How to Get a Visa to Pakistan?
Pakistan might not be a country that’s on your travel bucket list, due to safety concerns that have had both travelers and locals concerned for years. These safety concerns have also made it somewhat difficult for Americans to travel to Pakistan in general; however, that’s not enough to stop some adventurous travelers from going. To travel to Pakistan, Americans should first consider whether or not they feel comfortable doing so. If you’re clear about your decision, then you’ll need to obtain a visa to travel there. This can be a costly and stressful endeavor, but it is possible.
Basics of Obtaining a Pakistan Tourist Visa
- Despite safety concerns, some people still choose travel to Pakistan. To do so, you need a visa. Pakistan tourist visa application forms are available online, but you must apply in person. The fee is $192 if paid with a cashier’s check or money order, or $199 if paid with a credit card.
- Call the Pakistan consulate closest to you to confirm exactly what you need to bring and if an appointment is necessary to deliver your forms. All consulates have different requirements, so be sure to check what the requirements are for your specific consulate.
Find a Sponsor
- Before you can even think about applying for a tourist visa to Pakistan, you must have a sponsor. This sponsor can be an individual you know who lives in Pakistan or a tour company. The sponsor must provide an official letter of invitation, either from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on behalf of the tour company in Pakistan or from the host company or individual explaining the relationship to you and the purpose of your travel.
- Some consulates – for instance, Chicago – require a copy of the individual sponsor’s passport, ID or CNIC/NICOP to be included in the application. If a tour company is reputable, it will provide you with the forms you need, so that should be one of the first things to ask a tour company before booking flights to Pakistan.
Gathering Your Documents
When it comes time to apply for your visa, gather all your documents. While the required documents might differ slightly depending on the consulate, in general, you’ll need the following:
- A passport valid for at least six months after your stay in Pakistan, with at least one blank visa page. It cannot be an amendment page.
- One completed application form. Nothing can be left blank.
- Four 2-by-2-inch passport-sized photos. Look up specific photo requirements for your consulate.
- Official letter of invitation from your sponsor.
- Proof of travel arrangements, such as a flight itinerary.
- A copy of your driver’s license, with the address matching the address on your visa application.
- Copies of all these documents according to your consulate’s requirements. For example, the consulate in Washington, D.C., requires four copies of each document.
Go Through a Travel Agency
If this visa application process sounds like a hassle, and no doubt it is, then consider applying through a travel agency or tour company that can help you, such as Visa First Global Visa Specialists. Either way, the process can be a bit stressful, so allow plenty of time to file all the paperwork before you’re supposed to depart on your trip.
Why Visit Pakistan?
Between the safety concerns and the complicated visa process, most people would have no problem forgoing a trip to Pakistan. However, Pakistan is full of immense beauty, from the stunning architecture and cultural relics to the lush landscapes, which are tempting for a person who truly loves to explore different places. A few destinations to check out on a trip to Pakistan include the Chaukhandi tombs, the Khewra Salt Mine, the Lahore Fort elephant path and Hingol National Park.