A number of western countries based in Pakistan are making millions through granting visas to our nationals. The fees range from Rs15000and up to about Rs50000, depending upon the category of visa applied for. Those applicants whose visa are granted, may not feel the pinch, so I am talking about those individuals whose visa applications are rejected many times on flimsy grounds and their visa fees are not returned. Recently, my neighbours, an elderly couple aged over 65, had their visa applications rejected by the UK embassy on the grounds that they may not return although I know for sure that they wanted to visit some of their relatives in England and had no plans, whatsoever, to settle in UK. 

The above is one of the many examples which indicate the petty/ flimsy grounds on which hundreds of applications are rejected on daily basis. The affected individuals end up losing the entire visa fee. How much money is being made by these embassies only in rejecting visas is anybody’s guess. I sincerely think it’s highly unfair to the affected party. The Government of Pakistan is requested to look into this unjustified action of the embassies. I have a suggestion in this regard. The embassies should initially charge a nominal “processing” fee, maybe up to Rs5000 to all applicants. Once the visa has been granted or otherwise, the remaining full visa fee may be charged only from the successful applicants. 

CDRE (R) SAJJAD ALI SHAH BOKHARI,  

Islamabad, March 28.