How To Get An Online Tourist Visa For Pakistan 🇵🇰
The more I travel, the more countries I swallow, the harder it all gets. That’s the way it goes. It doesn’t get easier. Don’t kid yourself. The reason for this uphill struggle is that usually the toughest visas to get are the ones left until later in the journey. Or that laws change. I’ve already posted all my previous visa applications on here, and many of these will have changed over the time when I first started this blog, in August 2007 (a month where I required visas for Canada, USA, New Zealand, China, Russia and Belarus).
I am no different. I backpacked the easy ones first. My first 10 countries were all in Europe and visa free. Gifted back then.
My Previous Visa Articles
My Previous Visa Articles on Don’t Stop Living can be found here, and I’m constantly trying to add to them.
- How to get a North Korea visa
- How to get a Mongolia visa in Warszawa
- How to get an Ivory Coast visa
- How to get a Bahrain visa at Muharraq Island
- How to get a Suriname visa in Venezuela
- How to get a Suriname visa in French Guyana
- How to get an Ethiopia visa at Addis Ababa Airport
- How to get an Iraq visa at Erbil Airport
- How to get an East Timor visa at Dili Airport
- How to get a Jordan visa at Amman International Airport
- How to get a Kuwait visa at Kuwait International Airport
- How to get an Iran visa in Trabzon, Turkey
- How to get a Kaliningrad Visa While Based in Gdansk, Poland
- How to get an authorisation code for an Iran visa
- How to get a China visa in Hong Kong
- How to get a China visa at Beijing Airport
- How to get a Myanmar visa in Hong Kong
- How to get a Vietnam visa in Hong Kong
- How to get a Bangladesh visa in Hong Kong
- How to get an Azerbaijan visa in Georgia
- How to get a visa for Nagorno Karabakh
- How to get a Qatar visa at Doha Airport
- How to get an Indonesia visa at Denpasar Airport
- How to get an Indonesia visa at Jakarta Airport
- How to get a Hong Kong Working Holiday Visa
- How to get a Hong Kong Working Visa
- How to Get an Australian Working Holiday Visa
- How to Get a Second Australian Working Holiday Visa
- How to get a Visa for Gorno Badakhshan in Bishkek
- How to get a Visa for Tajikistan in Bishkek
- How to get a Tanzania visa on arrival in Kilimanjaro
- How to get a Sri Lanka visa online
- How to get a Letter of Invitation for Uzbekistan
- How to get an Uzbekistan Visa in Bishkek
- How to get a Mongolia Visa in Warsaw
- How to Get a Kaliningrad Visa in Gdansk
- (Old post – not necessarily true any more – How to get a Turkish visa on arrival at Istanbul airport)
- How to get an Antarctica visa (tongue firmly in cheek)
- How To Get A Haiti Visa On Arrival At Port-Au-Prince Airport
- How To Get A Mauritania Visa On Arrival At Nouakchott International Airport
- How To Get An Immigration Pass For The Dominican Republic (Another Visa In Disguise)
So far my biggest visa challenges were Bangladesh, Suriname, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. Plus the idea of “evisas” does certainly NOT make things easier. Again, don’t believe they are easier online. It usually makes things excruciatingly more annoying. At least in many of my cases. I hate filling in online forms and uploading documents. Yet I love filling in actual paper forms using a pen and visiting embassies to get a visa issued. I visited actual embassies many times on my journeys, face to face is king. Bangladesh, Algeria, China, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Suriname, Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Myanmar…the list goes on. Below I’m in Turkey finally securing a visa to backpack Iran away.
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have pressed upload for photos and documents only for them to be rejected and my visa refused. Recent examples of this are Mozambique, Malawi and The Seychelles. All deadly to get online, at least for someone like me who hates online forms and especially rejected photo uploads. Yet face to face and in embassies the world over, we are looking gift horses in the mouths.
Pakistan was the last of my FIFA Stans. It took me a long time to get this visa. Indeed in the intervening years, I backpacked its border mates. China (2007 – 2014), Iran (2013), Afghanistan (2016), India (2016). Pakistan used to be embassy only visa and for a long term overland whackpacker that should have been easy in those days. It could have been but I was often passing by fast or on route to somewhere. Things never really fitted my itinerary with Pakistan so it was constantly byballed.
Here in September 2023, the time came. Finally. Not including “The Middle East” (which is neither middle nor east), Pakistan🇵🇰 was one of my last 4 countries in mainland Asia to visit. The others are Nepal🇳🇵, Tibet and Bhutan 🇧🇹. Islandwise, I still missed Hainan, Palau, BIOT and The Maldives. I discovered that you can get a Pakistan visa online now with a Northern Irish passport(Irish/British) and so I researched how to do it. It was time to finally backpack Lahore, Karachi, Shadarah Bagh and the Famous Border Ceremony At Wagah.
