ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has abolished on arrival visa facility for Afghan nationals, citing security risks.
Islamabad has adopted a new visa policy for Afghan citizens which requires them to apply for a visa from Pakistani missions in Afghanistan. Earlier, the Afghans were being offered visa on arrival in Pakistan.
The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) immigration wing said that the key decision was taken after increased security risks emanating from the western border.
The government has stopped issuance of visas to Afghan nationals at airports and borders crossings.
The move may further strain the already tense Pak-Afghan relations, as large numbers of Afghans travelled to Pakistan for treatments.
Before the new policy, Afghan nationals were being granted a 30-day visa on arrival at entry points.
Now they will have to apply for a visa from Pakistani missions in Afghanistan.
Once issued a visa, the Afghan nationals will be allowed entry into Pakistan. Upon entry, they will be asked to fill out details including the time period and place of stay. The details will be forwarded to security agencies for verification.
Once the details are verified, the Afghan nationals will be issued residence and travel permits, the report said.
Pakistan is offering on arrival visa to the nationals of 24 countries.