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Govt asked to relax visa control for US investors

PESHAWAR: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday asked the government to consider the provision of long-term visas to the US businessmen.

The American investors are facing problems in getting multiple visas for Pakistan while the visas for short duration are not serving their purpose, said Ghazanfar Bilour, President FPCCI.

In a statement issued here today, he said that legitimate Pakistani businessmen get US visa easily while the US businessmen are facing problems is getting a long-term visa.

The visa restrictions on US businessmen can result in strained relations while it can also hurt the investment prospects in different Pakistani projects, he added.

He said that US is one of the largest investors in Pakistan, over a million Pakistanis are serving in that country and thousands of students get higher education in the US.

Ghazanfar Bilour said that US businessmen with interests SMEs, CPEC, energy, or any related field should be facilitated while the US is a big consumer market which cannot be ignored.

He said that Pakistani businessmen are usually issued five-year visas by the US Embassy in Islamabad but the US businessmen are getting single-entry visas of one-month or three-month duration by our embassy in Washington.

Chairman Coordination FPCCI Malik Sohail Hussain said that US has issued over 40,000 non-immigrant visas to Pakistanis during the last five years while Islamabad has issued visas to over 60,000 US citizens during the same period in which majority were US citizens of Pakistani origin.

Islamabad and Washington should resolve the issue without delay so that the business community of both countries can work together for the shared goal of prosperity, said Sohail.

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