Pak mission starts issuing Nicop cards

DUBAI - More than 4,500 applications for National Identity Cards for Overseas Pakistanis (Nicop) have been received and almost 50 per cent of the processed cards have already been distributed by the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai.


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Fri 25 Apr 2003, 12:18 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:01 PM

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Consul-General of Pakistan Amanullah Larik said that after the 40 per cent cut in processing fees of Nicop cards, we have received a record number of applications by volunteers and every week we see a good response. "More than 1,000 cards have been processed and more than 500 have already been distributed," he added.

During his visit to the UAE in January this year, Pakistan Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali had announced a 40 per cent deduction in the processing fee of the card which has brought it from $25 down to $15. He also extended the card validity from three to 10 years.

The Nicop scheme was launched in the UAE last year by Lt. Gen (Retd) Moinuddin Haider, former Pakistan interior minister, but it got a poor response because of high fees and a limited validity.

"All the accumulated application forms from the UAE are sent to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) in Pakistan which is at present involved in the huge task of replacing old National Identity Cards (NIC) with new computerised ones," said Mr Larik.

The Nicop cards are in English and are valid until the card holder resides outside the home country (Pakistan). "Upon his/her return, the card will automatically become invalid," added Mr Larik.

Nicop forms are available at the Pakistani consulate in Dubai and the Pakistan embassy in Abu Dhabi.

The Nicop card is mandatory for all Pakistanis living abroad for more than six months. The aim is to create a database of non-resident Pakistanis and check the infiltration of people with fake Pakistani ID cards and passports.

Nicop is a machine-readable document and facilitates movement through immigration controls. Its swiping feature safeguards it against any misuse. Nicop also offers unique privileges and facilities to its holders including a free-of-cost Urdu language NIC upon return and a visa-free entry to Pakistan, protection by the Government of Pakistan in any foreign country and also an entitlement to membership of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF).

Nadra has further sub-divided the identity card procedures for overseas Pakistanis into Nicop and POC.

All Pakistani citizens simultaneously holding the nationality, visas or entry permits of any other country can apply for Nicop. POC is a comprehensive identification document for former Pakistani citizens and/ or for foreigners with links to Pakistan.

Registration fees for POC is $100 for adults and $50 for those under 18 while the forms can be obtained from the Pakistani missions both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Like Nicop, POC cardholders also receive a host of benefits upon arrival in Pakistan, including a visa-free entry, indefinite stay, permission to purchase, sell or dispose of property anywhere in Pakistan and an exemption from reporting to police or foreigners’ registration offices.

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