Passport problems for Pakistanis in the United Arab Emirates and in other Gulf countries are being caused by hand-written passports. Pakistanis are being strongly encouraged to replace their hand-written passports with the new biometric machine readable passports (MRP).
Pakistanis are being told not to wait for their passports to expire. Instead they are being advised to get biometric passports as soon as possible.
Many countries in the world have restricted travel for holders of hand-written passports. Biometric passports have become the passport of choice around the world because this form of passport is considered more secure.
As of September 15, the UAE government no longer accepts manual passports. In addition, no visas are being issued to manual passport holders.
The Pakistan government has asked the UAE government for a 1 year grace period in which the manual passports will be accepted. However, it is unlikely that the UAE will grant the request due to passport security concerns.
In addition, the manual passports will be completely invalid by 2012.
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