7th meeting of SAARC Immigration Authorities held in Islamabad
The seventh meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Immigration Authorities was held in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Director General Immigration and Passports Usman A. Bajwa was unanimously elected as Chairman had chaired the meeting.
Key Highlights of meeting
- It reviewed different areas to maximize the potential of visa exemption scheme launched among the member countries in 1992.
- It also deliberated on development of security software for SAARC visa exemption scheme (SVES) and immigration matters.
- This software would help to transform the existing manual system of the scheme into an online visa application system.
- It will have a central database that will provide all member states with real-time and secure information.
SAARC visa exemption scheme (SVES)
- The SVES was launched in 1992 to liberalise visa regime the region by facilitating people to people contacts, among the peoples of SAARC countries.
- It provides certain categories of dignitaries a Special Travel document which exempts them from visas to travel within the region for the specified time period.
- The objective of SVES is to streamline the processes and facilitate business community, cultural representatives and officials from member states availing this facility.
- It is being implemented among SAARC member countries in 24 categories including dignitaries, Parliamentarians, Senior Officials, businessmen, journalists and sports persons etc.
- Under it, Visa Stickers are issued by the respective member states to the entitled categories of that particular country which has validity for one year.
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