SAARC immigration authorities deliberate Visa Exemption Scheme

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 2 (APP): The 7th meeting of Immigration authorities of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Tuesday deliberated on SAARC Visa Exemption Scheme (SVES) and other related issues.

The objective was to streamlining processes and facilitate business community, cultural representatives and officials from member states availing this facility.

The meeting was held here and in his remarks, the Director General Immigration & Passports, Pakistan welcomed the delegates from member states.

As per the SAARC practice, the meeting elected DG Immigration & Passport of Pakistan, Usman Bajwa as Chairperson for the meeting.

He observed that the SVES was conceived to encourage people-to-people contacts and facilitate mutual exchanges through a liberal visa regime.

He noted that there remain areas within the SVES which require a review to maximize full potential of the scheme and broadening its scope.

He expressed the hope that valuable input and recommendations made by member states would help improve and strengthen the current scheme.

The meeting also deliberated on development of security
software for SAARC visa scheme for purpose of transforming the existing manual system of visa exemption scheme into an online visa application system, with central database providing all member states with real-time and secure information.