Pakistan Online Visa Service

Federal Minister for Interior, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed informed the media that about 200,000 online visa applications were received in one-day after the announcement of online visa facility for 192 countries amid Covid-19 pandemic. Sheikh Rashid further told the media that Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC) of 0.2 million illegal Afghan refugees have been blocked, while 1.5 million registered refugees were allowed to stay, and 800,000 illegal Afghans were being considered. While highlighting the performance of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), Shaikh said that 100,000 CNIC were being issued daily and those who applied for the first time would be issued in 15 days free of cost, adding that 50 NADRA centers were being providing services 24 hours a day.

NARDA is the one of few other national institutions functioning very well and providing Pakistan’s National Identity card and travel documents along with other relevant attestation services. NADRA also facilitated the operation of other departments such as FBR, Custom and Immigration, FIA and banking services. However, as mentioned by the Federal Minister, millions of Afghan refugees and other nationals residing illegally in Pakistan have managed to procure computerized NIC due to loopholes in our verification mechanism and corruption of NADRA employees. It is also pertinent to mention that this ill has not been limited to only issuance of NIC but thousands of Afghan refugees, Indians and other nationals had procured Pakistan’s passport in the Country and abroad.

We will request the Interior Minister Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed to take notice of this issue. The Afghan drug smugglers, human traffickers and other criminals easily procure Pakistan NIC and passports for international travel. This is the only reason that most of the drug Smugglers and human traffickers were usually arrested with green passports. Furthermore, Interior Ministry should legislate and impose sever penalties and punishment for the culprits involved in this crime.

Government took a good initiative of issuing online visas for 192 Countries of the World. It was a longstanding demand of the people visiting Pakistan including international tourists and overseas Pakistanis not having NICOP or Pakistani Passport. This step will also support Government efforts for promotion of international tourism in Pakistan. This step will decrease the unnecessary delay and visits of Visa applicants to Pakistan’s missions abroad and project positive image of Pakistan at international level.