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Types of visa in Pakistan
Types of visa in Pakistan
Most countries from all over the world require a visa to let people from other countries enter their land. In some places, visas are a must while others have more relaxed rules. In terms of entering Pakistan, most countries need a visa. The type of visas issued by the Pakistani government depends upon the cause for visiting Pakistan. Hundreds of people enter Pakistan for multiple reasons including tourism, pursuing an educational degree, work related, diplomatic causes, and so on. The Minister of Interior (MOI) is the government body authorized with granting or extending visas to foreign nationals. With all that in mind, we have gone on to compile a list of the types of visas that are given out in Pakistan.
Diplomatic UN Visa- As the name suggests, this is the type of visa granted to all the diplomats and their family members who are here on foreign missions of the UN. It is also issued to the diplomatic ambassadors of different countries. As mentioned earlier this is granted by the MOI. The domestic servants of the diplomats have issued the visa free of cost, following the principle of reciprocity.
Student Visa- Another straightforward visa type, the student visa is issued to foreign students who wishes to pursue some sort of educational degree in Pakistan. The student applies for the visa after applying to the MOI. Once the NOC is obtained from the Ministry of Education/Economics Affairs Division or the Ministry of Health the visa is issued by the foreign Mission in Pakistan of the respective country and security clearance. Foreign students who are studying with a proper student visa in Pakistan can request for their visa extension by one year and get a one-time re-entry as well.
Work Visa-One of the most sought out types of visas all over the world is the work visa. People often migrate from other countries and into Pakistan in search of jobs. For those reasons, they need a work visa. Foreign expats are given this work visa with an initial validity of one year. In order to apply for this visa, one would have to apply directly to the Board of Investment. The Board of Investment will process the application and go through the forms extensively for four weeks before recommending to the MOI if the person is eligible for a work visa. The provisional work visa can be extended for around 3 months by the BOI which then would have to be endorsed by the RPS instead of the Ministry of Interior.
Business Visa- Pakistan has a mutual agreement with multiple countries regarding business visas. This list of countries, also known as the Business-Friendly Countries (BVL), contains 67 different countries. Anyone looking to conduct business with Pakistan from these countries shall be granted a five years validity business visa that allows multiple entries in the country. The visa can be issued within 24 hours of application for such countries thereby making the trading between the two countries very easy. The duration of each visit is limited to 3 months only. In order to receive a business visa from Pakistan, there are certain things that are needed, which include the following
- Recommendation letter from CC&I of the respective country of the foreigner.
- Invitation letter from Business organization duly recommended by the concerned Trade Organization/Association in Pakistan
- The letter of recommendation by the Honorary Investment Counselor of the BOI/ Commercial Attach.
Tourist Visa- The second most sought out type of visa after the business visa is the tourist visa. People from all over the world are now traveling and Pakistan is looking to expand their tourism industry. In order to get a tourist visa, you need to apply to the Pakistan Missions abroad your country. Tourist visas are usually issued with a validity of 3 months and include the double entry for foreigners that are from the A-List countries. The A-List countries of Pakistan contain around 181 different countries from all over the globe. The RPOs have the authority to extend tourist visa for a maximum of six months. These six months are added to the initial visa period meaning you can stay in Pakistan for tourism purpose for 9 whole months. The RPOs also have the power to penalize tourists who overstay their visit for up to 15 days. They would require a small fee of $US 10 only for the penalty.
Overstay Charges- The Ministry of Interior has different charges for overstaying on both foreigners as well as foreigners who are of Pakistani Origin. If you are a foreigner who overstays for up to two weeks then there are no charges. However, if the period extends from two weeks till one month then the charge is US$50. More than one month till 3 months then the charge is $200 and beyond that, it is $400 per year.