One of the eight nations that make up South Asia, Pakistan shares its borders with Iran to the west, Afghanistan to the northwest and north, China to the northeast, India to the east, and the Arabian Sea on its southern border.
Pakistan has a population of more than 225 million people, making it the fifth-most populous country in the world after China, India, the United States, and Indonesia.
The country has a lot of natural beauty and many tourist attractions. Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad, the country’s capital, are three of the most visited cities in Pakistan. In addition to its national parks, bright deserts, and some of the world’s highest peaks, Pakistan offers numerous attractions for sightseeing, trekking, mountain climbing, mountain and desert jeep safaris, and many other outdoor activities that’ll entice any visitor.
If you’re a US citizen planning a trip to Pakistan, you’ve come to the right place to get all the vital information you need to know about Pakistan tourist visas for Americans. What’s more? The other visa types for Pakistan, as well as the requirements, how to apply, fees, and much more, are covered in this guide. So, let’s get started without further ado.
Do US Citizens Need A Visa To Travel To Pakistan?
Yes. The United States is not on the Pakistani government’s list of countries exempt from visa requirements; therefore, all US citizens traveling to Pakistan for any reason must have a valid visa.
To simplify the visa application process for applicants, Pakistan introduced an Online Visa System. US passport holders can apply for an electronic visa (e-visa) before traveling to Pakistan through the online visa system.
Pakistan Online Visa System Explained
Pakistan fully implemented its online visa system on February 1, 2021 and stopped issuing manual visas at its embassies and consulates in many countries all over the world. The online visa system is accessible to citizens of 191 countries, including Americans.
All visa requests have to be submitted through the online visa portal. The e-visa policy makes it easier and faster to apply for a Pakistan visa, and it also gets rid of the need to go to a Pakistani embassy or consulate in person as well as long wait times before visas are approved.
What is the Pakistan e-Visa?
The e-visa for Pakistan is a digital travel document that allows its holder to enter Pakistan. With a valid Pakistan online visa, you can travel to the country and stay there for as long as the visa is valid. Pakistani visas can be extended if necessary.
To apply for a Pakistan visa, you must first register on the online portal and fill out the application form, where you’ll be asked to select your desired visa type. The process can be completed from the comfort of your own home, as long as you have an internet connection.
There are several types of e-visas for Pakistan. Tourists, businesspeople, students, and those who want to participate in organized charity work in Pakistan can all apply for and receive electronic visas. A tourist visa for Pakistan is typically single-entry, but there are other visa types available based on the purpose of your visit.
Pakistan e-Visa Types
There are different types of visas under which people can apply for a Pakistani visa online. The categories are:
- Tourist/visit visa: Foreign nationals with a tourist visa can visit Pakistan for tourism or recreational purposes. Applicants can choose between a single-entry type that is valid for three months or a multiple-entry type that is valid for six months or longer.
- Business visa: Entrepreneurs or employees of companies who want to conduct business in Pakistan can apply for and receive a business visa that is valid for up to 5 years and allows for multiple Entries into the country.
- Work visa: This visa is available to foreign nationals who wish to reside and work in Pakistan. Journalists are also able to apply for this visa.
- Student visa: International students who wish to study in Pakistan must obtain a student visa. The student visa is typically granted for two years and is renewable.
- Official/diplomatic visa: This visa is issued to government officials or diplomats assigned to perform official or diplomatic duties in Pakistan. This visa type is valid for the duration of the assignment.
- NGO/INGO visa: Officials, NGOs/INGOs workers, and their families can apply for this visa to perform charitable, environmental or social works in Pakistan.
- Religious visa: Christian missionaries who want to carry out missionary work in Pakistan can apply for this visa, as can pilgrims who want to visit religious sites in Pakistan.
- Medical visa: Foreign nationals can travel to Pakistan on a medical visa to receive medical care.
- Sports/cultural event visa: Foreigners can apply for this visa if they want to participate in any sports event or attend cultural events or seminars in Pakistan. The duration and validity of the visa are subject to the duration of the event.
