Outbound workers who have smartcards from the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) will now be allowed to travel to United Arab Emirates (UAE) on visit visa, the second biggest manpower market for Bangladeshis.
A decision has been taken in this regard in an inter-ministerial meeting on Thursday where ministers and top officials of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism and other ministries took part, confirmed an official concerned.
He also has said now Bangladeshis can go to Dubai in the UAE on work visas, but they are not allowed in Sharjah or Abu Dhabi. Therefore, many expatriates changed their visit visas to work visas after raching in UAE. The meeting also has assured that Bangladeshis who will try to go to the UAE for travel purposes will not face any problem.
Meanwhile, the government intelligence agencies have observed that many Bangladeshis try to enter Europe illegally after going to the UAE on visit visa. That is why the Ministry of Home Affairs stopped allowing workers to go to the UAE to prevent human trafficking.
According to the Special Branch (SB) of Bangladesh Police, some 317,000 Bangladeshis went to the UAE from October 2019 to March 2021 while around 199,000 Bangladeshis entered the Gulf State on visit visa alone in the last 18 months.
Only 21,754 of them have returned to the country and some 100,078 Bangladeshis are yet to return, observed SB.
In August 2020, the UAE gave Bangladesh the opportunity to go to Dubai on travel visa and change it into a work or business visa. Since then some 2000 to 2,200 Bangladeshis, on average, have traveled to this country daily on visit visas.