UK visa office to return to Pakistan

* British home secretary says time period for issuing visas will be reduced from 60 days to between 15 and 20 days
* UK to help Pakistan set up national security authority

ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom has decided to relocate its visa office from the United Arab Emirates to Pakistan to address the issue of delays in the issuing of visas, British Home Affairs Secretary Alan Johnson said on Tuesday.

He was talking to reporters with Interior Minister Rehman Malik after they held detailed talks on various issues, including the delay in visa issuance, illegal immigration, terrorism and extremism.

“The visa section was transferred to UAE as the IT system in Pakistan was not updated, but we are working on it and by the next month (November), the visa section would start operating from here,” Johnson said.

He also announced that the UK had decided to reduce the time period for issuing visas from 60 days to between 15 and 20 days.

Earlier, Johnson and Malik agreed to increase cooperation in the war on terror, as both countries faced a common threat. The two also discussed the issue of Pakistani students who had been arrested by British authorities on charges of planning a terror attack in the UK.

Security agency: Johnson also said that Britain would help Pakistan set up a national security authority and beef up the capacity of its law enforcing agencies to fight terrorism, Reuters reported.

The British home secretary told reporters that the UK was keen to provide expertise to Pakistan to help combat terrorism. “The Pakistan government is setting up a national counter-terrorism agency and the UK is ready to second people to that, ready to provide help and assistance,” Johnson said.

Johnson did not say how many British people would be involved in the agency, which he said would be like a research centre. “The important point is to have a relationship where we can share intelligence between our two countries and that we will do very effectively,” he said. reuters

10 Comments

  1. Junaid Malik

    hmmm well for sure its a good news but its not only Pak whose visas are being processed in Abu Dhabi but several other countries from middle east are also included in it. They shifted to abu dhabi on temporary and trial basis so as to make an efficient and robust centralized hub for the issuance of the visas for the middle east and central Asian countries. As far as, Pak is concerned i don’t see any success, so maybe they decided to shift back…

    and yeah i am no different, i have been refused visa bak in september but i have applied for the administrative review. I was refused my visa within one month. its hilarious but the ECO, the entry clearance officer didn’t find my visa letter in the application.

    Anyways, my course will be offered in Jan’10 so i am still hopeful. i am thinking to refile my visa cuz this admin review is a new thing in PBS and i am not counting much on it…

    Any suggestions?

  2. jawad khan

    Dear my friendz.
    I know about the visa situation in pakistan, and the process time.really its weird.its taking so much time, and now they are transferring embassy back to pakistan which is good but what about the applications.so they are gnna start again our previous applications process in pakistan.now i dnt understand y they r doing this.

  3. Dr Aqeela

    Dear sir,

    Subject: Request for information about letter after winning appeal & Time period.

    With humble request, I appealed for student visa against ECO decision from Pakistan last year fortunately , fortunately I won then few days later I received only call from BHC Islamabad on 15 June 2009 and they instructed me to submit my passport including my fresh admission letters at Gerry’s Karachi. But they did not tell me how long I have a time to submit my pasport including fresh admiion letters at Gerry’s Karachi. Since then I have tried to contact BHC Islamalabad and Gerys Krachi but no one replied for that my question yet.

    My question are :

    1. How long I have a time to submit my passport including fresh admission letters at Gerry’s Karachi? because I have missed one session of admission of September Intake 2009 but now I have chance to take admission for January session 2010 . Am I still eligible to submit my passport and get a visa?

    2. How can i obtain letter of success appeal from BHC islamabad because they said me that they had sent me that letter but I had not received that letter? so pls guide me how to obtain that letter again?

    Your Prompt reply will highly be appreciated and look forward to hearing from you soon.

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