Saturday, 08 September 2012 20:40:43
Pakistan and India sign new liberalized visa regime
ISLAMABAD, Sept 8 (APP): Pakistan and India on Saturday signed
new liberalized visa regime giving more concessions and simplifying
the procedure to grant visa with a view to promote people to people
contacts and enhance trade and business activities between two
The new visa regime agreement was signed here by Indian
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Interior Minister Rehman
Malik at a ceremony held here today.
According to the new visa regime, more concessions have been
given to the businessmen from both the countries with giving them
multiple entry one year visa with the exemption from the Police
Report and with increasing the number of cities.
A new category of Group Tourist Visa has been introduced under
which a group of 10 to 50 persons will get Group Tourist visa which
will be valid for 30 days and it will be managed by the registered
tour operators from both the countries.
This type of visa will be organized by approved tour operators
and travel agents to furnish details of 45 days in advance.
The tour operator will be responsible for police report on
behalf of the group and the list of designated tour operators as
well as list of approved identified routes and tourists destinations
will be exchanged by both sides from time to time.
In this category, the group tourist visa facility will also be
available to students of educational institutions of both countries
however, this will be a tourist visa only and not for seeking
admission in educational institutions of either country.
In the category of Diplomatic Visa, it will be issued within
a period of 30 days and it will be valid for the place and duration
of assignment of the diplomats instead of previously one year visa.
In the category of non-diplomatic visa, previously there was
no mention of time frame and now under the new visa regime agreement
it will be issued within a period of 45 days.
In the category of official visit, the visa will be valid for
15 days as compared to previous term of one month.
In the category of visitor visa, there was single entry and
validity was 30 days, for meeting with relatives, friends,
businessmen but now it will be single entry to be issued for period
of six months but stay will not be exceed for three months and it
will be for five places instead of current three places.
However, Business visa has been separated from visitor's visa
and now under a new category, a visitor visa will be issued for a
maximum for five specified places and it will be for two years with
multiple entries to the senior citizens above the age of 65, spouse
of a national of one country married to persons of another country
and children below 12 years of age accompanying parents.
In the transit visa category, previously it was issued for 72
hours but now it will be issued for 36 hours,
According to the new visa regime, in the category of business
visa, it was for three months with single entry in the past but
under the new visa regime, businessmen with an income of Pak Rs.
half million or equivalent per annum or annual turnover or gross
sale of Pak Rs. three million or equivalent will be given one year
business visa with five places for up to four entries.
Under new visa regime, businessmen with an income of at least
Pak Rs. five million or equivalent per annum or turnover of Pak Rs.
thirty million or equivalent per annum will be given one year
multiple entry business visa for upto ten places with exemption from
Under the new visa agreement, the visa shall specify that the
period of stay of the businessman at a time shall not exceed 30
The maximum time taken in processing of a business visa will
not exceed more than five weeks.
In the category of Pilgrim Visa, under the new visa regime,
pilgrim visas will be issued to pilgrims intending to visit
religious shrines as per the 1974 protocol on visits to religious
shrines, or any future revision to the protocol.
Such visas need to be applied at least 45 days before the
commencement of the intended tour.
The visa will be issued at least ten days before the
commencement of travel. These visas will be issued for a single
entry and restricted to 15 days validity and would be non-
In the category of visa on arrival, under the new visa regime,
persons of more than 65 years of age will be given 45 days visa at
arrival at Attari Wagah check post and it will be non-extendable and
As compared to previous check posts, when the persons have to
enter and exit through the same route and have to use same mode of
travel for onward and return journey, under the new visa regime
agreement, now the people can enter and exit from different check
posts and change in mode of travel will also be permitted.
However this is subject to the exception that exit from
Wagah/Attari by road on foot, where it can not be accepted, unless
the entry was also by foot via Attari/Wagah.
The check posts being used even under new agreement will be by
Air from India Mumbai/Delhi/Chennai and from Pakistan it will be
Karachi/Lahore and Islamabad.
By sea the check post will be Mumbai/Karachi while by Land it
will be Wagah/Attari and Khokhrapar/Munabao.
For the registration for seeking visa, the time period is the
same that it has be within 24 hours but the persons of more than 65
years of age, children below 12 years of age and eminent businessmen
are exempted from Police Reporting.
There has been no change for seamen which will be given a
landing permit for a period not exceeding for 24 hours.
For the visa fee, it has been decided that it will be Pak Rs.
100 or equivalent instead of the current rate of Pak. Rs. 15 charged
as visa fee.
Regarding the validity of the visa, under the new visa regime,
it has been agreed that the applicant must avail the visa within a
period of 80 days from the date of issue. If there are grounds
requiring extension of validity, the concerned mission will take
decision on such requests on priority.
This provision will not be applicable to the holders of