The Directorate General of Immigration & Passports Ministry of Interior is responsible for granting visas to foreigners seeking entrance to Pakistan. Their agency is currently launching MRVs or Machine Readable Visas. They have successfully launched this program in their RPOs or Regional Passport Offices in the following five cities at the Provincial capitals of Pakistan: Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi. This article will discuss the procedure on how to get a work visa in Pakistan.
Applicants can find more information regarding passports, visas, immigration regulations, jobs and contact details from Government offices such as: Directorate General of Immigration & Passports Ministry of Interior. Applicants can visit the Embassy of the Islamic State of Pakistan in DC to speak to someone from the embassy. They can download the visa application form. Embassy offices are closed during holiday hours and a listing of those dates is on the website.
Visa Application & Fees
The Directorate General of Immigration & Passports Ministry of Interior suggests that applicants contact the Jurisdiction of Consular Services to locate the Consulate Office in their state before beginning the visa application process. Applicants can also download the visa fee schedule. All fees are payable in US postal money orders or cashier checks made payable to The Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C. It is requested that applicants do not send cash or personal checks. Applicants should write their name and address on the submitted money orders or cashier checks. All fees submitted are non-refundable.
The Embassy is not responsible for loss of documents which are sent via ordinary or priority mail. Applicants are required to include their passport with the visa application. A self-addressed prepaid USPS express envelope is required if the applicant would like the passport returned. Clearly write out your return address. Currently, it costs $19.95 for a prepaid express envelope. The following is a listing of instructions from the Consulate Office regarding visa fees and the application process.
- US passport holders are required to pay a visa fee of $120 USD. If the payment is made via credit card, there is an additional $4.00 charge.
- The normal visa application processing time is 4 – 6 weeks.
- Nationalities other than the US have different application fee requirements. You can check the fee schedule link listed above for more details.
- Every column on the application must be completed. Incomplete application forms with insufficient entries will not be accepted.
- Extra sheets of paper should be used in case there is insufficient space in the columns provided on the visa form.
- Applicant needs to attach his or her passport to the application.
- Military personnel need to complete an additional form that details the specifics of their job.
- Journalists as well as film, TV and documentary teams need to provide additional information in a secondary form.
- Applicants should include four photographs. The photographs must show the individuals full face, with no hat, helmet or sunglasses on. Individuals who wear vision glasses are permitted to wear them in the photographs.
- Applicants may be required to appear for an interview.
- Applicants need to include a letter from their current employer.
- For applicants who are obtaining a business visa, the application fee is $180 USD for US passport holders.
- The applicant needs to obtain a letter from the company or individual who is sponsoring the business trip.
- Business visa applicants also need to complete an additional application form.
- Business visa applicants are required to provide a recent bank statement confirming funds.
- On arrival, all applicants for work visas should adhere to immigration formalities. Police registration is applicable in certain cases.
Information on the Types of Visas
Applicants are issued work visas for a term of one year based on the recommendation of the BOI or Board of Investment. The visas are extendable on a yearly basis. The BOI processes the visa application. The Visa Committee and Chairman of the BOI then approve the work visa and offer their recommendation to the Ministry of Interior for final authorization. The Ministry of Interior utilizes the advice provided by the BOI—as it regards fresh entry visa application requests—and gives authorization to the RPOs or Regional Passport Offices. Extensions for a term of three months are termed a provisional work visa. Those extensions are recommended by the BOI, but then endorsed by the RPOs rather than the Ministry of Interior.
Accredited journalists are approved for visas for the term of the duration of the assignment with press attachments and verification of their credentials. They are permitted to broadcast in the following cities: Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. However, if they wish to travel to other cities, they need to apply with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Missionary Work Visa
Applications for missionary work of Christian missionaries are processed by the Ministry of Interior. Missionaries who want to open a new mission or strengthen an existing one, which is engaged in evangelizing undertakings, are not granted entry visas. Missionary applicants need to complete all of the visa requirements mentioned above in addition to the following.
- Include two photographs rather than four.
- Include a letter from a Missionary Organization verifying authentic membership and that the organization takes complete responsibility for the maintenance, lodging and return journey of the applicant.
- Completed declaration that the applicant will respect the laws of Pakistan and that he or she will not indulge in internal politics.
- Include bio-data for the last ten years
- Copies of their degree certificates (with English translation)
- Authorization letter from the organization in Pakistan who invited the missionary to come to the country.
- Listing of the details confirming the specifics of the person who the missionary applicant is replacing.
Applicants who wish to work in the country as a housemaid or domestic worker must obtain prior approval of the Ministry of Interior. All of the same documents are requested for this worker. However, these individuals also need to include confirmation from the foreign mission in Pakistan regarding the proposed employment by the employer. They need to provide an employment contract on stamp paper, which is signed by the employee and employer as well as two witnesses.
Business applicants are authorized to receive a visa which is valid for a term of five years. However, the duration of each stay is only permitted for three months. There are 66 countries which are listed on the BVL or Business Visa List and foreigners from those countries are granted a visa within 24 hours. These applicants need to follow the previously mentioned general requirements but also must include a recommendation letter from the Commerce Department of the foreigners country. An invitation letter is needed stating the solicitation from the business organization recommended by the specific trade organization or association in Pakistan.
In order to obtain a work visa in Pakistan, it is important to adhere to regulations established by the government. This article shared the various links for the government website information. There are application fees and applicants need to ascertaining which category of visa they are applying for.
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