ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has said it will review its visa policy for Chinese citizens to plug the loopholes in the current ‘lenient’ policy, weeks after the killing of two Chinese nationals who entered the country on business visa.
The conditions and requirements for issuance of business and work visas to the Chinese nationals will be reviewed, the Interior Ministry said in a statement yesterday.
The decision comes days after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had been informed that the murdered Chinese citizens were missionaries who were part of a group of Chinese nationals which obtained business visas and entered Pakistan.
Taking note of a few incidents of provision of forged and fake documents of ghost companies to the embassies for issuance of Pakistani visa, it was decided that in future business visas and visa on arrival to the Chinese nationals would only be granted after production of invitation and assignment letter duly certified and endorsed by the recognised Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the country along with letter from commercial attache and other designated officers of Pakistan who are posted abroad for the promotion of business activities,” it further said.
National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) will help industry chambers and Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) in putting in place an electronic system for sharing of information between the chambers of commerce and industry and the immigration authorities.
The meeting also decided to regulate the process of granting extensions in business visas and to immediately withdraw the powers of regional passport offices for granting visa extension.
In future, all cases regarding grant in extension of business visas would be dealt with at the Immigration and Passports (IMPASS) headquarters in Islamabad.
DG IMPASS would be authorised to grant three months visa extension, while cases involving further extensions would be referred by IMPASS directorate to the interior ministry. Longer extensions would be discouraged.
The meeting also decided to rationalise the process of issuance of work visas to the Chinese nationals, who intend to visit Pakistan for various government approved and sponsored projects.
Pakistani embassies and missions abroad would be authorised to issue a maximum of one-year multiple entry work visa for any project after ascertaining the authenticity of the project and receiving security clearance from the Chinese authorities.
The meeting decided that further extensions in work visa would be granted by the Ministry of Interior only on the request and provision of required documents by the employer.
The minister also directed NADRA to expedite consolidation of data of Chinese nationals present in Pakistan so that the data could be shared with security agencies of the country for ensuring security arrangements.
He said that a comprehensive mechanism should be put in place for sharing of information of not only China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related workers, but also of other Chinese nationals visiting the country for various jobs.