Prime Minister Launches ‘Digital Power of Attorney’ Service for Expats

Prime Minister Imran Khan launched on Thursday a pilot phase of ‘Digital Power of Attorney’ service for the overseas Pakistanis to facilitate them in the process of issuing Power of Attorney (PoA). The service will initially be made operational at 10 Pakistani missions abroad and will subsequently be replicated at all other missions.

National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has designed, developed, and implemented a web-based solution that allows applying for issuance of PoA.

The digitization of issuing PoA for the expatriates aims at addressing the inconvenience, faced by them, of physically visiting embassies. The digitization of service will provide the much-awaited ease to the expatriates who used to go through a tedious process of physical appearance at their respective embassies and consulates.

The 10 pilot phase missions are Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles in the United States, and London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, and Bradford in the United Kingdom.

In his remarks on the development, Chairman NADRA, Tariq Malik, said rolling out digital services for expatriates was a step forward towards implementing the Prime Minister’s vision of creating ease in public service delivery. Every year, he underlined, over 73,000 overseas Pakistanis physically visited embassies and missions abroad for PoA issuance.

“The digital solution for the issuance of power of attorney from the comfort of their homes is a leap forward putting an end to customer inconvenience alongside saving time and traveling costs for Overseas Pakistani,” he added.

It is worth mentioning here that the overseas Pakistanis, residing in the countries or cities having no Pakistan embassy/consulate, will largely benefit from this online facility, as they had to travel to Pakistan’s diplomatic missions in the nearest countries for issuance of PoA.

This innovative solution for the PoA utilizes state-of-the-art Pak-ID Online Biometric Verification Services. During the application, the applicant(s) (also known as Executor(s)) along with two witnesses will scan and upload their paper-based biometrics, which is verified through the national database in real-time

Following successful biometric verification, NADRA has enabled a Video Interview Module in the application that will allow the Consular Officer at the concerned Pakistan mission abroad to conduct an online interview of the executor(s), witnesses, and notarise their consent to execute the PoA. The solution has features to upload the scanned documents, pictures and also allows Consular Officer at the Foreign Mission to compare and verify the details against NADRA data. The features incorporated above meet the global benchmarks of e-KYC compliance.

In addition to software development and biometric verifications, NADRA will continue to provide customer support to end-users facing issues with their application through Pak-ID Live Chat Feature. NADRA will also provide post-deployment technical support and maintenance services to MoFA.

Faiz Paracha is a seasoned broadcast journalist with over 15 years’ experience in reporting and e...