Intelligence agencies' nod now a must for visa extensions

Published: June 20, 2014
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Cases will be registered against foreigners who do not submit applications for visa extensions on time. PHOTO: FILE

Cases will be registered against foreigners who do not submit applications for visa extensions on time. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry has reviewed its visa extension policy wherein foreigners will now require clearance from intelligence agencies.

The policy has been reviewed in view of the current law and order situation in Pakistan. An official source told The Express Tribune that fines will be imposed on foreign nationals who are found with invalid visas. He said that no extension will be granted once the visa validity has expired.

The source said foreigners will be deported if they do not submit an application for a visa extension, adding that a zero tolerance policy will be adopted and there will be no exemptions.

Foreigners will be required to submit their application at least one month before the expiry of the visa as security clearance from intelligence agencies has been declared mandatory now, the source said.

He said cases will be registered against foreigners who do not submit applications for visa extensions on time as well as those with invalid visas.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Ahmed
    Jun 20, 2014 - 6:18PM

    It happens in West , dont see any reason why this would make a story. Foreign Nationals in Pak or any other country must hold a valid visa.

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  • Hmm
    Jun 20, 2014 - 6:52PM

    Why don’t you give the whole VISA related dept to ISI ? Game over.

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  • Moiz Omar
    Jun 20, 2014 - 6:55PM

    I don’t think this is necessary. They should check the identity of the person before they allow them entry into Pakistan. If the person is safe, why is this necessary?Recommend

  • hammad
    Jun 20, 2014 - 6:59PM

    @ Ahmed

    Its a story coz its is going to happen for the first time here, if at all it will happen practically

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  • bash gul
    Jun 20, 2014 - 7:14PM

    @Moiz Omar:
    Mr Omar, what about those thousands of Afghanis who have got themselves NICs and Pakistani passport? Why does the ISI not take up their cases? We are breeding our enemies ourselves. Just deport all Afghanis and Pakistan will be a better place.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jun 20, 2014 - 7:21PM

    Still former Prime Minister Gillani’s question remains unanswered. Who issued visa to Osama bin Ladin and all his wives?

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  • Raj - USA
    Jun 20, 2014 - 7:23PM

    It is the visa given by ISI to the likes of Osama and others that is a problem and not the visas vetted by ISI.

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  • hamza khan
    Jun 20, 2014 - 7:45PM

    @Hmm:

    intelligence agency doesnt absolutely mean ISI. theres several others that in this regard would be as capable.

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  • unbelievable
    Jun 20, 2014 - 8:23PM

    Why should the ISI be involved in Visa extensions? It’s not the Visa holders that are the problem makers in Pakistan. Maybe the ISI should spend less time following diplomats around and more time trying to thwart suicide bombers and guys who attack airports?

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  • I Bleed Blue
    Jun 20, 2014 - 8:27PM

    It is a fact of life that intelligence agencies are always lurking in the background whenever visas are granted.

    The interesting part about Pakistan is who exactly does the ISI report to? Apparently to the Army, which has a mind of its own and doesn’t consider itself subordinate to the PM. So in Pakistan’s case, what it really means is that ISI has now become the de-facto visa renewal agency for Pakistan.

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  • someone
    Jun 20, 2014 - 10:50PM

    Oh yeah, now Uzbkes and Chchens can’t escape the eagle eye of Pakistan intelligence agencies. They would have to come to them for the VISA extension now. Wait……do they even have passports???

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  • Moiz Omar
    Jun 20, 2014 - 11:01PM

    @bash gul:
    I agree. We need to deport most of these Afghans. But If some are exceptionally talented or intellectual in some field, and love this country then maybe we should let them stay and perhaps give them the option of citizenship. Why not keep the good Afghans we can benefit from?

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