UAE implemented strict rules over tourist visas.

Filipino workers like electricians, pipe fitters, masons, farmers, and drivers are now banned from getting tourist visas to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 1 of the top destinations of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)for years now.

Gulf news reported that the UAE government completely implemented strict visa rules to protect its citizens from foreign criminals.

The United Arab Emirates is has a total of 636,154 Filipinos, according to the 2010 Stock Estimate of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

According to a senior UAE official, “The Federal Residency Department, which oversees residency departments across the country, has decided to adopt stricter regimes for tourist, visit and conference visas to curb the influx of blue-collar workers from many labor exporting countries into the country.” UAE now bans visit visas for some workers in traditional labor-exporting countries such as the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

The workers banned from obtaining tourist, visit, or conference visas include electricians, pipe fitters, masons, farmers, drivers, tailors, and cleaners.

The official said a university degree is now a prerequisite for obtaining a visa.

The other visa requirements include: round trip tickets, proofs of a confirmed hotel booking, and enough money for the visit, although, UAE still welcomes genuine visitors.

Applicants must prove to visa officers that their visit to the UAE is temporary and that they would not overstay.

The visitors must also show that they have enough money for their visit, have health insurance, and are not a security risk, he added.

According to Gulf News the move was prompted by the recent arrests of foreign criminals who were holding tourist, visit, and conference visas. These foreigners were victims of organized crimes or human trafficking, also known as “modern-day slavery.”

UAE last reviewed its visa requirements for other countries last 2008.