The Chinese Embassy has further expanded Chinese visa services to Pakistan to promote people-to-people contacts between the two countries.
As a major development, China has opened a visa service center in Lahore to facilitate Chinese visa applications.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing inaugurated the center. The ceremony was attended by senior government officials, Chinese Consul General Long Dingbin, Deputy Consul General Peng Zhengwu and other diplomats.
On occasion, Zhengwu said that the opening of the visa center was a historic step to make life easier for local people.
“Earlier, Lahore residents had to go to Islamabad to ask [Chinese] visa which costs switching fees and mental agony. It is a huge relief for the growing number of businessmen and others, especially from Lahore, who, “he said,” is the new center of economic activity in Punjab. “
He said that the project to establish a visa system had been underway for many months and that it had finally been properly carried out.
Answering a question, he clarified that, in order to facilitate the program of exchange of citizens between the two countries, the Center will deal with the Chinese non-immigrant visa, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Macao SAR visa applications, collection of biometric information and issuance of visas.
Clarifying the functions of the visa center, Zhengwu said that the center has no authority to issue visas, adding that its main operation will be to collect and transmit the relevant documents to the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad.
“The Chinese Embassy will not directly manage the Lahore visa center. He subcontracted it to a private company, “he said.
“Only the visa officer of the embassy has the power to issue the visa as well as the period of validity of the visa, the length of stay and the number of entries depending on the specific circumstances of the applicant. The visa officer may ask the applicant to provide other supporting documentation or additional documents if necessary, or request the applicant for a live interview. “
Applicants with a diplomatic or official passport or who request a Chinese diplomatic, official, courtesy or talent visa can submit their application directly to the Embassy after completing the online application forms on the walk-in site prior.
The embassy said that in accordance with the reciprocal visa waiver agreement between China and Pakistan, Pakistani citizens are not charged any consular fees. The Visa Center will only charge the service fee for Chinese visa applications.
In addition, the center will charge a visa application fee to third-country nationals, he added.
Holders of a diplomatic passport are exempt from the visa requirement and can stay up to 30 days in China, up to 14 days in Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR respectively. Holders of an official Pakistan passport are visa-free and can stay up to 30 days in mainland China and up to 14 days in Chinese Hong Kong SAR.
About 4,000 applications are received at the Visa Center in Islamabad on a monthly basis. Last month the number increased to 6,000 due to the high season for student visa applications.