Pakistan to provide 5-year visas to the USA

Pakistan has decided to provide five-year, multiple-entry visas to US nationals, even though the US govt has changed its policy of providing five-year visas to Pakistani nationals. In a note sent late last month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, advised Pakistani diplomatic missions in the US to follow the new policy while providing visas to American nationals.

The ministry 1st conveyed this change to the US Embassy in Islamabad on May 10 while responding to a question regarding the duration of visit/tourist visas for US nationals. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs “has the honor to state that the govt of Pakistan, in line with its guidelines to motivate tourism, has permitted granting of multiple-entry visas to US nationals for up to 5 years with a maximum stay of 3 months,” the note declared.

The United States Of America had long required this alternation in Pakistan’s visa policy and currently changed its own policy when Pakistan did not respond. The Americans utilized to provide five-year, multiple-entry tourist and visit visas to Pakistani nationals. In some cases, professionals, such as journalists, were also issued five-year several visas. In return, the Americans demanded similar features for their nationals. But now the United States is only providing three-month visas to many Pakistanis and also has enforced new limitations on authorized visas.

In April, the United States Of America added Pakistan to a list of 10 countries sanctioned for refusing to take back deportees and visa overstayers. The new restriction bars a few authorities of the Interior Ministry from receiving US visas. But even before this new change in the US visa policy, Pakistan had begun providing 90-day visas to American nationals, which could be extended by the Interior Ministry in Islamabad after arrival. In some cases, one-year visas with a 90-day stay were also issued. As the diplomatic note sent to the US Embassy in Islamabad indicates, the Americans have long been demanding a five-year visa, multiple-entry visas.

Their discussion was that visas features are usually bilateral and since they issue five-year, multiple-entry visas to Pakistanis, Pakistan should do the similar for their nationals. For authorities submitted at any other’s diplomatic missions, each nation has a separate policy. Since Islamabad is no longer a family station, Americans are issued a one-year visa, which is very easily extendable if the diplomat stays longer. Since Pakistani diplomats in the United States are usually submitted for a period of 3 years, they are given visas for the whole tenure.

Pakistani nationals in the USA hope that a new, and more relaxed, Pakistani visas policy, would ultimately lead to the restoration of the prior US visa policy for Pakistan. But they also say that this change should have come previously before the Americans imposed new limitations. “Now, Washington will take its own time in reconsidering its plan, and this change may come in months or may take yrs. We don’t know,” one of them declared.

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