India - Pakistan approve new visa regime

Seeking to end restrictive visa regimes, India and Pakistan have agreed to issue

Group Tourist visa : A first. Groups of 10 to 50 eligible, valid for 30 days. Designated tour operators to apply
Non-diplomatic visa : To be issued within 45 days of application, there was no timeframe earlier
Visa on arrival : For senior citizens at Attari/Wagah for 45 days
Pilgrim visa : Single entry, valid for 15 days
Business visa :1-yr visa for up to 10 places and varying no. of entries, depending on income
Visitor visa : Single-entry, duration up from 3 to 6 months, number of places up from 3 to 5

A longer two-year visa will be provided to persons more than 65 years, spouses of nationals of either countries and for children below 12 accompanying parents who avail of the “spouse” category.
Ports of entry by air are Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai for India and Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad for Pakistan. By sea it will be Mumbai and Karachi, and Wagah, Attari, Khokhrapar and Munabao by land. Extension of visas is possible on a case-by-case basis, and change in mode of travel will be allowed.
Improving people-to-people contact is also on the radar of the two governments, with group visa provisions being provided for between 10 to 30 travellers that will be valid for 30-day tours organized by approved operators. The tour operators will have to furnish details 45 days in advance and they will also be responsible for reporting to police stations on behalf of the tourists. A list of designated tour operators and identified routes and destinations will be exchanged from time to time.
The group tourist visa facility will also be available to students from both countries, but the entries cannot be utilized to seek admission to institutions in either nation. The memorandum also provides for a transit visa that is valid for 36 hours, which will help those who need to make connections at ports and airports in India and Pakistan.

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