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More than 535,423 Umrah visas issued in 2018

RIYADH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 535,423 of which 278,706 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to Saudi Hajj and Umrah Ministry. There are 202,792 pilgrims still in the Kingdom 140,848 in Makkah and 61,944 in Madinah. Most pilgrims 261,187 came to the Kingdom by air, while 17,519 entered by land. None arrived by sea. The largest number of pilgrims arrived from Pakistan (119,776) followed by India (72,442), Indonesia (31,729), Yemen (7,337) and Jordan (6,447). The Vision 2030…

US restricts visas to unmarried gay diplomats

WASHINGTON: The United States is denying visas to the partners of more than 100 gay diplomats unless they get married, officials said Tuesday. The move comes as President Donald Trump's administration chips away at protections of the LGBTQ community, although officials cast the decision as motivated by legal reciprocity rather than an anti-gay agenda. Under the new guidelines, diplomats regardless of sexual orientation will need to be married by the end of the year in order for their partners to receive visas. Under…

South Korean embassy official jailed for issuing fake visas to Pakistanis

SEOUL: A South Korean Embassy official in Malaysia was handed a jail term on charges of issuing fraudulent visas to Pakistani citizens. The accused faces charges for being into this illegal practice for three years, according to a report in the Korea Herald. The Seoul Central District Court said in its verdict that it had sentenced the embassy official to 18 months in prison for falsifying official documents and violating the immigration law. In his ruling, Judge Lee Sang-joo said the official had betrayed the trust…