All you need to know about Pakistan’s permanent residency scheme for foreigners

Here's everything we know so far!

The government has decided to allow foreign nationals to be a part of the permanent residency scheme. The decision was unveiled on Friday by the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry. According to reports, the new scheme will be linked with foreign nationals’ investment in the real estate sector.

Talking about the scheme, Fawad Chaudhry said:

In line with its first-ever National Security Policy, Pakistan has declared geo-economics as the core of its national security doctrine. This action has led to the new policy allowing foreigners to get permanent resident status in place of investment.

Why was this decision taken?

According to sources in the Federal Cabinet, Turkey inspired the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government to open a permanent residency scheme for foreign nationals. The scheme has been launched with the condition that Pakistanis living abroad invest from $100,000 to $300,000 in the real estate sector.

Explaining the purpose behind launching this scheme, a critical Federal Minister said:

One of the purposes of opening a PR scheme for foreigners was to attract wealthy Afghans moving to Turkey, Malaysia, and some other countries following the fall of Kabul last August. They needed to be incentivized.

The Minister further shared:

The PR scheme targets the Sikhs living in Canada and USA, who were willing to invest in religious sites, especially in Kartarpur Corridor but had no option to do so. The third objective of the scheme was to incentivize the Chinese nationals who wish to move or establish industry in Pakistan. It’s a historic step for the first time in the history of Pakistan – foreigners are being allowed to invest in the real estate sector.

What is the way forward?

The Cabinet had directed the Finance and Interior Ministries to sit with the Board of Investment on Tuesday and deliberate upon a scheme where foreign citizens could buy properties in Pakistan. In just three days, the government has given the go-ahead to the scheme in an attempt to bring in billions of dollars in foreign exchange.

Citing the Turkish government’s example, which recently allowed foreigners to buy properties in the country, Fawad Chaudhry stated:

This project is a “game-changer. The foreigners will buy houses, hotels and invest in real estate once the scheme is approved. They would be able to buy property in Kartarpur, assuring that both the projects will have complete legal protection.

According to sources, after Pakistan’s capital city, two more housing projects will be launched in Lahore and Karachi. Talking about the project, the Information Minister stated:

A housing project stretching on 400 kanals land is being launched for the overseas Pakistanis. It would approximately have 6,000 apartments and houses. The scheme’s purpose is that all the overseas Pakistanis who have Roshan Digital Accounts can invest in the housing project. The government hopes to fetch roughly $2 billion from the project in the capital.

About the scheme launched by the Turkish government

The Turkish government enacted a law in 2017 that allowed foreigners to invest a minimum of one million dollars in property to get citizenship. This opened new opportunities for foreigners looking to get into the country’s real estate market.

The opposition in Turkey alleged that the scheme was designed to shore up the Turk president’s friends involved in the construction business. However, eventually, it became apparent that the move was majorly projected as a means to lure foreign investment.

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