Pakistan to review ‘lenient’ visa policy for Chinese citizens

Islamabad: Pakistan will review its visa policy for Chinese citizens to plug the loopholes leading to the misuse of the current ‘lenient’ policy, officials said.

The decision, taken by interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, came days after the kidnapping and killing of two Chinese nationals who were “misusing” their business visas.

The conditions and requirements for issuance of business and work visas to the Chinese nationals will be reviewed, the interior ministry said.

“The decision has been taken to ensure transparency in the visa process and also to preclude misuse of visa-friendly regime that exists between the two countries,” it said.

It was part of efforts to ensure maximum security of the Chinese nationals visiting Pakistan on various visa categories and to streamline and regulate the entire process of visa issuance to Chinese nationals, it said in a statement.

According to officials, the decision was taken after the recent kidnapping and killing of two Chinese nationals who were “misusing their business visas”.

Taking note of a few incidents of showing forged and fake documents of ghost companies, it was decided to regulate the process of granting extensions in business visas and the authority to extend such visas have been transferred from the regional passport offices to headquarters in Islamabad.

Pakistani missions abroad would issue a maximum of one-year multiple entry work visa and further extensions in work visa would be granted by the ministry of interior only.

Khan said a comprehensive mechanism should be put in place for sharing of information of not only $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor related workers but also of other Chinese nationals visiting the country.

Keeping in view various issues being faced by the foreign spouses who are married to Pakistani nationals, it was decided to re-introduce Pakistan Origin Cards to the foreign spouses after addressing certain issues that led to suspension of these cards.