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Visa problems for Pakistani expatriates

July 16, 2012

I HAVE been a resident of Dubai, UAE, since 2008 and work at a multinational company in a senior management position. I recently applied for a business visa to Indonesia for an official visit. I had the invitation letter from my company’s Indonesia office.

However, the officials at the Indonesian consulate general in Dubai informed me that it would take up to a month to know if my visa request has been accepted or rejected.

When asked about the reason why nationals of countries like Iran or India get visa on arrival and Pakistanis have to wait for so long without the surety for the visa issuance, the consulate employee replied that “your government needs to take it up with our government.”

While Pakistani expatriates are expected to serve Pakistan by sending remittances back home, the government doe not help them.

I have a right to ask the government why they are not approaching the foreign ministries of countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, etc., asking them to make the visa issuance for Pakistanis more lenient, especially for professionals like myself who have a permanent residency of the UAE and wish to travel on business but still suffer because we carry a green passport?

Should I act like many other Pakistani expatriates and acquire a new passport for the sake of carrying more respect abroad? I love my country, but the apathy of our government towards Pakistani expatriates is forcing me to give a serious consideration for getting a second passport.