Responses to Information Requests

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25 October 2021

PAK200817.E

Pakistan: Requirements and procedures to request a letter from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to confirm entry and exit of Pakistan (2016–October 2021)

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

1. Overview

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an advocate high court/legal consultant who specializes in governance, right to information, legislation, and civic rights, indicated that the FIA does not issue letters confirming whether a Pakistani citizen entered or exited Pakistan (Advocate 29 Sept. 2021). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a consultant at a law firm in Pakistan, stated that "there is no procedure which mandates or compels FIA official[s] to issue a letter regarding [a] Pakistani citizen's arrival or departure from the country" (Consultant 26 Sept. 2021).

In contrast, other sources indicated that the FIA issues letters to confirm entry and exit of Pakistan "if requested" (Lawyer A 3 Oct. 2021; lawyer B 6 Oct. 2021). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a lawyer from a law firm in Faisalabad, whose areas of practice include immigration matters, stated that the FIA "generally" does not issue letters to Pakistani citizens confirming entry and exit of Pakistan; however, "said information could be give[n]" for a "particular person or reason" (Lawyer in Faisalabad 28 Sept. 2021a). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a lawyer from a law firm in Islamabad, whose areas of practice include immigration matters, stated that the FIA issues letters on an individual's "incoming and outgoing date[s] from the country" (Lawyer C 5 Oct. 2021). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, representatives of the Risk Assessment Unit at the High Commission of Canada to Pakistan indicated that an individual or a foreign mission can obtain entry and exit records from the FIA (Canada 30 Sept. 2021). According to the same representatives, the document is "known as [an] R-11 Report" and includes "travel details (border crossings) of an individual … for the requested period of time," including "travel date, time and place (airport, railway station or land border) from where the person had entered or departed Pakistan" (Canada 30 Sept. 2021).

2. Requirements and Procedures to Request a Letter from the FIA

According to sources, a "formal application" is required to request a letter from the FIA to confirm entry and exit of Pakistan (Lawyer A 3 Oct. 2021; Canada 30 Sept. 2021; lawyer B 6 Oct. 2021). Sources indicated that the application is made to the Director of Integrated Border Management Systems (IBMS) (Lawyer A 5 Oct. 2021; Pakistan 6 Oct. 2021). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a lawyer from a different law firm in Islamabad, whose areas of practice include immigration law, indicated that the application signed by the requestor should be submitted to the FIA Headquarters in Islamabad "in person" (Lawyer B 6 Oct. 2021). The representatives of the Risk Assessment Unit noted that entry and exit records requested by an individual require an "in-person application" that can "be initiated at an airport or zonal offices of [the] FIA" (Canada 30 Sept. 2021). One of the Islamabad-based lawyers noted that an individual "would submit an [a]ffidavit with [a] formal request for travel record[s] in person" (Lawyer C 5 Oct. 2021). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Director of Administration at the FIA stated that "the application can be submitted in-person as well as by post" (Pakistan 6 Oct. 2021).

According to sources, the following documents should be submitted along with the application:

  • Identification card (Lawyer A 3 Oct. 2021) or Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) (Pakistan 6 Oct. 2021; lawyer B 6 Oct. 2021) or a "valid identity document" (Canada 30 Sept. 2021);
  • Passport (Lawyer C 5 Oct. 2021; lawyer B 6 Oct. 2021; Pakistan 6 Oct. 2021);
  • The reason for (Lawyer A 3 Oct. 2021; lawyer in Faisalabad 28 Sept. 2021b) or purpose of (Pakistan 6 Oct. 2021) the request (Lawyer A 3 Oct. 2021; lawyer in Faisalabad 28 Sept. 2021b; Pakistan 6 Oct. 2021).

The Director of Administration also indicated that an "[a]ffidavit [declaring] that the provided travel history will not be used in any court" must be submitted along with the application (Pakistan 6 Oct. 2021).

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a lawyer from another law firm in Islamabad, whose areas of practice include visa applications, appeals and other immigration issues, stated that "[n]o time period is prescribed" for how long it takes to receive a response from the FIA, and "it depends on a case to case basis. … [I]t also depends on the personal efforts of the individual requesting the information" (Lawyer A 3 Oct. 2021). Another Islamabad-based lawyer indicated that it takes 10 to 12 "working days" to receive a response (Lawyer B 6 Oct. 2021). According to the Director of Administration at the FIA, an application is "entertained within a week" (Pakistan 6 Oct. 2021). The representatives of the Risk Assessment Unit noted that

[i]f a person requests their R-11 Report at an airport, then it is possible that they could get the report on the same day, conditional to the approval of the [i]mmigration [s]hift [i]n charge of that specific airport. If [the report is] requested at the Zonal office of the FIA, then it might … take two weeks to get a response. If a foreign mission in Pakistan makes a request for an R-11 Report, the response time is usually 4 to 8 weeks. (Canada 30 Sept. 2021)

