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Pakistan gives nod to permanent residency scheme for foreigners

15 Jan, 2022
Briefing the reporters about the cabinet decisions in Islamabad on January 11, the minister had said that the government has directed the finance and interior ministry to deliberate with the Board of Investment to review a scheme where the country could facilitate foreigners and give them lawful right in getting any property in Pakistan. Reuters/File
Briefing the reporters about the cabinet decisions in Islamabad on January 11, the minister had said that the government has directed the finance and interior ministry to deliberate with the Board of Investment to review a scheme where the country could facilitate foreigners and give them lawful right in getting any property in Pakistan. Reuters/File

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said the government has decided to allow a permanent residency scheme for foreign nationals, which was in line with the country’s “first-ever” national security policy.

The information minister said in a tweet the new policy would allow foreigners to get permanent resident status in lieu of investment.

Fawad’s recent tweet comes at the backdrop of his last media briefing on January 11 in which he talked about the cabinet decisions in Islamabad. He said the government had directed the finance and interior ministry to deliberate with the Board of Investment to review a scheme where the country could facilitate foreigners and give them lawful rights to acquire property in Pakistan.

He said the government was following Turkey’s model where foreigners are allowed to buy property in order to encourage foreign investment and boost the country’s economy.

Citing religious tourism’s potential, he had said that foreigners intending to set up their houses, hotels or apartment near the Kartarpur Corridor could invest there.

He had added that the government had decided to start a 6,000-apartment housing project on 400 Kanal land for overseas Pakistanis in Islamabad. “Expats, who are part of Roshan Khayal accounts scheme, will be able to invest in this project. “We think it can generate investments to the tune of $2 billion,” he said and had termed the project a “game-changer” for the country.

Quoting sources in the federal cabinet, The Express Tribune reported that this proposed permanent residency scheme for foreigners required them to invest between $100,000-$300,000 in the real estate sector.

According to a key federal minister, one of the reasons for opening such a scheme was to “attract rich Afghans,” who were moving to Turkey, Malaysia and some other countries following the fall of Kabul last August. “They needed to be incentivised,” he said.

Such a scheme also aims to attract Sikhs living in Canada and USA, who were willing to invest in religious sites, especially in Kartarpur Corridor. The other objective of the plan was to incentivise the Chinese nationals, who wish to move or establish industry in the country.

Sources also said that the federal cabinet has also given a green signal to start two more housing projects for overseas Pakistanis in Lahore and Karachi.