10:22 pm - Sunday July 25, 2021

Apply for a National Identification Card for Overseas Pakistanis to avoid dealing with long queues and visa applications

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The recent years have seen great advancements in travel, with chartered flights and well-priced airfares which have allowed people to travel from one place to another, and even around the world with ease. Well priced travel has also been one of the main causes for a lot of them to travel to other countries for work, vacations, a new life and so much more. With the constant reminder that you are only a short flight away from almost any part of the world, it makes the travel process that much easier and comforting.

Pakistan like many other countries around the world encourages their citizens to maintain dual citizenship, allowing them to be citizens of two different countries at the same time. This is ideal for some with family or reason to constantly travel back and forth. However, the process requires the person to keep applying for a Pakistani visa which sometimes takes a couple of days to complete.

What is the NICOP?

The NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) is a document that any Pakistani    citizen living in a different country holding dual citizenship can apply for. Better put, it is a computerised National Identity Card applied for and received by workers, emigrants, or   Pakistanis, with dual nationality, quite often living out of Pakistan. The Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, Ministry of Labour and Manpower, and the Ministry of Interior together came up with the idea of the NICOP almost two decades back, in 2002. The NADRA database currently houses    a lot of the sensitive information of the citizens, used for the NICOP as well.

The main aim of creating this document was to reduce the time it takes for people to travel from one country to the other. It allows for the seamless travel between the two nations without having to constantly apply for a visa. However, it should be mentioned that a functional and updated passport is needed for the process.

Statistically speaking, there are currently more than 8.8 million Pakistanis living abroad. More   than half of this population, a giant 4.7 million are in the Middle East which isn’t that surprising since the Middle East has a lot in common with Pakistan. Another 1.2 million of the population live in the UK.

Is the information gathered by NADRA secure?

Pakistan has an autonomous agency powered by the Ministry of Interior, along with the Pakistan Government that looks through and regulates Government databases and manages the registration of all national Citizens of Pakistan. Additionally, the NADRA agency not only stores  but maintains and secures the information of the people of Pakistan from theft.

Not only does the NADRA office maintain all the detailed addresses and banking information of people, but is also known globally for being the worlds largest database of biometric information, compared to any other country. The agency has more than 800 domestic offices along with five international ones. The information gathered is safe, secure, and protected. For information relating to overseas Bangladeshi citizens and NVR Certificate please click here.

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