Passport and immigration is govern by the ministry of interior. According to passport Act 1974 and visa manual 2006, passports are issued to Pakistani people. There are three categories of citizenship in Pakistan,
i. citizens by birth, ii. citizen by Descent and iii. citizens by migration.
Citizens by birth are those Persons who or any of their parents or grand parents were born in the territories now included in Pakistan before the initiation of citizenship Act, 1951 are citizens of Pakistan. Any person born in Pakistan after the initiation of Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951 is citizen of Pakistan. Children of foreign diplomats and children of enemy aliens born in Pakistan are not included in this category. Persons, who migrated from territories of Pakistan to other areas of Indo-Pakistan sub-continent for permanent stay after March, 1947 shall also be not considered citizens of Pakistan.
Children of Pakistanis who are born outside of Pakistan are citizens by descent. If the parent of such child is a citizen by descent himself/herself (as born outside of Pakistan) the child is required to be registered in the nearest consulate or Pakistani mission. Children born to Pakistani mother and foreign national father, after 18.04.2000, are treated as citizens of Pakistan.
The persons who migrated to Pakistan from the territories in the indo-Pakistan subcontinent before the commencement of Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951 are declared citizens of Pakistan.
After independence Pakistan has changed 7 passport. The first one was issued in 1947 with three lanuguages: English, Bengali and Urdu.
By 1954, the colour green had ousted the beige. The two flags were still there, but the holder’s name now appeared on the cover.
The dark green passport lasted till 1960. In 1956, when the Constituent Assembly authored and passed the country’s first constitution, it declared Pakistan an Islamic Republic.
In 1967, the colour of the passport was changed back to dark green. In 1974, the passport became bluish green in colour and the Bengali text disappeared. In 1974, the passport also came with the disclaimer that Pakistanis could not use the passport to travel to Israel.
In 1984, major changes were made to the Pakistani passport. The country’s official name, though changed to Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1973, only appeared on the passports for the first time in 1984. What’s more, the word ‘Passport’ appeared not only in English and Urdu, but also in Arabic.
In the early 1990s, a few years after the end of the Zia dictatorship, the passport changed again. The green became slightly lighter in colour, and the English words ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ were once again pushed up and the Urdu ones pushed down. The Arabic text were removed, but the section noting the holder’s faith remained and so did the declaration denouncing the Ahmadiyya community. Today, only 29 countries provide on-arrival-visas to Pakistanis, most of whom are in Africa.
According to a 2016 Henley and Partners Visa Restrictions Report, the Pakistani passport’s value has been rapidly diminishing in the last two decades and it is now one of the least valuable passports in the world.
There are three types of Pakistani passports,
- First is ordinary passport, issued to the all citizens of Pakistan. The Directorate General of Immigration & Passports will issue the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) valid for five years & Ten years subject to fee deposit.
- Second one is diplomatic passport, issued to the Diplomats and other entitled categories in conduct of Para-45 of Passport & Visa Manual, 2006. Issuance of Diplomatic Passports is the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Following are the policy guidelines on the subject:-.
(A) The class of persons entitled for diplomatic passports.
Grant of diplomatic passports shall strictly be confined to the following
- The President of Pakistan
- The Prime Minister of Pakistan
- The Chairman of Senate
- The Speaker of the National Assembly
- The Chief Justice of Pakistan
- The Governors of Provinces
- The Chief Ministers of Provinces
- The Ministers (including Ministers of State of the FederalGovernment)
- The Attorney General of Pakistan
- i. Ex-Presidents and Ex-Prime Ministers.
- Spouse and Dependent children of Ex-Prime Ministers.
- Ex-Chairman of Senate and Ex-Speaker of National Assembly
- Special Assistants to the Prime Ministers
- The Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- All functionaries of the Federal Government with the status of
Minister/ Minister of State
- Officers of grade 17 and above of Pakistan Foreign Service
- Pakistan nationals holding in InternationalOrganisations
- Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chiefs of Army, Naval and Air Staff
(B) Children of Diplomatic Passport Holders
Children under 15 years of the persons mentioned in (A) above may be included in their passports. If they require separate passports, they will not be given diplomatic passports. They will, however, be entitled for official/gratis passports provided they are covered under Para 9 of Passport & Visa Manual.
(C) Spouses of Diplomatic Passport Holders
The spouse of person holding diplomatic passport is entitled to diplomatic passport. He / She will hold separate diplomatic passport but only so long as his / her spouse retains the prescribed office.
- Third one is official passport issued to Pakistani Nationals who are Senators, MNAs, Provincial Ministers, Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan/High Courts, Officers serving with the Government and proceeding abroad on official assignments etc. All person those are holder of diplomatic passport, when proceed abroad on official assignments, issued by official passport.
According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Pakistan has the sixth largest diaspora in the world. According to the Pakistani Government, there are around 8 million Pakistani people living abroad with a vast majority of them residing in the Middle East.
As in 2016, Pakistani embassies in some European countries have begun to provide, to dual-nationals only, Pakistani passports that have ‘Pakistan’ written on them in English and the words ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ in Urdu only. This cover might gradually be adopted for passports held by all Pakistanis in the future.