Pakistan Visa Requirements For US Citizens
The general Pakistan visa requirements for US Citizens include:
- A Valid US passport (your passport must have enough validity to cover your duration of stay in Pakistan; plus, it should have at least two blank pages for stamps the moment you arrive in Pakistan)
- Passport-style photo
- Proof of accommodation (hotel booking details or any other place of intend stay in Pakistan)
- Proof of legal residence (in case you are applying outside of the US)
- Proof of sufficient funds (bank statements)
- Email address
- Completed Pakistan visa application form
- Debit or credit card to pay visa fees
The requirements listed above are the general requirements needed to apply for any type of Pakistan visa. You should be aware that each visa has its own set of requirements on top of the general ones. So, depending on the reason for your trip to Pakistan, you’ll also be required to meet the following supplementary requirements:
For Tourist Visa:
Invitation Letter in case of group by the tour operator designated by the department of tourist services
For Business Visa:
Recommendation letter from CC&I of respective foreign country
- Your CV
- Covering letter on company’s letter head
- Company profile
- Employment agreement
- FBR NTN certificate of the company
- Letter from Media Agency/Organization (required for journalists)
Admission Letter into a Pakistan institution or accept letter for any study program
Letter of Recommendation by respective ministry
- Invitation letter by NGO/INGO
- Proof of Registration of the NGO/
For religious visa:
Invitation Letter of the registered missionary organization or from Tabligh Markaz
For medical visa:
How Can I Apply For A Pakistan e-Visa As A US Citizen?
Americans can apply for a Pakistan visa from any location through a simple online application process. The procedure involves providing some basic personal, passport, contact, and travel information, as well as submitting the other required documents and paying for the application fee.
Steps To Apply For Pakistan e-Visa:
US citizens can apply for a Pakistani visa through the Online Visa System (https://visa.nadra.gov.pk/). The steps to apply are outlined below:
- Visit the online visa website
- Click on the “Apply Now” button
- Create a New Account on the website
To create an account, you’ll enter the following:
- Your full name
- Email address
- Passport number
- Type the CAPTCHA code
- Agree to the “Terms of Service”
- Click on “Save and Continue, then verify your account.
4. By default, once you’re logged in, a New Visa Application is launched
5. Complete your application by filling out the form with accurate details:
When filling out the form to apply for a visa, you’ll be prompted to enter:
- Your application information (like category of visa you need)
- Details of your trip
- Personal info
- Family info
- Occupation info
- Travel history
- Submit the required documents based on the visa type you’re applying for
6. Review your application
7. Next step is to pay application fee using a Credit Card/Debit Card
8. Finally, submit your application
In some cases, applicants may be asked to meet with a Visa Counselor at one of the Consulates for an interview. When you fill out the application form, you will have to choose the Pakistan consulate in the US that is closest to you.
How Will I Receive My Pakistan eVisa If My Application Is Successful?
Once your application has been approved, you’ll receive an email notification of your Visa Grant Notice. The Visa Grant Notice is your electronic visa and will contain key details about your application.
A link redirecting you to your Pakistan online visa account where you can download the Visa Grant Notice will also be provided in the email. Login to your account to download the document. The Visa Grant Notice will be downloaded in your system in PDF format.
Print it out, and carry it with you while traveling to Pakistan. You’ll need to present it to border control when you arrive.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date you arrive, and it must have at least two blank pages.
What Is The Cost Of A Pakistan Visa?
Naturally, the cost of the Pakistan visa varies according to the type of visa you require.
Pakistan visa fees for US Citizens:
- A tourist visa (valid for 3 months, single-entry) for Americans costs 60 USD.
- A work visa (valid for 3 months, single entry) for Americans costs 100 USD.
For a complete breakdown of the prices of various visa types for Pakistan, visit the online portal (https://visa.nadra.gov.pk/fee-structure/). You’ll be able to calculate the fee for your required visa there.
Will I Be Refunded If My Application For A Pakistan e-Visa Is Unsuccessful?
No. The Pakistan government has a no-refund policy for any application.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Pakistan e-Visa For US Citizens?
Depending on the type of visa you apply for, the processing time for a Pakistan visa can be as little as 24 hours or as long as 4 weeks or longer in certain situations.
Pakistan visa types and processing time:
- Tourist Visa: 7–10 days (business days)
- Business visa: 24 hours (working Hours)
- Work Visa: 48 hours (7 days to 4 weeks for journalists)
- Study visa: 4 weeks
- Religious Visa: 4 weeks
- Official/diplomatic visa: 7 days
- NGO/NIGO Visa: 4 weeks
- Medical Visa: 48 hours
- Sports/cultural event visa: 7–10 Days
It is recommended to apply for a Pakistan visa well in advance.
