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‘New visa policy to facilitate tourism includes e-visa for nationals of 175 countries’

ISLAMABAD: In an effort to boost the tourist sector, Pakistan on Friday announced the introduction of ‘on-arrival’ visas for 50 countries, and e-visas for a further 175 countries. Talking to the media on Friday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry shed light on some of the salient features of the new visa regime, that he said has been formulated in consultation with numerous domestic departments.

Aside from granting on-arrival visas and e-visas for various countries, other eminent features of the visa regime entail the provision of a Business visa from 68, to 96 countries, along with IATA approved tour operators, who will now be permitted to bring tourist groups to Pakistan.

In addition, cross-border travel is to be liberalised, and foreigners will be allowed to travel freely within designated open areas.

List of countries whose nationals will now be able to get a visa on arrival in Pakistan

Additionally, the process for acquiring a work visa for business purposes has been eased, for nationals of 96 countries, Chaudhry said, with applicants receiving their visa in 7-10 days after the Board of Investment issues them a letter.

The duration of diplomatic and student visas has been extended. Diplomatic visas have been extended from one year to three years, and student visas from one year to two years respectively. Visas for religious purposes will remain valid for 45 days, the information minister added.

Journalistic visas will be processed via the information ministry, Chaudhry said, and restrictions on journalists, which previously limited their movements to just three cities have been lifted

A revised list of prohibited areas is also to be announced under the new visa policy.

The following are some of the other provisions announced under the new visa regime:

  • Work visas: Pakistani Missions to issue visas on the recommendation of the BOI
  • Family visits: 5 years of multiple entry visa issued within 7-10 working days
  • Pakistani Missions to grant 5 years validity, and one year stays with a multiple entry visa for foreigners of Pakistani origin and their spouses
  • Diplomatic visas: Lengthened tenure of diplomatic/official assignments
  • Tablighi visa: 45 days
  • Missionary visas: 1 year validity
  • Student visas: 2 years validity
  • House Aides visa

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If you are tired of dealing with the payroll industry dinosaurs and their outdated and inflexible technology, or with aggregators who simply pass on your data to their subcontractors and divert your calls to an off-shore call center and never seem to have the local knowledge, Mercans is your ideal partner. Mercans accepts your payroll data, configures calculation rules and generates reports based on your needs and requirements. You will never again have to go through lengthy implementation processes only to find out that you need to change your own side to cope with the limitations of the payroll provider. Our software platform has preconfigured API integration capability with all the major global HRMS platforms, including SuccessFactors, Workday, Oracle HCM, MS Dynamics, and so on.

Our in-country payroll and PEO specialists support you locally when and where you need them. We provide you with practical guidance regarding payroll compliance issues as well as immigration and HR. Never again will you be left hanging, waiting for an answer from a call center. We take care of your business when and where you need it. Our single contract and software platform approach guarantees that you have the full overview of all of your local payrolls and related costs. You can view and analyze the payroll data in real time and without building expensive reports or data interfaces. All of Mercans’ systems and processes are GDPR compliant and ISO 9001, 20000 and 27001 certified.

Mercans is also a member of Global Payroll Association and Global Payroll Management Institute