ISLAMABAD: Overseas Pakistanis will get facility of Machine Readable Passports and Visas (MRP/MRV) in European cities of Manchester, Birmingham, Barcelona and Milan, a governmental official said.
According to an official at Directorate General of Immigration & Passports here, the Directorate has already nominated its technical staff which is set to leave for these cities to deploy Machine Readable Passport (MRP) and Machine Readable Visa (MRV) facilities within a month.
He said large Pakistani communities which reside in these countries will benefit from the new facilities.
Under the directions of Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the Directorate under the leadership of DG Passport Sikandar Sultan Raja is vigorously taking steps to upgrade its facilities at foreign missions.
All manual passports are to be phased out globally by November 2015 in accordance with the deadline set by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of which Pakistan is a signatory.
Pakistanis at more than 25 missions abroad, the Directorate of Immigration & Passports is also sending its officials, Dilawar Hussain System Incharge, and Muhammad Aamir Data Entry Operator to start providing machine readable passport facility in Beijing.
Supreme Court had issued directions on the application of anexpatriate Pakistani Mohammad Azam Khawaja when he drew the court’sattention towards non-availability of machine readable passports facility at Pakistan’s embassy in China.
The official said since the time Sikandar Sultan Raja became Director General Immigration & Passports, numerous technology driven initiatives were taken to help citizens and due to impact of his policies, now the staff at the regional offices is more customer friendly.
The official told that the Directorate had been looking into a plan to set up passport offices in every district so that citizens are saved from traveling long distances to apply for passport.
He further said that steps were also being taken to shift passport offices in customized buildings, adding booths of National Bank will be established in Passport Offices across the country to facilitate customers.