• Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018
  • Last Update : 01:44 am

Saarc meeting on immigration, visa begins in Kathmandu

  • Published at 01:23 am June 29th, 2018
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The South Asian regional organization is likely to streamline Visa Exemption Scheme, develop security software

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) is going to streamline its Visa Exemption Scheme (VES) and develop its security software for implementation across the region.

“The Core Group of Saarc Immigration Authorities and Visa Experts commenced its meeting at the Saarc Secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal today [Thursday]. It will discuss measures to streamline the Saarc Visa Exemption Scheme, including development of its security software for implementation across the region,” said a press release issued on Thursday.

Representatives from the Immigration Authorities of the Saarc member states are joining the meeting, the release added.

Addressing the meeting, Saarc Secretary General Amjad Hussain B Sial referred to the launch of the Saarc VES as a milestone step towards enhancing people-to-people contact in the region.

“It is essential for promoting regional integration, economic relations and tourism. The ultimate goal is to have a visa-free regime in the Saarc region,” he said.

According to the release, the first meeting of the Core Group was held in October 2017 in the Saarc Secretariat, which deliberated over the requests for proposal for development of a security software for the Saarc VES.

The current meeting is expected to finalize an electronic visa under the VES, it said.

The fifth Saarc Summit held in the Maldives in 1990 had decided to launch the Visa Exemption Scheme. The scheme became operational in 1992. It allows entitled categories of people visa-free travel across the region.