Despite resuming flights UAE not issuing visas for Iranians: report

July 22, 2020 - 21:19

TEHRAN – The United Arab Emirates is not issuing visas for Iranian nationals although its flag career Emirates has resumed flights to/from the Iranian capital Tehran after some six months of halt over the coronavirus pandemic, ISNA reported on Wednesday.

On July 17, Ali Kashani, a senior official at the Imam Khomeini International Airport, announced that Emirates “resumed its flights to Tehran this morning after a six-month suspension”, offering daily services to Iranian passengers “under specific circumstances.”

At the same time [on July 17], Morteza Qorbani, the secretary of the Association of Air Transport and Tourist Agencies of Iran (AATTAI), announced that the UAE had resumed issuing visas for Iranian nationals as of Thursday [July 16] and said Iranians can apply for tourist visas, the report added.

However, inquiries from travel agencies concluded that the UAE had not responded to visa applications form Iranian citizens during this period. However, Iranian and UAE airlines have operated flights from Tehran to Dubai, which were mostly used by people residing in the UAE, the news agency said.

“The Emirates bureau in Tehran also says that the state-owned airline operates two flights a week on Saturdays and Mondays on the Tehran-Dubai route, but it does not accept any responsibility for passenger visas. Other travel agencies are not currently applying for UAE visas due to the current situation (coronavirus pandemic).”

Ali Qorbani, an official with the AATTAI, confirmed the ISNA news, saying “The UAE has not responded to [visa] requests since it announced it had opened its air borders…. This way, the issuance of visas for Iranian citizens has practically been stopped.”

“The UAE has not yet given an official explanation or reason for stopping the visa issuance, but according to some Dubai agents, the increase in the number of coronavirus patients in Iran may have been the reason for the issue.”

On Wednesday, The National reported about exemptions allowed under canceled visa ruling, writing: “The majority of UAE residents returning to the country after more than six months abroad will need to apply for a new visa, immigration authorities have said.”

“Earlier this year, authorities declared that residency visas expiring after March 1 would be automatically renewed until the end of December given many government offices had been forced to close due to the coronavirus,” the UAE website said.

AFM/MG

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