should obey rules of other countries while abroad, and it remains unclear whether efforts are underway to address the decision by the UAE, which is expected to affect thousands of Nigerians. Nigeria’s non-oil bilateral trade is over $2 billion with the UAE, while thousands of Nigerians have in recent years turned to the country as a major destination for real estate investment.
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