RAWALPINDI: A German minor who married a Pakistani man last year arrived at Islamabad International Airport (IIA) without a valid Pakistani visa on Monday. However, instead of deporting her, immigration authorities issued her a visa on arrival.

Zain Ali, 22, a resident of Ranan village in Wazirabad, had gone to German city of Dresden through a travel agent in 2015 where he learnt German and started working.

While learning the language, he met Jennifer Vogt, 16. They came to Pakistan in December 2019 and got married in Wazirabad after she converted to Islam.

They then returned to Germany, from where Mr Ali was deported around a week ago because he did not have the documents needed to stay in the country permanently.

Without realising that her Pakistani visa had already expired, the girl decided to join Mr Ali in Pakistan and arrived at the IIA on board Qatar Airways flight QR 632 on Monday.

When contacted, FIA Immigration Deputy Director Sajjid Khokhar told Dawn that a German girl arrived at the IIA and could not produce a valid visa. The immigration staff first decided to deport her.

Later, she was granted a visa on arrival on humanitarian grounds after her husband completed the required documents.

“We had two options: either to deport her back to her home country or grant her a visa. Therefore, we granted her a visa after her husband brought the required documents. She was later allowed to go with her husband,” Mr Khokhar said.

When contacted, Mr Ali told Dawn on telephone that his wife was not aware of the expiry of her Pakistani visa. He said he and his wife were pleased with the cooperation of the immigration authorities, adding that his wife would go back after staying for a few days as she wanted to continue her schooling.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2020

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