Pakistan to relax visa rules for Afghan nationals

Pakistan will announce a relaxed-visa policy for Afghan nationals particularly students, businessmen, investors, and patients, a top official said.

Pakistan’s ambassador-designate to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan said on Sunday that the new policy is aimed at facilitating a large number of people in Afghanistan who wanted to visit the country for business, study, and medical treatment, reports The Express Tribune.

“The government of Pakistan is committed to ensure more facilities to Afghan nationals. The main focus is on easing the visa system and facilitating businessmen,” he said.

A Pakistani official, who was involved in drafting the new visa policy for Afghanistan, said that proposals have been finalised and sent to the federal cabinet for approval.

He added that long-term multiple visas will be issued to students, businessmen, investors and visitors.

Besides, medical visas to patients will be issued on arrival at Torkham, the major border crossing between the two countries.

“There is also a proposal to end the monthly mandatory exit and re-entry for Afghans, who will have long-term visas,” The Express Tribune quoted the official as saying.

Pakistani embassy and consulates in Afghanistan used to issue over 2,000 visas daily before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The embassy has resumed visa service for Afghan students and to those who travel by air as the main Torkham border points are still closed.

Both countries do not charge for visas under a bilateral arrangement.