Pakistan tourism visa relaxation 22122018
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Dubai: Pakistan has launched an e-visa portal for foreign tourists from select countries, including the UAE.

The e-visa portal is now operational. The portal is currently being tested and open to nationals of China, Malaysia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Tourists will be given visa on arrival.

People wait in queue to get boarding passes at the newly-opened Islamabad International Airport.

An official at the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai told Gulf News though the portal has been launched showing all visa categories, it is not fully operational yet as it is only receiving applications from citizens of five preferred countries.

“Those facing any issues while apply online can still contact Pakistani missions in their respective countries,” he said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced on March 14 this year that citizens of five preferred countries would be able to apply for electronic entry visas to Pakistan through an online portal launched by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) that falls under Ministry of Interior of Pakistan.

Rawal Lake in Islamabad
A woman takes a selfie while riding on a boat at the Rawal Lake in Islamabad, Pakistan. Image for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: REUTERS

Pakistan in January this year had announced new visa regime offering tourist visas to total of 175 nationalities. This includes e-visa on arrival for citizens of 50 countries. The full list is available on the e-portal.

Visa categories

The portal is designed to facilitate the application processes for more than 10 different categories of visas, including visas-on-arrival for tourism or business, visit visas for tourism and visit visas for business.

Visa-on-arrival for tourism

Visas-on-arrival for tourism are for citizens of 50 countries and for nationals of Indian origin travelling to Pakistan for religious tourism purposes. It can be issued for a single-entry and maximum duration of stay of up to 90 days.

Citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE are eligible for a multiple-entry visa for up to 30 days.

WPK_181124 British Backpacker_SJAMAL13
13. Michael meditating and enjoying the beautiful scenery of Pakistan. Photo by BBS

Applications must be submitted no later than 48 hours before a planned trip and must be supported by an invitation letter from a sponsor in Pakistan or a confirmed hotel booking (for individual tourists) or an invitation letter from accredited tour operator in Pakistan (for group tourists).

Upon approval, foreign nationals will be issued an Electronic Travel Authorization via e-mail.

Visa-on-arrival for business

Visas-on-arrival for business are available to citizens of 90 countries. They can be issued for a single-entry with a maximum duration of stay of up to 30 days. Applications must be supported by several documents from a host entity in Pakistan and should be submitted at least 8-10 days before a planned trip. Upon approval, foreign nationals will be issued an Electronic Travel Authorization via e-mail.

Tourist visa

Tourist visas can be applied for by nationals of 175 countries. They can be issued with a validity of up to six months for a single or double-entry and with a maximum allowable duration of stay of up to 90 days. Applications are expected to be processed within 10 business days. Upon approval, foreign nationals will be issued an Electronic Travel Authorization via e-mail.

RDS_181127 Pakistan or Switzerland
Picture tweeted by Pakistan PM Imran Khan Image Credit: Twitter/@ImranKhanPTI

Application process

Foreign nationals must register an account through the NADRA’s electronic portal, complete the visa application form and upload mandatory documents. Government fees ranging from US$8.18 to US$ 100, depending on visa category and nationality of applicant, must be paid with a debit or credit card. Applicants may be required to visit a Pakistani mission for an interview.

Salient features of new visa regime:

e-Visa for 175 countries

Visa on arrival for 50 countries (earlier they were 24)

Business visa for preferred 90 countries (earlier they were 68)

Work visa: Pak Missions to issue visas on recommendation of Board of Investment (BOI)

Family visit: 5 years multiple entry visa in 7-10 working days

Pak Missions to grant 5 years validity and one year stay (multiple) entry visa to foreigners of Pakistani origin and their spouses

Diplomatic visa: Tenure of diplomatic/official assignment

On arrival visa facility of Sikhs who hold Canadian and British Passports

Tablighi (religious groups) visa: 45 days

Missionary visa: 1 year

Student visa: 2 years