How Long Is Pakistan e-Visa Valid For?
A standard Pakistan online visa is valid for three (3) months. This includes categories such as tourist, work, NGO, and medical visas. A business visa can be issued for a period of one to five years and a Study Visa for two years.
Under the category of religious visas, a missionary visa is valid for one year. Other visa categories, such as official/diplomatic and sports/cultural event visas, are valid for the duration of the assignment or event.
Can I Extend My Pakistan e-Visa?
Yes, you can extend your Pakistan e-visa. The majority of visas can be extended for an additional six months or longer. If you have a valid Pakistan visa and are residing in Pakistan, you can apply for a visa extension at the online visa system (https://visa.nadra.gov.pk/).
Can US Citizens Obtain A Visa On Arrival In Pakistan?
Yes, US citizens can obtain a tourist or business visa on arrival in Pakistan that is valid for 30 days. To be eligible, you must have an Electronic Travel Authorization document. You can apply for one through the Online Visa System under the Visa On Arrival category. Submit your intent to travel at least 48–72 hours before your planned trip to receive an ETA (sent via email).
Do Children Also Require A Visa To Enter Pakistan?
Yes. To enter Pakistan, every individual, including children, must have a valid visa. Parents can apply on behalf of their children.
Are There COVID-19 Requirements For Pakistan?
There are no COVID-19 requirements for Pakistan. COVID-19 vaccination proof or a negative A COVID-19 PCR test will not be requested by immigration officials.
More Tips For Visitors To Pakistan
What language is spoken in Pakistan?
Urdu and English are the only two official languages in Pakistan, despite the fact that many different ethnic groups speak many different languages. Urdu is Pakistan’s native language, and it plays an important role in the country’s cultural and social fabric. It is the language that people of different ethnic groups use to communicate with one another.
Aside from Urdu, Pakistan has four other major provincial languages: Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, and Balochi. Punjabi is the most widely spoken of the four, as it is spoken by half of the population in Pakistan.
Also, it should be said that many people in Pakistan speak and understand English, especially the educated ones. English is the language of business, education, the government, and the legal system in Pakistan.
When Is The Best Time Of The Year To Visit Pakistan?
Pakistan has four seasons: winter (December to February), spring (March to May), summer (June to August), and autumn (September to November). Pakistan experiences cold weather from mid-October to the end of February, with snowfall in some areas. The weather is warmer from March to October. This is when most tourists visit the country.
In the end, the best time to travel to Pakistan will depend on your personal preferences and the kind of experience you want or the purpose of your visa.
Is Pakistan A Safe Country For Tourists?
Common crimes in Pakistan include kidnapping, pickpocketing, purse snatching, and gender-based violence. However, terrorism is what most people worry about when considering a trip to Pakistan, and rightfully so. The United States government issues (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/pakistan-travel-advisory.html) a warning about this. Pakistan’s terrorism crisis dates back many years. The country also has regular social tensions and civil unrest.
Certain parts of Pakistan are far more dangerous than others. You can reduce the chance of putting your safety at risk by doing some research on the area you plan to visit and staying away from places where terrorist attacks happen often. Areas around the land borders with Afghanistan and India are examples of places to avoid. Crowded places should also be avoided because mayhem could break out at any time.
Additionally, Pakistan wants to grow its tourism industry. The Pakistani government has been investing in tourist infrastructure and has taken steps to make the country safer for tourists. For example, they have increased security and restricted access to dangerous areas. Visitors will even be given safety guides to semi-dangerous areas. To sum up, if you visit Pakistan, you are unlikely to enter any dangerous areas.
Top Places To Visit In Pakistan For Tourists
There are many destinations in Pakistan you can travel to and have unforgettable experiences. We have compiled a list of cities and places to go when you’re in Pakistan:
- Hunza Valley
- Fairy Meadows
- Neelum Valley
- Deosai National Park
- Swat Valley
- Khunjerab Pass
In 2019, Forbes listed Pakistan as one of the “coolest places” to visit (https://www.forbes.com/sites/annabel/2018/12/12/the-10-coolest-places-to-go-in-2019/?sh=2bd296f01fdc). Even though Pakistan doesn’t get as many tourists as some of its South Asian neighbors due to safety concerns, the country is still a beautiful place to visit and can make for a wonderful vacation spot.