welcome move: Mohammad Abu Zafar, Consul General of Bangladesh in the UAE

Dubai The Bangladesh Consulate in Dubai issued over 7,000 travel permits (out-passes) in the last seven months to workers living in the UAE without valid passports, an official said.

“Our travel permits enabled them to properly exit the UAE to return to their home country,” said Consul-General Mohammad Abu Zafar.

Speaking to XPRESS, Zafar strongly urged Bangladeshi blue-collar workers not to enter the UAE in transit, visit or any other type of ‘free visa’. “Although we do not have control on what visas they take to enter the UAE, we strongly recommend they only come on proper employment visas. Many unskilled workers have been exploited by unscrupulous employers and manpower agencies and they must do a due diligence of their employers before they leave home.

“We don’t need to impose any restrictions on white-collar workers as they are more likely to find jobs with good employers.”

Zafar said the consulate is spreading awareness on employment related issues. “Every Friday we visit Ras Al Khaimah, Dibba, Hatta and other remote areas to educate our workers,” he said.

He said the Bangladesh Consulate in Dubai has a verification agency that checks the authenticity of an employer and the types of visa issued by them.

“Before approving any new visa attestation, our labour officer visits companies employing the workers and verifies the accommodation and visa to be provided to the workers.

“The problem comes when they change jobs and do not check with the consulate on details of the new employer.”

Meanwhile, a senior UAE official has urged illegal expats to take advantage of an undeclared amnesty and leave the country by obtaining outpasses or regularise their visas.