The United States Embassy in Pakistan has announced that the validity of US visas for Pakistanis has been cut short to one year. Additionally, successful applicants will be charged with extra fees. The move has been undertaken as a reciprocity measure.
According to a public notice published on the website of the US Embassy in Islamabad, the Department of State has taken such a decision to match Pakistan’s practices for similar visa categories.
“During a recent worldwide review, the Department of State noted discrepancies between the U.S. visa regime and the visa regimes of many countries, including Pakistan. Because Pakistan was unable to liberalize its visa regime for certain visa categories, the United States was required by U.S. law on January 21st to reduce the visa validity and increase the visa fees to match Pakistan’s practices for similar visa categories,” the notice reads.
The affected visa types are:
- H Visa – Temporary Work Visa
- I Visa – Journalist and Media Visa
- L Visa – Intercompany Transfer Visa
- R Visa – Religious Worker Visa
Effective January 21, 2019, Pakistanis applying for one of the above listed US visas will need to pay additional fees in case their application is approved. These fees are as follows:
- I Visas $32
- H, L, R Visas $38
These fees must be paid at the US Embassy in Islamabad or Consulate General in Karachi prior to visa issuance.
At the same time, the validity of the same visas has been reduced to:
- I visas: 3 months
- H, L, R Visas: 12 months
Yet, the embassy did not mention anything about US Visitor visas, which probably will still be issued with a validity of five years.