Pakistan to stop manual visas from next month

Published January 29, 2021
Pakistan will stop issuing manual visas from next month and has asked non-resident Pakistanis and others interested in travelling to the country to apply online for electronic or e-visas. —Creative Commons
Pakistan will stop issuing manual visas from next month and has asked non-resident Pakistanis and others interested in travelling to the country to apply online for electronic or e-visas. —Creative Commons

WASHINGTON: Pakistan will stop issuing manual visas from next month and has asked non-resident Pakistanis and others interested in travelling to the country to apply online for electronic or e-visas.

“In compliance with the instructions of the government of Pakistan for complete implementation of E-visa regime, Embassy of Pakistan and its consulates across the United States will stop the issuance of manual visa from Feb 1, 2021,” said a notification issued by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington on Thursday.

“Visa applicants are, therefore, advised to submit their applications online at http://visa.nadra.gov.pk/,” the embassy added.

A senior embassy official told Dawn that this change applies to all Pakistani missions and embassies across the globe will stop issuing manual visas from Feb 1.

Pakistan stopped issuing manual passports several years ago.

Embassies also no longer receive applications for national identity cards and other similar documents. All these services are now available online. The change will affect millions of Pakistanis living in North America and Europe, particularly in the countries that do not allow dual citizenship.

Even in countries like Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States, which allow dual citizenship, people prefer to travel on visas stamped on their current passports. Traveling on passports of their country of origin often invokes suspicion.

“It is good for those who are computer savvy and are good at filling out forms,” said Saadat Ali, a Pakistani-American in Germantown, Maryland. “But there are many who cannot. We need some system to help them out.”

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2021

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