OVERSEAS PAKISTANIS FOUNDATION

Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development, Government Of Pakistan

REMITTANCES OVERVIEW:

Remittances in Pakistan increased to an all-time high level to almost touch $20 billion in the closing financial year of 2015-16. According to statistics of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), expatriate Pakistanis remitted $19.9 billion in 2015-16, showing a growth of 6.38% ($1.2 billion) compared with $18.7 billion received during 2014-15.The consistent growth in remittance inflows in Pakistan kept Pakistan among the top ten countries in terms of inflows in the world through their nationals settled in other countries mainly for the purpose of professional and business engagements. World Bank reports on Migration and Remittances mentioned Pakistan as top ten countries in the world with highest inflows of remittances. It included Pakistan’s name on the seventh place for the year 2015.

INTRODUCTION FERC:

Remittances by Overseas Pakistanis, through normal banking channels, are a vital source of balance of payments support for the country. Funds channeled through Hundi or other means bypass legal conduits and deprive the country of much needed support. Cognizant of the problem of diminishing home remittances the government has initiated concerted program to facilitate those Overseas Pakistanis who remit money through normal banking channels. Towards this end, a special package of Foreign Exchange Remittance Card (FERC) has been introduced by the Ministry of Finance in September 2001 to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis community. OPF has been nominated as the implementation authority.

INCENTIVES

Overseas Pakistanis remitting foreign currency equivalent to US$2500 to US$ 50,000 per annum are entitled to the following incentives;

  • Five categories of remittance cards as per amount remitted.
  • Free Issuance and Renewal of passport on urgent basis.
  • Separate Counters for special handling at arrival and departure lounges at all International Airports in Pakistan.
  • Duty credit can also be utilized for seven items with fixed duty i.e., television, deep freezer, refrigerator, microwave oven, cooking range, washing machine and air conditioner.
  • Duty Credit in Pak. Rupees as per category of remittance card.
Type of FERC Amount Remitted Through Normal Banking Channel
(in US $ or equivalent foreign currency)
Duty Credit In Rs.
Silver 2500 or more 10,000
Silver Plus 5000 or more 20,000
Gold 10,000 or more 30,000
Gold Plus 25,000 or more 50,000
Platinum 50,000 or more 100,000

ADMISSIBILITY

  • The duty credit is admissible to a Pakistani national holding Foreign Exchange Remittance Card (FERC) once during validity of card.
  • The duty credit can be utilized for the accompanied, unaccompanied baggage or any purchase from any duty free shop.
  • The duty credit under this scheme is not utilizable on import of vehicles.
  • Utilization of duty credit is endorsed by the Customs on the passport of an FERC holder.
  • The Incentives are available for one year from the date of issuance of remittance cards.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Following is the Eligibility Criteria for Remittance Card.

  • The applicant should be a Non-Resident Pakistani.
  • Remitted amount in Foreign Currency should be equivalent to US$ as per table below for issuance of Remittance Cards.

Remittance is acceptable which has been made to a Pak Rupee Account or which has been converted into Pak Rupee from a Foreign Currency Account through bank.

Following are not eligible for FERC:

  • Infant, Minors and persons below the age of 18 year are not entitled for FERC.
  • Student is not entitled for FERC.
  • Amount remitted in Foreign Currency Account in Pakistan and not converted/encashed into Pak Rupee Account through the bank.
  • Receipts of amount exchanged from Money Exchange Companies are not acceptable.
  • ATM Receipts without the identification of the Remitter's name.

HOW TO APPLY

  • The application form can be obtained from OPF website, Pakistan Missions abroad, OPF Head Office Islamabad and through Regional Offices located at Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and Mirpur (AJ&K).
  • The Pakistan Mission dispatch the application form to OPF Head Office Islamabad for issuance of FER Card after proper verification.
  • OPF issues the card and dispatch to concerned Pakistan Mission for onward deliverance to the applicants.
  • Card will not be dispatched to the applicant abroad.
  • One year back receipts of remitted amount will be accepted from the date of application for issuance of FER Card.

DELIVERY

  • OPF would return the prepared Remittance Cards to the concerned Pak Mission through diplomatic bag.
  • FERC would be dispatched to the given address in Pakistan on the request of the applicant in writing.
  • No Remittance Card would be dispatched on the individual address abroad.

ISSUANCE OF FERC CARDS

 Issuance of Foreign Exchange Remittance
Cards (FERC)
& OPF Membership Cards.

The following timelines are subject to receipt of complete documents from the applicants: –

Applications received of visiting OPs and their  Representatives at OPF Head Office Islamabad.

(i)

Scrutiny of documents

Within 1 hour

(ii)

Data entry in the
software

1 hour

(iii)

Printing of cards

Half an hour (on the
same day)

 2.             For applications received through Pak Mission.

(i)

Scrutiny of documents

Seven working days

(ii)

Data entry in the
software

Within next 7 working
days

(iii)

Printing of cards

Within five working
days

(iv)

Dispatched to Pak
Mission

Diplomatic bag* (As per
schedule)

 3.            Applications received through online portals of FERC & OPF Membership Cards.

(i)

Scrutiny of documents

Seven working days

(ii)

Printing of documents

Two working days

(iii)

Data entry in the
software

Seven working days

(iv)

Printing of cards

Three working days

(v)

Dispatched to Pak
Mission

Diplomatic bag*

(vi)

Response to incomplete
documents/payments

Seven working days

(vii)

Non
accessible applications

10 working days

 

*The subject cards will be dispatched through respective diplomatic bags through
Ministry of Foreign Affairs according to schedule as notified by the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs:

§  Weekly bag

§  Fortnightly bag

§  Monthly bag

On the request of the applicant, card is also dispatched  through postal services on local provided address in Pakistan.