March 31, 2011
Effective immediately, Pakistan has revised its immigration policy so that it is no longer possible for foreign national employees to arrive in Pakistan for work purposes using a business visa. Instead, a work visa must be obtained from the Pakistan diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of residence or nationality. Additionally, a Business Visa List of 66 countries authorized to obtain business visas valid for five years has been created.
Work visas are issued by Pakistani diplomatic missions (Embassies and Consulates) abroad on the recommendation of the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Ministry of the Interior, and are valid for one year with multiple entries. Work visas can be extended if assignments are extended.
Previously, it was possible to arrive in Pakistan with a business visa and convert to work visa post arrival, and this was the route that many foreign national employees took, in order to arrive in the country more expeditiously. The change will increase average processing time, although at this stage it is hard to say how much additional time will be needed – processing time for the work visa is likely to vary depending on the consulate.
Business Visa List
Additionally, a Business Visa List of 66 countries authorized to obtain business visas valid for five years has been created. Duration of each stay must be no longer than three months. In order to obtain the five year visa, the applicant must provide a recommendation letter from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in their home country; or an invitation letter from the Pakistani entity, authenticated by the relevant trade organization/association in Pakistan; or a recommendation letter from the Honorary Investment Consul or Commercial Attaché at the Pakistani diplomatic mission abroad. The 66 countries are as follows:
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Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader
This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM correspondent office in Pakistan to provide this GLOBAL Brief to you.