Pakistan issues 150,000 visas to Afghan nationals in Oct, Nov: embassy


ISLAMABAD, DEC 22 (DNA) – In order to facilitate movements of Afghan nationals to Pakistan, Pakistan Embassy in Kabul and its Consulates in Afghanistan have ensured implementation of Pakistan government’s new liberal visa policy for Afghan nationals in letter and spirit, the Pakistani embassy in Kabul said on Tuesday.

The new policy was enacted on Sept. 29. The Pakistani embassy has issued details about the measures for facilitative visa processing of a large number of Afghan applicants for Pakistani visa.

An embassy statement said the number of windows for collection of visa application forms has been increased from 7 to 17, which has resulted in enhanced visas processing capacity for the applicants.

The embassy and diplomatic missions now issue long-term multiple entry visas to all categories of visitors (one to five year visas). Taking a forward-looking friendly step, Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul and its Consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif at the instruction of the government have introduced online visa/E-visa for Afghan nationals.

This enables the applicants to apply for visas online from the website  on a 24/7 basis. Separate windows have been designated for applicants for medical treatment, students and business people.

Separate windows have been designated for female visa applicants. Students are being issued visas for their entire duration of studies according to the education programme in Pakistan.

As a result of these concrete measures, the Embassy and Pakistani Consulates have issued 150,000 visas during the months of October and November alone. In addition to this, around 12,000 online E-visas have been issued by the Embassy during the past one and a half month.

“We have been able to manage the large number of visa applicants in a dignified manner due to the facilitative steps taken by the Embassy,” Pakistani ambassador in Kabul Mansoor Khan said.

“In this regard, the Embassy would like to advise the visa applicants to come to the Embassy during visa hours in the morning where enough visa processing capacity is available to entertain them.

The visa applicants do not need to wait for visas outside the Embassy during night hours. The Embassy and our Consulates will continue to process visas of Afghan nationals in a dignified and honorable way,” Khan said.

It is further pointed out that visas for Afghan nationals except businessmen are without any fee. The Embassy reiterates that there is no visa agent for the Embassy. The applicants are advised not to pay any fee/charges in the name of facilitation to process visa to any agents or middlemen.

Pakistan’s Consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif have also taken similar facilitative measures. The Embassy once again thanked the Afghan authorities for assisting the Embassy for managing the large number of visa applicants on a daily basis and looks forward to their continued cooperation and support. = DNA