US cuts Visa duration for Pakistanis to 3 months from 5 years: Report
Washington, Mar 06: The United States has cut the visa duration for Pakistani citizens from five years to just three months.
Apart from civilians, the new visa policy will also be applicable to Pakistani journalists. The scribes will be issued visas for three months, news agency ANI quoted a report in Pakistan's ARY News.
The US government has also increased visa application fees for the Pakistani citizens to USD 192 form USD 160.
The decision was taken by the State Department "because Pakistan was unable to liberalise its visa regime for certain visa categories, [hence] the United States was required by US law on January 21 to reduce the visa validity and increase the visa fees to match Pakistan's practices for similar visa categories."
The move however will not be applicable to government officials. They will be issued visas keeping in view of their working period by the US administration, said the report.
Last year, similar steps were taken from both sides, with Pakistan foreign ministry announcing travel restrictions of US diplomats after the US had imposed similar restriction on Pakistani diplomats that month.
The US government had stated that Pakistani diplomats at its embassy in Washington DC and consulates will not be allowed to travel over 40 km from their posts without prior permission, according to ARY News.
The move also in the wake of Forty CRPF jawans on February 14 after a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a paramilitary bus in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.