UAE residents now get Pakistani visas without leaving home

ISLAMABAD:Dozens of residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been granted Pakistan visas every day under a new system which allows them to apply from the comfort of their homes, a senior Pakistani diplomat said.

The online visa application facility for Pakistan was rolled out for the Pakistani embassy in Abu Dhabi and consulate general in Dubai on January 31.

Visa applications are submitted through a dedicated website of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) which immediately notifies the concerned mission that a submission has been made.

“We have been issuing around 50 visas per day since this new system of e-visa was 100 percent implemented at the start of last month,” Consul General Ahmed Amjad Ali said in an interview with Arab News.

“Our visa system has completely shifted to e-visa from the start of last month and its fully functional. We have received positive response from United Arab Emirates residents,” he said, adding that before the new system was introduced, fewer UAE residents would apply for visas to avoid travel to the embassy or consulate and due to coronavirus restrictions.

Since the new visas are printed, not stamped into passports, receiving them does not require physical presence of the applicant at the embassy or consulate.

The system also makes the whole process quicker.

“Visa is issued by the consulate usually within 24 hours after the submission of the online application,” the consul said, adding that while the new system has made the whole process more convenient for everyone, applicants who are unable to avail the online facility can still reach the Pakistani mission by phone or in person.

“Still, if someone is not able to utilize the online system, the consulate staff members are available to facilitate them and guide them in filling the forms electronically or any other issue related to e-visa,” he said.

As the new system rollout has been seen by authorities as successful, Ali said a mobile application was in the works to further streamline consular affairs.

“There is a plan to launch next month a mobile app for all the different services offered by the consulate,” he said.