According to the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, more than a million Pakistanis have ‘MOVED’ to Gulf countries since April of 2022.
Saudi Arabia received the highest number of Pakistani migrants, around 700,000, followed by the UAE with 229,000, Oman with over 100,000, and Qatar with about 90,000.
The Directorate General of Immigration & Passports is facing a huge increase in daily visa applications, from 24,000 to 40,000.
The department is trying to enhance its workforce and speed up visa processing to meet this demand.
One of the reasons for this migration trend is the lack of optimism among Pakistani youth due to the persistent political and economic difficulties in the country.
The country’s economy has been suffering, with GDP growth falling from 6.1% to only 0.3%.
The crucial large-scale manufacturing sector has gone into a recession, with negative growth of -8.1%, compared to 10.6% growth the previous year.
Major car manufacturers have seen an 80% decline in sales, and a restriction on imports has negatively affected the textile sector, leaving millions jobless.
This migration of skilled workers and their families is resulting in a decrease in remittances, further hurting the country’s economy.
Moreover, there is a widening skills gap in Pakistan, which is impacting its business potential and skill development. This lack of skilled labor may discourage foreign investors when they consider coming back to Pakistan in the future.