The United States has significantly reduced the visa duration for Pakistanis applying under certain categories, news channel Geo TV reported on Wednesday. The changes will largely affect journalists and those engaged in missionary work, according to a notification reportedly issued by the US Embassy in Islamabad.
As part of the new visa policy, Pakistani journalists will now be granted visas for only three months and for missionaries up to a year. Previously, journalists and missionaries were given a five-year visa. While visas for trade, tourism and students will remain for a period of five years, visas for government officials will be issued based on the nature of their work.
Also, the visa application fee for Pakistani citizens has been increased from $160 to $192.
The visa restrictions come in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack which had claimed the lives of 40 CRPF men. Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Washington has repeatedly urged Islamabad to stop providing safe haven to terror groups operating from their soil. Earlier, the US had suspended financial aid to the debt-ridden country for not taking adequate measures to tackle terrorism.
The US had also imposed travel restrictions on Pakistan diplomats in May last year, a move which was reciprocated by Pakistan.