US reduces visa validity for Pakistanis

Islamabad: The United States embassy Tuesday said that effective January 21, 2019, an additional fee will be charged for H (Temporary Work Visa), I (Journalist and Media Visa), L (Intercompany Transfer Visa), and R (Religious Worker Visa) visas. The fee will only be charged if the visa application is approved and must be paid at the Embassy Islamabad or Consulate General Karachi prior to visa issuance, said a US embassy statement. The additional fee will be: I Visas $32 and H, L, R Visas $38. Additionally, the validity periods of the visas will decrease. The new validity periods will be: a. I visas: 3 months, b. H visas: 12 months, c. L visas: 12 months and d. R visas: 12 months. 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, the statement said. 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 statement said.