SAARC to streamline visa exemption scheme
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is going to streamline the SAARC Visa Exemption Scheme 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. It will discuss measures to streamline the SAARC Visa Exemption Scheme, including development of its security software for implementation across the region," said a SAARC press release received here.
Representatives from the Immigration Authorities of the SAARC member states are joining the meeting, the release added.
Addressing the meeting, Secretary General of SAARC Amjad Hussain B. Sial referred to the launch of the SAARC Visa Exemption Scheme as a milestone step towards enhancing people-to-people contacts 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 Visa Exemption Scheme.
The current meeting is expected to finalize an electronic visa under the Scheme, it said.
The fifth SAARC Summit held in the Maldives in 1990 had decided to launch the SAARC Visa Exemption Scheme. The scheme became operational in 1992. It allows entitled categories of people visa-free travel across the region.