ISLAMABAD – The government has decided to streamline and regulate the entire process of visa issuance to Chinese nationals to ensure their maximum security in Pakistan.
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The decision was taken during a high level meeting chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Now business visas and visa on arrival to Chinese nationals will only be granted after production of invitation and assignment letter duly certified and endorsed by the recognized Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the country along with letter from commercial attachés and other designated officers of Pakistan who are posted abroad for the promotion of business activities.
NADRA will help Industry, Chambers and FIA in putting in place an electronic system for sharing of information between the Chambers and the immigration authorities.
The meeting also decided to regulate the process of granting extensions in business visas.
Decisions reached in the meeting:
- Business visas, visa on arrival to Chinese nationals only granted after production of invitation/assignment letter certified and endorsed by recognised Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with letter from commercial attachés, other designated Pakistani officers posted abroad for the promotion of business activities.
- Nadra to help industry chambers, FIA with setting up electronic system for information sharing
- Regulation of process of granting extensions in business visas. Powers of regional passport offices to grant extensions immediately withdrawn.
- Future cases regarding extension in business visas to be dealt with by IMPASS HQ in Islamabad. The DG IMPASS will be authorised to grant three-month extensions. Additional extensions ─ which will be discouraged ─ will be referred to the Interior Ministry
- Pakistani embassies, foreign missions authorised to issue maximum one-year multiple entry work visa for any project after verification and security clearance from Chinese authorities.
- Extensions in work visa to be granted by Interior Ministry only on request and after provision of required documents by employer.
- Reintroduction of Pakistan Origin Cards (POCs) to foreign spouses.
The process of issuance of work visas to the Chinese nationals who intend to visit Pakistan for various government approved and sponsored projects will be rationalized.
It was decided that Pakistani embassies and mission abroad will be authorized to issue maximum of one year multiple entry work visa for any project after ascertaining the authenticity of the project and receiving security clearance from the Chinese authorities.
Speaking on the occasion, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan directed to plug in all loopholes in the issuance of visas especially to the Chinese. He also advised NADRA to expedite consolidation of data of Chinese nationals present in Pakistan so that the data can be shared with security agencies of the country for ensuring maximum security arrangements.
Keeping in view various issues being faced by the foreign spouses who are married to Pakistani nationals, it was decided to re-introduce Pakistan Origin Cards to such ladies after addressing certain issues that led to suspension of these cards.
The meeting held at the Interior Ministry was attended by the secretary interior, advocate general, chairman Nadra, director general (DG) immigration and passports (IMPASS) and the DG Ministry of Foreign Affairs.