Pakistani expats in the UAE will not have to pay exorbitant fees to renew their passports anymore, as their government has reduced fees by 50 percent.
Pakistani missions in the UAE and elsewhere in the world have started issuing passports at reduced fees as of March this year. The Pakistani government announced a reduction in passport fees in February this year to make it easier for people, especially blue collar workers.
"Yes, we have started implementing reduced passport renewal fees from last month," a senior official at Pakistan's Consulate General told Gulf News on Sunday. He said applicants coming to the UAE can now renew their passports after paying only 50 percent of the fees.
Online applications are urged
The official also urged Pakistanis living in the UAE to use the online portal to renew their ID cards and passports as it will help reduce the rush in missions. More than 800 people visit the missions every day to renew their passports. The United Arab Emirates is home to more than 1.6 million Pakistanis.
According to the new directives of the General Directorate of Immigration and Passports in Pakistan, a five-year passport with a total of 36 pages will now cost 85 dirhams instead of 150 dirhams, while urgent passport fees will be 140 dirhams instead of 250 dirhams. The normal fee for a 100-page passport has been reduced from 300 dirhams to 170 dirhams, while expedited delivery fees have been reduced from 600 dirhams to 335 dirhams.
Passport Fee - 1619344184531
List of new fees for Pakistani passports.
A 36-page passport with 10-year validity will cost 125 dirhams instead of 270 dirhams while the 10-year expedited passport fee has been reduced from 450 dirhams to 210 dirhams. The 100-page passport with 10-year validity will cost 250 dirhams instead of 540 dirhams while the free expedited passport of the same category has been reduced from 1,080 dirhams to 500 dirhams.
While the new fees for passport renewal have been updated on the Pakistan Embassy website, the Pakistani Consulate fees in Dubai still reflect the old rates and have not been updated yet. According to the Pakistan Embassy website, the normal passport issuance time is 25 days while the urgent passport renewal time is 15 days.
Electronic passport scheme
Meanwhile, Pakistan recently announced the launch of electronic passports by June this year, and a German company was awarded a contract to facilitate the system. Pakistan's Federal Minister of Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed recently announced that "the [e-passport] service will be available by June." He confirmed that a German company had been contracted to introduce the electronic passport system in the country.