Sunday, 5 December 2021

Pakistan HC in UK seeks new visa services contractor

Syed Ibne Abbas,Pakistan High Commissioner

LONDON: A dedicated team in the Pakistan High Commission has been tasked to ensure that contract for visa services is given to a company which fulfils the merit criteria ensuring that the actual beneficiary is the British Pakistani community, a credible source has said. The News has reliably learnt that four companies have submitted bids after Pakistan High Commission asked for “expression of interest” in newspaper adverts in a transparent manner, through public advertisement at various platforms. For the last five years, Gerry’s has been providing visa services but its contract is coming to an end in few months, hence the bid has been opened to look into various options as to how best to facilitate British Pakistanis and other visitors who want to travel to Pakistan. Four companies Senital Group Security (SGS), TCS, Gerry’s Offshore and Shahzad International Group are now in the competition to get next contact for five years to provide visa services to Pakistan. This correspondent has learnt that all companies were asked to give presentations to demonstrate their ability in providing the required standard of visa services to best facilitate British Pakistani community and others. Currently, the scrutiny of all the bidders is underway, said the source. He stressed that transparency and protection of data of Pakistani nationals is of paramount importance to everyone involved in overseeing the bidding process. It is also understood that the special committee formed by the high commissioner comprises of four senior diplomats who are of impeccable diplomatic character and have dealt with sensitive issues at the top level. The News has learnt that currently all bids are being scrutinised including financial stability, past track record, related service provision experience and proposals for the delivery of visa services.

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