Pakistan government unveils new visa rules

Pakistan government unveils new visa rules

The federal cabinet has approved changes to the visa rules which introduce new policies regarding the need for visas for work and health emergencies, as well as the reduction of the total number of categories from 18 to 11, it emerged on Monday.

A letter shared by the Ministry of Interior to the director-general (DG) of Immigration and Passports shows that the cabinet approved the aforementioned changes on Feburary 2.

Based on the merging of the previous categories, the new types of visas are tourist/visit visa, visa in your inbox for tourism or business purposes, family visit visa, business visa, work visa, study visa, religious tourism visa, official visa, NGO/INGO visa, medical visa and other.

Visa in your inbox can be applied for online and the confirmation would be given in the candidate’s email.

While the letter itself did not explicitly state there was a medical visa, interior ministry spokesperson Zafaryab Khan confirmed the category to a local news station. Elaborating on the details, security clearance would not be required for those seeking a short-term medical visa or an individual work visa. However, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) would be intimated.

These short-term medical visas would be approved or denied within a 48 hour period and would allow a single-entry within a 3-month time frame. Moreover, the visa holder would only be allowed to go to certain hospitals, and other security checks would be put into place.

An extended medical visa of up to one year, meanwhile, would be issued within a month after clearance from agencies. ISI, FIA and IB would also be intimated.

A similar time frame for application approval, agency intimation, and period allowed within the country would apply to those coming in on a short-term work visa. In this regard, the candidates would also be asked to share employment letter, undertaking of company letterhead, company profile, applicant’s resume, cover letter on company’s letterhead and registration of the company on the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

The spokesperson therein stressed that all unneeded and superfluous documents had been removed from the application process to make it easier for people.

Security clearance, however, would be required if an individual, who has been issued a single-entry work visa, seeks an extension. The applicant would also be required to submit a BOI letter of recommendation. An extension of up to two years with multiple entries may be granted.