In recent news, the US altered its visa policy in different categories for Pakistani nationals, as reported by Geo TV on Wednesday. Official information announcing “change of the visa policy rules” was issued by the US Consulate in Islamabad on Tuesday.
In an official notification issued by the American embassy, the US said, adding that an additional fee will be charged for H (Temporary Work Visa), I (Journalist and Media Visa), L (Intercompany Transfer Visa), and R (Religious Worker Visa) visas, as reported by the Express Tribune.
As per Geo TV, while work and missionary visas have been cut down from a period of five years to one year, the visa limit for journalists has been restricted from five years to three months and students will remain “officially acceptable” for 5 years.
While the government officials will be issued visas having a duration based on the mode of their work, the TV channel said. The Consulate’s notification described the visas for trade and tourism.
The TV channel also added, according to diplomatic sources, the policies have been updated according to the rules of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.
“The US has reduced visa validity for Pakistani citizens from five years to 1 year whereas journalists and media persons will not be allowed to stay in the country for over three months without renewing the travel permit,” the paper said quoting the notification.
“The decision was taken by the State Department because Pakistan was unable to liberalise its visa regime for certain visa categories, hence the US was required by American law on January 21 to reduce the visa validity and increase the visa fees to match Pakistan’s practices for similar visa categories,” the report said.