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Sun 7 Nov 2010 12:51 PM

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UK visa process ‘easier for Gulf-based Pakistanis’

A review of UK Border Agency finds it favours visas from Pakistanis in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai

UK visa process ‘easier for Gulf-based Pakistanis’
VISA PROCESSING:Pakistanis applying to enter the UK from Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai find it easier to secure a visa (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Pakistanis applying to enter the UK from Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai find it easier to secure a visa than those applying from their home country, a review of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has found.

Staff at the agency apply tougher visa laws to applicants from Pakistan, while lowering the bar for entrants from Gulf countries, said independent chief inspector John Vine.

“I believe this means that the UK Border Agency was not only failing to be open and transparent about their approach towards customers, but also may be discriminating unlawfully in favour of Gulf Co-operation Council customers and against Pakistanis,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Pakistan is the fourth largest source of applications to enter the UK.

Vine, who was appointed to scrutinise the UKBA, said appeals originating from Pakistan were also less likely to be upheld by the agency.

Staff required “higher evidential requirements for entry to the UK to customers from Pakistan, and this was not made clear to them,” he said.

The UK government has tightened visa checks for Pakistan in the wake of the country’s deteriorating security situation.  

The review, however, suggests that visa checks may be sidestepped for Pakistanis’ living in Gulf countries.

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Sohaib Siddiqui 9 years ago

This picture is not at all reflective of 'Pakistanis' applying for UK visas in general. Pakistanis are found in the whole spectrum of society, from CEOs all the way to laborers. Arabian Business should be sensitive towards the image they are projecting by putting up a picture of men sitting on the sidewalk and captioning it as 'Pakistanis applying to enter [...]'.

Try to be more sensible next time.

Thank you.

Khurram 9 years ago

totally agreed with you. infact, none of them even remotely look like Pakistanis.