What is No Objection Certificate NOC
What exactly is a "No Objection Certificate" (NOC)?
While researching a possible trip to Pakistan on Wikivoyage, I came across this term which is not well explained:
The visitor should be aware of the ever changing rules for sensitive areas and No objection certificates Be Aware (NOCs), Notice Oral and other permits and formalities that are officially assessed to be required for you to tour the country. The most notorious NOC regulation is that foreigners enter Kashmir with the intent that security services can track foreigners to ensure they are not visiting places they shouldn't. Diplomats outside of Kashmir are the main users of NOKs, and in theory the normal tourist should be exempt from them. However, incumbents can view all foreigners with suspicion and request a NOC when stepping off a plane or bus. NOCs must be applied for from the Ministry of the Interior. However, if you are traveling on a non-diplomatic passport then you should be fine - but it's good to be aware of that.
There is a Wikipedia article, but it is very short and not very well worded:
No certificate of opposition or popularly as NOC abbreviated, is a type of legal certificate that is issued by an authority, organization, institute or in certain cases by an individual that does not contradict the terms of the certificate. This certification is required for most government agencies, most of which are based in the Indian subcontinent.
Can anyone explain what a NOC actually is better than these sources? Is it some kind of permission?
In general, a NOC is a letter that indicates that the author of the letter has no objection to the terms in it. Sounds very meta, but basically it's like saying, "I have no objection to what I'm writing about and this is legal evidence of it."
Why would that be useful? Let's take a general example.
A government employee wants to take leave from his job and travel from country B to a specific country A. To prove that he can quit his job temporarily, his department can issue a NOC to indicate that he is okay with his 6 month vacation (which in other cases raises questions because of its length) and that they are covering his vacation. If he's a government employee, he can also issue a NOC to indicate that it's okay for him to be issued a passport.
For example, NOCs are also common in the business world.
In this case, given the status of diplomats and the political implications they can have while traveling, and given their immunity status, it is often in a government's best interest to require the NOCs to ensure that the home government knows about country B. that the diplomat is going to country A, and they legally declare that they agree with what he is doing there. This also prevents Country B from later claiming that they are unaware of their diplomat's actions.
In highly political areas such as Kashmir, it is obviously even more worrying to pursue, take note of and explain the intentions of political activities, diplomats and emissaries.
However, Joe Tourist, on the other hand, is usually not such a problem for countries. Of course, any concern or suspicion on the part of the employer will be undone by an NOC, especially an NOC from your employer stating that, for example, you know you are on vacation and are expected to be back to work in a few weeks .
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