Economy

Pakistan to tighten visa regime for Chinese

Pakistan to tighten visa regime for Chinese”

The meeting also decided that the extensions in work visa would be granted by Interior Ministry only on request and after provision of required documents by employer. And now Business visas, visa on arrival to Chinese nationals will only be granted after production of invitation/assignment letter certified and endorsed by recognised Industry along with a letter from other designated Pakistani officers posted overseas for the promotion of business activities.

Reports say that the decision was taken during a high level meeting chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali in the wake of killing of two Chinese nationals who were "misusing" their business visas and allegedly preaching Christianity secretly.

The strict visa policy has been introduced not only to plug loopholes, but also to ensure maximum security to Chinese citizens visiting Pakistan on various visa categories.

Ministry of Interior decides to tighten the relaxed visa policy to Chinese nationals. The powers of regional passport offices to grant visa extensions are to be immediately withdrawn.

Khan also directed the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to expedite the consolidation of data of Chinese nationals present in Pakistan.

Carsten T. Vala, from the department of political science at Loyola University, Maryland, said: 'Chinese nationals are themselves quite active in foreign missionary work and in my more than ten years of interviews of Chinese Christians, I found a number of Chinese Christians who were eager to go overseas as missionaries. The minister said that it is "highly unfortunate that a misuse of the terms of business visa contributed to the unfortunate abduction and subsequent murder of two innocent Chinese".

According to World Watch Monitor, an increasing number of Chinese have settled in Quetta, as part of the $57bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which aims to re-establish a flourishing Silk Road between the two countries.

Further, Chinese nationals will also need letters from designated officers of Pakistan posted overseas for the promotion of business activities.

NADRA will help Industry Chambers and FIA in putting in place an electronic system for sharing of information between the Chambers and the immigration authorities.

Many Chinese people are working in the country with a ghost or forged documents and that is why interior ministry chose to give visas to those who would produce certified letter from the chamber of commerce and industry.

In future, all cases regarding grant in the extension of business visas would be dealt with at the Immigration and Passports (IMPASS) headquarters in Islamabad.

Pakistani embassies and missions overseas 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.

In view of the various issues faced by foreign spouses of Pakistani nationals, it was made a decision to re-introduce Pakistan Origin Cards to foreign spouses after addressing the issues that had led to suspension of the cards.



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