Travelers from 24 countries can now obtain a visa on arrival in Pakistan. Tourists will simply need to meet an immigration officer on arrival and fill out a short form in order to obtain a Pakistan visa.
The Pakistan visa is valid for 30 days and allows visitors to enter multiple times. The visa is available to citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Belgium, Austria, Korea, Portugal, Singapore, Thailand, and Luxembourg.
African, South American, and Middle-eastern countries, among others, are not included in the list. The list is mainly comprised of western countries and Asian countries.
Mukhtar Ali Pakistan Tourism and Development Corporation (PTDC) said: “We have focused on tourist-generating countries based on our statistics and the majority come from the West and elsewhere. A large number of them are those that seek mountaineering and adventure tourism."
“This policy was issued with consultation of all stakeholders. It was done in 2007 also but the deteriorating law and order situation impacted the policy which was reversed and a case-to-case visa grant procedure was applied. But the situation has changed now.” Said Ali.
Tourism on the rise in Pakistan
Ali said tourism has been increasing over recent years but the influx has jumped significantly over the last year. In 2017, an estimated 1.7 million tourists visited Pakistan, 200,000 more than the previous year.
Abdul Ghafoor, Managing Director of PTDC, said: “In 2017, the tourism industry made a real difference to the lives of millions of people by driving growth, creating jobs, reducing poverty and fostering development.” The World Tourism Organisation has also come forward to promote tourism in Pakistan.
“This is a positive step in the right direction as Pakistan’s natural beauty and hospitality is famous among international tourists. Visa facilitation will encourage more foreigners to visit which will boost the economy, ” said Najam Ul Hassan, the Director of tour company Karakorum Adventures.
The tourism in Pakistan represents roughly 7% of Pakistan’s GDP.
Pakistan is also issuing a 30-day single-entry visa on arrival for business purposes. The Pakistan visa is available to citizens of 68 countries, including many Middle-Eastern countries. A letter of invitation from a Pakistani business is required to obtain the visa.
Tourists can contact an immigration officer on the helpline (+92 51 111-345-786) in case of any queries, problems, or complaints.