The Integrated Check Post (ICP) at the Attari border is all set to facilitate Pakistani senior citizens with on-arrival visas from January 15.
The visa will allow Pakistani nationals aged above 65 a 45-day stay in India. However, the trip excludes a visit to Punjab along with a couple of other states.
Recently, the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan had signed the new visa regime, and since the authorities at the Attari border had been making arrangements for starting the facility.
With January 15 around the corner, the immigration authorities will set up a dedicated counter for the on-arrival visa at the ICP at Attari.
According to authorities, as soon as a Pakistani national above 65 arrives in India, he will have to fill up an application form or the immigration card and submit $2 as fee for getting the on-arrival visa.
All those falling under this visa bracket will get permission for 45-day stay in India. They can get this single-entry visa twice a year with a 60-day gap between the two visits.
Those availing this visa would be allowed to visit five places of their choice, but they would not be allowed to visit Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala besides a couple of other places, claimed an official.
There are many people across the border who have roots in Indian Punjab but migrated to Pakistan and a visit to Punjab not allowed in the on-arrival visa, senior citizens will have to travel to Islamabad to get a visa to Punjab.
Both India and Pakistan are likely to start the arrangement simultaneously at the Attari-Wagah check-post.
An official said, "We will go through the profile of the person, and in case there are any objections, such as his being blacklisted, we will deny the visa."
The visa will be granted to people in the prescribed age group crossing the border on foot.
Talking to HT, Ghulam Rasool, an Indian national, who stepped out of a Pakistani bus, said, "This is a good thing done by the two governments. I think the focus now should be on relaxing visa norms further."
Requirement for Visa
Need a passport
Fill up an application form/immigration card
Pay $2 fee
Maximum 45-day stay
Can obtain the visa twice a year with 60-day gap
Can visit five places of choice barring Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala