104,000 Pakistanis gained American citizenship in 10 years whereas 14,400 Pakistanis immigrated to the US last year
As many as 104,000 Pakistanis have gained American citizenship over the past 10 years between 2005 and 2014, United States (U.S.) consulate official informed during a media tour of the Karachi consulate’s visa section on Friday. Around 14,400 Pakistanis immigrated to the U.S. last year.
Brian Asmus, spokesperson for the Public Affairs Section at the US Consulate-General, told the media persons that the U.S. Consulate General Karachi had issued 14,000 visas to Pakistani tourists, students, business travelers and workers in the first seven months of 2016.
In 2015, Embassy Islamabad and Consulate Karachi issued a total of 72,000 such visas while the number in 2014 was 64,000.
The US Consulate in Karachi only deals in non-immigrant visas while immigrants visas are dealt at the embassy in Islamabad.
He said there was no restriction on the number of business, student or visitor visas that could be issued within a certain time limit while there was a limit on the number of immigrant visas for which there was a yearly quota.
Asmus said that currently between 700,000 and one million US citizens were of Pakistani descent, making them the seventh largest group of U.S. citizens.
Mary Pellegrini, the Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) chief, said that it was wrong to say that it was predetermined as to who would or who wouldn’t get a visa. This, she said, was a common misconception.
U.S. Consul General Brian Heath also greeted and briefed journalists about the working of the visa section.
Pakistani-Americans earn 24% more than American citizens
Median income of a Pakistani-American in the U.S. is $63,000 while for the American families, it stands at $51,000.
The ‘very well educated’ and ‘professional’ Pakistani-Americans’ annual earning stands 24 percent or $12,000 higher than rest of their compatriots in the United States, Brian Asmus, spokesman of American Consulate Karachi, told reporters at the consulate.
When asked what enabled Pakistani Americans to make more money than rest of their countrymen, the spokesman said that Pakistanis, who had mostly immigrated to U.S. in 1950s and 60s, were “very well educated” holding professional degrees in disciplines such as medicine.
This increased income is very much reflected in the country’s $19.91 billion workers’ remittances receipts in FY16, depicting 6.3 percent growth over $18.71 billion of FY15. In Jun 2016, the country’s current account posted a nominal deficit of $61 million compared to May 2016’s revised $770 million. “This improvement was largely owing to improvement in workers’ remittances,” viewed Syed Atif Zafar, an analyst at JS Research.
Pakistanis no longer eligible for US diversity visa
After becoming the seventh largest immigrant population in the US, Pakistanis are no longer eligible for the diversity visa.
Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a United States’ special lottery program that allowed families from countries with low rates of immigration into the US to qualify for the move. It is also known as the Green Card Lottery. A lot of Pakistani families used this facility to immigrate to the US, leading to an immigrant population of between 700,000 and one million Pakistanis.
According to the US law, diversity laws are only allowed to countries that have low rates of immigrants, said US consulate in Karachi’s spokesperson Brian Asmus, during a media tour of the Karachi consulate’s visa section on Friday.
However, there are a lot of other options, such as petitions, student, visit and exchange programme visas, which come under the non-immigrant category.