Pakistan’s new visa processes in place and online applications accepted

The Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul announced on Tuesday that changes to its visa processing system, that was announced in September, have been rolled out across the embassy and its consulates across the country.

A statement issued by the embassy noted that among the changes brought are an increase in the number of visa collection windows at the embassy and consulates; the introduction of a women’s only visa collection window; the introduction of an online visa application system; and separate windows at the embassy and consulates for medical, student and business visas.

Students are also now being issued with visas that are valid for the full duration of the time needed for their studies in Pakistan.

According to the embassy, Pakistan issued 150,000 visas in October and November as a result of these new “concrete measures.”

“Due to the above stated facilitative steps taken by the Embassy, we have been able to manage a large number of visa applicants in a dignified manner. In this regard, the Embassy would like to advise the visa applicants to come to the Embassy during visa hours in the morning where enough visa processing capacity is available to help them.

“The visa applicants do not need to wait for visas outside the Embassy during night hours. The Embassy and our Consulates will continue to process visas of Afghan nationals in a dignified and honorable way,” the statement read.

“It is further pointed out that visas for Afghan nationals except businessmen are without any fee. The Embassy reiterates that there is no visa agent needed for the Embassy. The applicants are advised not to pay any fee/charges in the name of facilitation to process a visa to any agents or middlemen.”

In the past, Afghan nationals would queue for hours, sometimes days, to get visas for Pakistan.

But in October, things took a serious turn when more than a dozen people were killed in a stampede after thousands of Afghans wanting visas had gathered outside Pakistan’s consulate in Nangarhar province.