Pakistan extends visa of all foreigners till end of April - GulfToday

Pakistan extends visa of all foreigners till end of April


The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

Tariq Butt, Correspondent 


The federal government has extended visa validity of foreign nationals residing in Pakistan till the end of this month in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

The interior ministry announced the decision has been taken in view of the outbreak of coronavirus and as part of the government’s measures to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus through "any interaction with the public at large.”

It said that the government has decided to approve the validity of all types of visas issued to foreign nationals, who are currently in Pakistan.

The exemption will be applicable for all visas that have expired since March 15 and are due to expire before April 30. "All such visas shall be deemed to be valid till 30th April, 2020,” the ministry said.

The ministry has informed the Foreign Office, the Federal Investigation Agency’s Immigration Department and the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports (IMPASS) about the decision.

Meanwhile, Iran has handed over 118 Pakistani nationals, including 11 women and 32 children, to the Levies Force officials in Taftan, Chagai district.

Officials said these nationals were living in Iran without valid travel documents and arrested in different parts of the country by Iranian authorities.

All of them were screened and shifted to a quarantine centre in Taftan, near the Pak-Iran border, soon after their arrival in Pakistan, added the officials.

Meanwhile, 21 Pakistani nationals returned from Iran as the immigration clearance process was restored temporarily for them at Taftan in Pakistan and Mirjaveh in Iran to aid them in leaving the country.

These 21 Pakistanis from Iran were mainly businessmen and students and who were also quarantined after screening for the new coronavirus by the health teams deputed in Taftan town, said FIA officials.

For over 300 Pakistani students studying in Bangladesh under the quota scholarship programme of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), life these days seems to be a never-ending nightmare.

"Earlier, I was residing in a hostel in Rajshahi and after my fellow students from India, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka were evacuated by their respective countries, I was shifted to a hostel in Dhaka,” said medical student Rija Hameed said.

Most male and female students said limited access to food amid a lockdown in the country coupled with Bangladesh’s fragile healthcare system was making them nervous. "For days on end, we have been subsisting either on bread and jam or just biscuits.”

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