Getting an Online Visa For Pakistan
First of all, I researched how to get an online visa for Pakistan. There is only one website you should use – the OFFICIAL website. There might be agencies and other websites that can help you get the visa, or get the visa for you but I went straight to the official website. Once on there, you need to register an account with them using your email address. After that is sorted, log in and start the visa procedure.
Go to this link to register – The Official Pakistan Visa Website!
Then you click on the link – Pakistan Tourist Visa
Documents needed for the Tourist Visa for Pakistan
You will need to have your itinerary for Pakistan so that includes flights, hotels, tours, and the tricky one – the letter of invitation. You will need to fill in all your travel history and work history. You will also need to fill in all the details they ask for on this lengthy application form.
You can apply for two types of visas online :
First Time (New) : You can apply for a new visa if you do not possess a valid Pakistan visa.
Extension : You can apply for a visa extension if you posses a valid Pakistan visa and you are residing in Pakistan.
I was applying on a Northern Irish passport for a first time tourist visa. I had never been to Pakistan before and I was abroad at the time (I applied from Poland).
- Hotel booking Details
- Letter Of Invitation
It sounded to me that you only needed those 4 things but it turned out to be a lot more.
Getting The Letter Of Invitation (LOI) for Pakistan
I was surprised that you need a letter of invitation to visit Pakistan. Of course I got that a few times before for other countries – Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea etc. but with Pakistan, nobody was inviting me and I wasn’t actually going on any tours, you don’t need to. To get this LOI (Letter Of Invitation), just follow my advice and email Lost Horizon Treks And Tours. I paid them $100 US Dollars and on the same day they issued me with a Letter of Invitation for Pakistan. Halfway there. YOU can definitely find that for free or for cheaper but I was in a rush and I knew this company were trusted as their name came up regularly in the travel blogging world – plus as a travel blogger I knew they would issue me with it no problem. Full details are here.
What’s App/Phone – 0092331-8981244
On that website, it writes this –
Once you have emailed them and paid for the LOI (Letter Of Invitation), this is where it got quite strange to me. They email you the LOI – The Letter Of Invitiation along with a load of other documents, which includes PRIVATE ID documents from Pakistani citizens. A little weird and odd but on this occasion, I had no time to waste and needed my visa asap so I’d send all documents with my application to make sure I got it. The amount of times I’ve had visa refusals in the past told me to do this. Even after that, I still thought this visa would be refused! When you get the LOI, it is in a PDF. I printed mine. It looks like this –
Submitting Your Pakistan Evisa Application
Now you have your LOI, it’s time to submit your application. Before you have submitted your visa, your screen will look this this below and it will have the status as “Not Submitted”. It will show your email address in the top left corner of the screen when you are logged in.
Then it is time to fill in all the details. This is heavy. They want ALL your job history (I had over 50 jobs so this was huge), they wanted my parents full passport details and addresses, they want ALL your travel history for the last 3 years (I had been to over 50 countries in the last 3 years so this was a huge list). That was the hardest part for sure. As you fill each part in, the application bar will still be in “Not Submitted” but each bar fills up. There are 9 parts to fill in, it’s long, tedious and monotonous –
4.Finances And Employment
6.Visit Info (you have to put where you plan to visit – ridiculous question so I just put Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad).
7.Documents (you have to upload your passport photo, your passport, your LOI and all the other documents that came with the LOI – this is a slow process and my passport photo was rejected about 10 times – you need patience!)
8.Review (check it all)
Paying For the Pakistan Visa
Once you have everything filled in and uploaded, and check it is time to pay. I paid online using a debit card (even though it wrote “credit card”) and the price was $35 US Dollars. The money was taken straight away and then we are playing a waiting game. Your screen will have a green bar and it will have written in English that you have paid.
Waiting For Confirmation Of The Pakistan Visa
Once you have sent your visa application, it is a waiting game. The website states that it can take up to 14 days to confirm or reject the visa. I was very nervous this time as I was due to leave for Pakistan in 10 days time. I didn’t have the luxury of 14 days to wait. When you log in to the Pakistan Evisa portal, your existing visa application will now show as “in-process” as opposed to “not submitted”.
While you are waiting, you can still log in to your account and check the status of your application. I did this many times, paranoid and refresh button loyal. Finally on the Friday morning, 3 days later I received an email containing my visa and confirming my Pakistan visa application was successful!! When you log in to the portal, it then lists your visa as “granted”.
Once My visa was granted, I downloaded it and printed it along with all my documents – flights in, hotels, LOI, flights out, internal flights and the visa grant notice itself (below).
I also saved the PDF to my phone and laptop and printed my visa ready for the trip to Pakistan, where I’d land in Lahore and fly out of Karachi. I was ready to go!
And so yes I got my Pakistan visa. On arrival in Lahore, I merely got a stamp on my passport rather than a flashy proper visa sticker with a photograph.
You can read my articles about backpacking Pakistan here.