Pakistan govt issues new visa guidelines for Chinese


Islamabad June 21 (TNS): In its efforts to ensure maximum security of the Chinese nationals visiting Pakistan on various visa categories and to streamline and regulate the entire process of visa issuance to Chinese nationals, the Ministry of Interior on Wednesday took a policy decision to review the conditions and requirements for issuance of business and work visas to the Chinese national. The decision has been taken to ensure transparency in the visa process and also to preclude misuse of visa-friendly regime that exists between the two countries.

The decision was taken during a high level meeting chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan at the Interior Ministry. The meeting was attended among others by Secretary Interior, Advocate General, Chairman NADRA, DG-IMPASS, DG MOFA and senior officials of Interior Ministry, FIA and NADRA.

Taking note of few incidents of provision of forged and fake documents of ghost companies to the embassies for issuance of Pakistani visa, it was decided that in future business visas and visa on arrival to the Chinese nationals would only be granted after production of invitation/assignment letter duly certified and endorsed by the recognized Chamber of Commerce & 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. It was decided that the powers of regional passport offices to grant visa extension would be immediately withdrawn. It was decided that in future all cases regarding grant in extension of business visas would be dealt in the IMPASS headquarters in Islamabad. DG IMPASS would be authorized to grant three months visa extension. Cases involving further extensions would be referred by IMPASS directorate to the Interior Ministry. It was decided that longer extensions would be discouraged.

The meeting also decided to rationalize the process of issuance of work visas to the Chinese nationals who intend to visit Pakistan for various government approved/sponsored projects.

It was decided that Pakistani embassies and mission abroad would 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. The meeting decided that further extensions in work visa would be granted by the Ministry of Interior only on the request and provision of required documents by the employer.

The Interior Minister directed Interior Ministry that all loopholes in the issuance of visas especially to the Chinese should be plugged in so as to ensure maximum transparency in the entire process.

The Minister also directed NADRA to expedite consolidation of data of Chinese nationals present in Pakistan so that the data could be shared with security agencies of the country for ensuring maximum security arrangements. He said that a comprehensive mechanism should be put in place for sharing of information of not only CPEC related workers but also of other Chinese nationals visiting the country for various jobs.

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 the foreign spouses after addressing certain issues that led to suspension of these cards.