The UAE in its efforts to control illegal immigrants using Tourist Visas as a means of entering the states, has instituted a minimum requirement of a university degree as a pre-requisite for a tourist visa from certain Asian countries.
In a move that has caused some surprise, tourists from Asian countries will no longer be able to apply for tourist visas from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines unless they have a university degree. Officials stated that an influx of unskilled workers such as electricians, pipe fitters, drivers, tailors and cleaners are now banned from obtaining a tourist visa, according to a local news service, who citing a senior immigration official.
The stricter regimes for tourist, visit and conference visas to, “curb the influx of blue-collar workers from many labour exporting countries,” said the official.
Tourism in the UAE, has grown rapidly in many of the wealthier states where it has become apparent that a large number of those entering on tourists visas seeking work, have not left.
The UAE has millions of foreign workers, mostly from South Asian countries where foreign workers numbers have grown to around 8.2 million in 2010 while UAE nationals making up only 11% of the workforce.