Thousands throng FO, IBCC centres to move overseas

Officials say they face difficulties in handling the high volume of applicants who are trying to move abroad amid poor economic conditions at home

Peshawar   -   In the scorching summer weather, hundreds of candidates wait in queues at the Foreign Office and Inter-Boards Coordination Commission (IBCC) centres in Peshawar. The snaking lines stretch well beyond the entrance, with applicants patiently waiting for their turn while standing shoulder to shoulder and blotting sweat from their brows.

The majority of the candidates are educated young men attempting to have their academic records attested before departing the nation in search of better opportunities overseas. For people looking to relocate overseas for jobs or further study, the attestation of educational records is a must.

Since more and more Pakistanis are looking for opportunities overseas to escape economic instability and restricted job prospects at home, the demand for attestation services has increased significantly in recent months.

The scene inside the centers is just as hectic. Overburdened employees are managing the flurry, processing document checks, and counseling applicants nonstop. Even with their best efforts, the sheer volume of requests frequently results in lengthy waits and growing public anger.

Having recently graduated from a university, Abdullah Khan describes his predicament: “I’ve been standing here since 8 am, and it’s past noon. I have to get these documents attested before my travel abroad as I intend to get a job there.”

“It’s not the lone step. I first got documents of matriculation and intermediate attested from the IBCC and later pursued the same process for my degrees of higher education from the HEC. Now I am struggling to attest all docs from the Foreign Office. And still I have to do one more step: attestation from the embassy of the UAE as I want to move to Dubai to secure a job there,” he said.

The IBCC and Foreign Office centers have emerged as hubs for those seeking to relocate overseas, serving as gatekeepers concerning the document validation process. Verification and stamping are necessary for all documents, including transcripts and degree certificates, to guarantee their authenticity in the eyes of international employers and educational institutions. Authorities claim to be battling the mounting pressure and are aware of it.

An IBCC official, Abdul Rehman, said that the IBCC office was overcrowded by applications on a daily basis as more and more educated youth are moving abroad. Another official, serving at the Foreign Office, told this correspondent that they were working to handle the high volume of applicants for attestation.

“We are dedicated to streamlining the procedure because we realise the urgency and the stakes for the applicants. But nowadays it seems as if everyone is moving abroad. We receive hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications for documents’ attestation a day,” he added.