Tuesday September 27, 2022

10,000 expats in UAE still without NICOPs

NICOP is a registration document issued to a eligible citizen of Pakistan who lives or has reference abroad

January 18, 2021
National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) is a registration document issued to a eligible citizen of Pakistan who lives or has reference abroad. Any citizen of Pakistan can apply for NICOP and can travel to Pakistan without requiring a visa in case of dual nationality. Courtesy Nadra

DUBAI: Around 10,000 Pakistani expats based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have not received their National Identity Cards (NICOPs) since last one month.

The contract of the courier company that serves the delivery of documents from Islamabad to the Pakistani missions in the UAE, has not been renewed owing to delay in NICOP delivery, a senior diplomat informed The News. 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.

According to diplomatic sources, the contract with the courier company delivering identity cards from Islamabad to the UAE has expired, which is causing delays and expats have been suffering due to the delay.

Most of the times, Pakistani expats living in UAE are required to submit a copy of national identity card for their visa renewal in the emirates but now thousands of expats are not able to extend their visa due to suspension of identity cards’ delivery. Interestingly, the fee for Pakistani identity card is from Rs500 to Rs1,500 inside the country while overseas Pakistanis have to pay Dhs150 (Rs6,500) for the renewal of national identity cards (NICOPs). The previous company had been delivering Pakistani documents since past many years without any public and official complaints, according to diplomats here in Dubai. But the authorities in Pakistan are attempting to make a contract with new courier company on the advise of an influential political personality. Diplomats in Pakistan’s Consulate in Dubai are hoping that around 20 percent of national identity cards would be received from Pakistan in the coming week.

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 national identity card (NICOPs).