What You Need to Know about Pakistan Visas
For the Pakistan immigration officers to allow you into the country, you will need to present your passport, along with another very important travel document: a Pakistan visa. You can apply for one Pakistan diplomatic missions in your country. If you come from countries with a Visa Abolition Agreements, you won’t need one.
A visa, however, is not the ultimate guarantee for entry into a country. The immigration officer at the point of entry makes the final decision.
The Ministry of Interior of the Government of Pakistan issues visas to foreigners. There are several types of visas available:
Business visa: This type of visa is granted to individuals who are traveling to the country for official business purposes like financial responsibilities. For citizens of countries belonging to Pakistan’s Business Visa List or BVL, the visa is valid for five years, at three months for each stay; for the remaining countries, it is valid for a month for each stay.
Work visa: Foreign expatriates are allowed to work for a year (multiple entry) in the country, with a work visa extendable on a yearly basis.
NGO’s visa: Expatriates working with Non-government organizations in the country can enter and stay in the country for a month. For you to be able to stay longer, the NGO you are working with needs to be registered with the Pakistani Government.
Tourist vis: This type of visa is granted for sightseeing and recreational traveling purposes. It is valid for three months.
House maid visa: If you are planning to be employed in Pakistan as a domestic servant or housemaid, you need a house maid visa as approved by the Ministry of Interior.
Missionary work visa: This type of visa is for missionaries such as Christian missionaries in Pakistan; however, it is not granted to those who want to open new missions. It is valid for a year and allows you one re-entry.
Diplomatic or Official visa: If you are visiting the country on an official or government assignment, as well as on diplomatic missions, you will be issued this type of visa for free. All you need is a verbal note from the authority.
Student visa: A request for student visa is received by the country’s Ministry of Education. With the necessary papers processed, you are given visa by the Ministry of Interior for three months with single entry. This, however, is extendable.
Afghan visa: Afghan nationals with an Afghan passport, who are living in Pakistan, are given visa extension for six months with one re-entry. Initially, Afghan origin passports are issued 45-day visas by Pakistan missions abroad except the one in Afghanistan. These are then allowed 45-day extension. On the other hand, Afghan passports of nationals from Afghanistan are given six month-visas with one re-entry.
Journalist visa: Journalists who are accredited and based in the country are granted visas for the duration of the assignment. If they hope to travel to other places or cities, they are required to apply through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. For those not based in Pakistan, a visa valid for three months, with multiple entry is issued.
Family visit visa for Pakistan-origin foreigners: If you are a foreigner but with Pakistani origin, the Ministry of Interior may grant you a type of visa that allows multiple entries, valid for a year. You will also be issued the same visa type if you are a foreign wife of a foreigner with Pakistani origin.
Pilgrimage visa: This type of visa is issued to people who want to travel around the holy sites of Pakistan such as shrines. It is for single entry and you will have to give a notice two months in advance.
Transit visa: This type of visa will be issued to you if you are traveling to other countries through Pakistan. You must show the original ticket that indicates your final destination. It usually only allows a 72 hour stay.
For all types of visa requests, the Pakistan embassy or consulate in your country requires basic documents like:
- Passport that is valid for at least six months, with a blank page for the visa
- Recent passport-size photographs
- Completed visa application form
- Proof of residence in your country
- Visa fee, which can be paid by cash or money order or by mail
There are also additional or individual requirements for certain categories.
For the house maid visa, you will also need an acknowledgment from the foreign mission in Pakistan about the proposed employment by the employer, and the employment contract duly signed by both of you and with witness.
For a business visa, you will also need a company letter from the establishment you are working for, and an invitation letter with supporting documents from Pakistan.
For the work and student visa, you will also need the job offer letter, acceptance letter from the academic institution you will be attending plus other supporting documents.
For the missionary work visa, you have to submit a letter from the missionary organization indicating that you are a bonafide member of their group and that the group will take full responsibility for your boarding or lodging, and return journey. Also, you must show declaration that you will respect and abide by the Pakistan laws.
Applicants for pilgrim visas need to submit a notice of application two months in advance.
The information you provide to the embassy or consulate must be true; your visa is liable to be canceled should they discover that any information are incorrect. As the requirements of the embassy may change from time to time, it is better to check the website, if available, for requirement updates, or call the consulate and inquire. If you enjoy reading this article, you’ll surely learn a lot by reading how to prepare for international travel.