According to the lawyer in Faisalabad, an individual can make an application themselves, or have a legal representative apply on their behalf (Lawyer in Faisalabad 28 Sept. 2021b). One of the Islamabad-based lawyers noted that the application can be submitted by the individual or "submitted through an authorized person" (Lawyer B 6 Oct. 2021). Another lawyer in Islamabad indicated that if the individual is not in Pakistan, "[they] can issue an authority letter to someone present in Pakistan who can then file the request and purs[u]e the matter" (Lawyer A 3 Oct. 2021). According to the Director of Administration at the FIA,

[i]f for some reason, the individual cannot appear in person, one of his blood relatives can appear on his/her behalf. The blood relative has to produce an affidavit in which the individual has nominated or authorized him/her to appear on his/her behalf, [then] submit [the] written application … (Pakistan 5 Oct. 2021)

In contrast, the representatives of the Risk Assessment Unit stated that

[a]ccording to regulations, no one can apply for a[n] R-11 report for any other person on his/her behalf. However, foreign missions in Pakistan such as the High Commission of Canada can make a formal written request to obtain an R-11 Report for an individual. The request must include details of the subject such as complete name, date of birth, [CNIC] number and passport number. The request would be initiated through a Note Verbale to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they will pass it on to the FIA. (Canada 30 Sept. 2021)

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Advocate High Court/Legal Consultant, Islamabad. 29 September 2021. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Canada. 30 September 2021. High Commission of Canada to Pakistan, Risk Assessment Unit. Correspondence from representatives to the Research Directorate.

Consultant, law firm based in Karachi. 26 September 2021. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Lawyer A, law firm based in Islamabad. 5 October 2021. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Lawyer A, law firm based in Islamabad. 3 October 2021. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Lawyer B, law firm based in Islamabad. 6 October 2021. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Lawyer C, law firm based in Islamabad. 5 October 2021. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Lawyer in Faisalabad. 28 September 2021a. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Lawyer in Faisalabad. 28 September 2021b. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Pakistan. 6 October 2021. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Correspondence from the Director of Administration to the Research Directorate.

Pakistan. 5 October 2021. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Correspondence from the Director of Administration to the Research Directorate.

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Allama Iqbal International Airport; assistant professor at a university in Pakistan who studies international migration; associate professor at an American university that specializes in democratic transitions, military coups, institutional norms and South Asian security issues; Australian Strategic Policy Institute – Counter Terrorism Policy Centre; Belgium – Cedoca; former chief at the Federal Investigation Agency; independent journalist and researcher who covers militancy and security issues in Pakistan; Institute for Conflict Management – South Asia Terrorism Portal; Islamabad – Islamabad Police; Islamabad International Airport; journalist at Al Jazeera; law firms in Pakistan (10); Pakistan – Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, DC, Pakistan International Airlines; Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research; professor at an American university that specializes in policing, interrogation and torture, political violence, and criminal justice in Pakistan; professor at an American university that specializes in political and military affairs in South Asia; senior journalist at a television network in Pakistan.

Internet sites, including: Al Jazeera; Allama Iqbal International Airport; Amnesty International; ARY News; Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering; Australia – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; BBC; Belgium – Commissariat général aux réfugiés et aux apatrides; Bertelsmann Stiftung; Brookings Institution; Center for Strategic and International Studies; Council on Foreign Relations; Daily Times; The Danish Institute for Human Rights; Dawn; Denmark – Danish Immigration Service; Dunya News; ecoi.net; EU – European Asylum Support Office; The Express Tribune; France – Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides; Freedom House; The Friday Times; The Frontier Post; FYI Magazine; Gandhara; Geo News; Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime; The Guardian; Human Rights Watch; Institute for War & Peace Reporting; International Crisis Group; INTERPOL; Islamabad – Islamabad Police; Mixed Migration Centre; MM News; Netherlands – Ministry of Foreign Affairs; The New Humanitarian; Newsweek Pakistan; Norway – Landinfo; The News International; Organisation suisse d’aide aux réfugiés; Pakistan – The Gazette of Pakistan; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Directorate General of Immigration & Passports, Federal Investigation Agency, Pakistan International Airlines; Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research; Pakistan News Service; Pakistan Observer; Pakistan Television Corporation; Pakistan Times; Pakistan Today; Radio Free Asia; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Reporters sans frontières; Samaa TV; The Times of India; Transparency International; UK – Home Office; UN – Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, Refworld, UN Office on Drugs and Crime; US – Department of State, Library of Congress, Overseas Security Advisory Council; Wilson Center; World Bank.