The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has suspended the issuance of visas to citizens from 13 mostly Muslim countries, including five from Africa.
The document was sent to companies operating in a state-owned business park. Reuters has also seen the document which cited an immigration circular that came into effect on 18 November.
The new ban affects potential immigrants from Kenya, Somalia, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Turkey and Pakistan.
An unnamed source told Reuters the visa ban was imposed for security reasons, but would likely last for a short period.
The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.
A source briefed on the matter told Reuters the UAE had temporarily stopped issuing new visas to Afghans, Pakistanis and citizens of several other countries over security concerns.
The source did not say what those concerns were but said the visa ban was expected to last for a short period.
Last week, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the UAE had stopped processing new visas for its citizens and those of some other countries.
It said it was seeking information from the UAE on the reason for the suspension but that it thought it was related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Pakistani ministry and the source said those holding valid visas were not affected by the new restrictions and could enter the UAE.