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Pakistan

Volume 406: debated on Friday 23 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the situation with respect to visa applications in Karachi. [114580]

The Visa Sections in Karachi and Lahore have been closed since May 2002 for security reasons. Our High Commission in Islamabad is offering a limited visa service for the whole of Pakistan. Applications must be made through a courier service which has offices throughout Pakistan, including in Karachi. Applications which cannot be decided on papers alone and require an interview with the applicant cannot currently be resolved and are returned to the applicant.The situation is kept under constant review and we aim to resume a normal service throughout Pakistan as soon as possible.The UK visas website (www.ukvisas.gov.uk) contains regularly updated information on Visa Sections worldwide which are offering a restricted service or are temporarily closed.