DUBAI: Around 10,000 Pakistani expats in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are waiting to receive their National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), a document issued to those living abroad by the state’s National Database and Registration Authority, since a month,
The delay is because the contract of the courier company used to deliver the documents from Islamabad to the Pakistani missions in the UAE has not been renewed, a senior diplomat told The News.
The Pakistani embassy in Abu Dhabi issued a public announcement that expats who applied for NICOPs (all categories) on December 22, 2020 and after are requested to postpone their visit to the embassy for collection of their NICOPs till further notice.
Pakistani expats living in UAE are mostly required to submit a copy of their national identity card for visa renewal in the emirates, but now thousands of expats are not able to extend their visa because of the delay in the delivery of the NICOPs.
It costs between Rs500 and Rs1,500 to get an identity card when in Pakistan, but overseas Pakistanis have to pay 150 Dirhams (Rs6,500) for the renewal of their NICOP.According to diplomats in Dubai, Pakistan is trying to make a contract with a new courier company on the advise of an influential political personality.
Diplomats in Pakistan’s Consulate in Dubai are hoping that around 20% of the NICOPs will be received from Pakistan in the coming week.The Pakistani embassy in Abu Dhabi requested the expats waiting for their identity cards to check the embassy’s website/ social media accounts or call the embassy at 02-4447800 (ext 233) before planning a visit for collection of their NICOP.