The US has made a revision on its visa policy for citizens of Pakistan. There is going to be an increase in visa fees and the visa validity for various categories has been changed.
The US Embassy in Islamabad issued a notification to this regard which revealed that Pakistani journalists will have their visa validity cut down from five years to three months. Work and missionary visas too will no longer be valid for five years, but one year.
However, student, tourist and trade visas will maintain their previous validities. Holders of these visas will be issued multiple visas which will have a five-year validity.
This move is reciprocal as it is inspired by Pakistan’s visa policy for US journalists which permits the issuance of visas that only have a 3-month validity.
This additional visa fees will only be paid when the visa application is successful. The applicant can only collect the visa when they have paid the fees either to the Consulate General at Karachi or the Embassy in Islamabad.
The fee for I (journalism and media) visas is $32 while temporary work visas H, L, and R go for $38.
Each of the H (temporary work visa) L (intercompany work visa) and R (religious worker visa) — visas in the temporary work categories — are the visas that their validity periods were cut down from five years to just one year.
Why is Pakistan the target?
In a worldwide review of the visa revision, the US Department of State pointed out the discrepancies between the visa policy of the US and that of other countries, including Pakistan.
The statement went on to remark that the Pakistani visa policy for some of their visa categories was not liberal. For this reason, US law demands that the visa regulations be revised to match Pakistan’s visa policies for same visa categories.
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