Cabinet approves changes in visa regime for Afghans: Shehbaz

PM Shehbaz

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday announced that the federal cabinet has approved changes in the visa regime for Afghan nationals.

Taking to Twitter to make the announcement, the prime minister said that now Pakistan’s embassies will process visa applications of Afghan nationals on the basis of their current nationality.

“Secondly, Afghan drivers and transporters will get multiple visa for a period of up to 1 year within 48 hours,” he said, adding that the facilitation in the visa regime is aimed at bringing both countries closer, helping Afghan people and attracting business and investment from wider Central Asian region.

He further directed Interior Ministry to work on a more liberal visa policy. On June 11, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, to plug in loopholes of illegal immigration and help Afghan citizens, approved a new visa policy for Afghan nationals.

Afghanis would be provided with a visa within 24 hours of application. Head of Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms initiatives, Salman Sufi issued a statement saying the Prime Minister has taken notice of the Afghan national difficulty in the immigration process and approved a new visa policy exclusively for Afghan nationals.

According to the new policy, Afghan nationals would be provided with a 30-day transit visa to Pakistan within 24 hours of the application, Salman said. The decision had been taken on Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s proposal, he said. The host embassy in Pakistan and the Ministry of foreign affairs would be responsible to grant a 30-day transit visa to Afghan nationals, Sufi said.

He added, “Thereafter, upon the rece­ipt of the immigration approval, the embassy of the host country will intimate (MoFA) and the ministry will forward the case to the interior ministry for clearance within 24 hours.”


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