A National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis is a national identity card issued for eligible Pakistanis called ‘Overseas Pakistanis’. These are people of Pakistani origin who either live abroad or have a reference abroad. It is a computerized registered document given to the emigrants, workers, citizens, and Pakistanis with dual nationality.
National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis – NICOP
This NICOP is issued by the National Database and Registration Authority, generally referred to as NADRA of Pakistan. It was first issued in the year 2002, in order to mutually resolve conflicts between the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, Ministry of Labour and Manpower and the Ministry of Interiors. All of the NICOP documents are stored and registered into the NADRA database. This is to ensure and provide the individuals with legitimacy and validity for visa-free entry to Pakistan.
Pakistani people who live outside their country or have migrated to other countries are called Overseas Pakistanis. The following people fall under the category of Overseas Pakistanis-
- Pakistanis who migrated to other countries,
- Pakistani people that live outside Pakistan,
- People who have not been living in Pakistan for over a specified period of time, and,
- Pakistani people who are born abroad.
BENEFITS OF NICOP
There are numerous advantages that the Overseas Pakistanis gain by NICOP such as-
- The right to cast vote as a citizen of Pakistan.
- Visa-free entry into the country, on a foreign passport.
- The permission and right to open a bank account in the country.
- Permission to buy and sell the property.
- Complete recognition as a regular Pakistani citizen.
- Benefits of all the protection rights as all other citizens of Pakistan.
- A valid proof of being a Pakistani citizen.
- Dual nationality benefit.
- Gaining a substitute for Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC).
- Permission to apply for a Machine Readable Passport (MRP).
Documents Required For Registration of NICOP
For registration, one needs to ensure the availability of the below-mentioned documents in order to avoid any complications in the protocol. The requirements are-
- The very basic and initial requirement is to book an online appointment at the web-based application launched by NADRA.
- Details about the personal appearance of the applicant are necessary for the biometric and live photograph.
- A proper and detailed Birth Certificate, that mentions the names of both the parents, is mandatory.
- Possession of any one of these documents is necessary-
Original Pakistani Passport/a Domicile certificate/an old ID card/Matriculation certificate issued from Pakistan itself.
- For the applicants applying for the first time, a NICOP or CNIC card of mother and father, or of the real brother or sister or of any other blood relative is required.
- In case of the absence of any blood relative, a fingerprint of any Pakistani citizen holding a NICO/CNIC can be used.
- A Nikkah Nama or Marriage Certificate shall be generated in case the applicant requires to change the marital status.
- In order to change the marital status to ‘divorced/widow’, the applicant needs to submit the divorce/death certificate of their spouse.
- Any modifications to be made in the Date Of Birth (DOB), can only be made on the basis of a valid Pakistani passport or a Matriculation certificate issued by Pakistan or a service book given by the Government of Pakistan or a court order issued by the Pakistani Court of Law.
Original and photocopies of all the above-mentioned documents are necessary to be available with the applicant.
POC VS NICOP
The Pakistani Origin Card (POC) is given to people with Pakistani origin but living abroad. However, it is not issued to people with dual nationality. This is where NICOP provides benefits to the people who have dual nationality and are of Pakistani origin.