Dubai: Pakistani expatriates in the UAE have been advised to use the online portal to renew their passports and avoid crowding at the diplomatic missions.
An advisory issued by the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi says that the consular services section at the embassy remains open to provide all types of consular services. However, the embassy advises people to avoid unnecessary trips to the missions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. People should instead use the e-services portal of Pakistan government to get their passports and ID cards renewed.
Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai, told Gulf News that all necessary precautionary measures are in place at the consulate. “We have provided staff with face masks and gloves, and have placed sanitisers in the consular services halls and at the gates,” he said.
Ali said that the consulate has also obtained medical gadgets to check temperature of visitors to the consulate. “Every visitor to the consulate will be scanned for temperature and symptoms of coronavirus,” he added.
We have provided staff with face masks and gloves, and have placed sanitisers in the consular services halls and at the gates
Consul General noted that normally 1,000 to 1,200 people visit the consulate every working day for different consular services mainly to apply for passports and identity cards. “During the last one week, we have seen sudden increase in number of visitors coming to the consulate to apply for passports and ID cards,” he noted.
The consulate now allows 30 people at a time to enter the consular services hall while rest of the visitors are made to wait in two other waiting areas. “We are dividing the crowd to minimise the chances of virus spread,” Ali said.
Similarly, Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi has also witnessed sudden surge in number of visitors over the last few days. “More families are coming to the embassy to renew passports for their children as well due to school holidays,” said an official at the embassy.
Consul General Ali also urged visitors to take extra-precautionary measures to protect themselves from the COVID-19. “I have noticed that most of visitors take the threat causally and do not bother to take protective measures. I appeal to all the visitors to follow the guidelines set by the UAE government to prevent coronavirus spread,” he added.
Pakistani expatriates can apply for the renewal of their passports from anywhere in the world by using the e-Services Portal of the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports.
How to apply online
You can apply for renewal of your Machine Readable Passport, if your passport has expired OR its validity is less than 7 months by visiting https://onlinemrp.dgip.gov.pk/. For those who wants to renew their national identity cards can do so by submitting online application on https://id.nadra.gov.pk/.
Pakistan National Day events cancelled
Meanwhile, Pakistani missions in the UAE have cancelled the Pakistan National Day receptions this year. Pakistan National Day is observed on March 23 every year. Embassy has scheduled to hold the National Day reception in Abu Dhabi on March 23 and the Consulate has announced to host the reception on March 24. Both the events have been cancelled in the light of coronavirus threat.