Because I’ve been to Pakistan three times from India and vlogged the entire trip, a common question I get from Indians is, “How can I visit Pakistan?”
Many Indians are interested in visiting what used to be part of India. And likewise, Pakistanis are inquisitive about going to India – when I was there many asked me what India is like.
Can Indians Get Tourist VISAs for Pakistan?
The short answer is no.
Indians are only eligible for business, pilgrim or visitor visas to Pakistan.
The business visa is for business activities – for example, Royal Enfield manufacture products in Pakistan so they would get a business visa to visit the manufacturing plants.
The pilgrim visa allows Indians to visit 15 sites in Pakistan for religious tourism.
The visitor visa is granted if you have close family members or friends in Pakistan and you can only visit a maximum of 5 cities for 3 months.
While the pilgrim visa sounds easy, it’s not guaranteed, and according to reports, Pakistanis have had their requests rejected when they wanted to visit India as pilgrims. Unfortunately, visa policy is usually tit-for-tat so such denials will likely limit Indians wanting to visit Pakistan for pilgrimage too.
Why Can’t Indians or Pakistanis Get Tourist VISAs?
It’s to do with India and Pakistan’s relationship. Their relationship has been plagued by hostility and suspicion since partition. Until that changes, it’ll be difficult to travel to each other’s countries.
Both countries are paranoid about each others’ citizens being spies.
Visa agreements are reciprocal. Pakistanis can only get the same visas available to Indians. For full information, see the India-Pakistan Visa Agreement, 2012.
Your Only Real Option to Visit Pakistan
All Indians and OCI cardholders can visit a small slice of Pakistan with the Kartarpur Corridor. I’ve written a full FAQ on how to visit Kartarpur.
Update: Many people are commenting asking how they can visit their Pakistani friends. You can try for a visitor visa, if that fails then you also have the option of meeting in the UAE.
Misinformation Online About VISAs
An Official Pakistan Government website says, “Tourist Visa: A non-extendable tourist visa valid for 14 days is issued by Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi” This is out of date, and the information is not valid anymore, we called the Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi and verified that.
Let’s hope that one day this agreement gets updated, and Indians and Pakistanis can enjoy each other’s countries! The more we meet each other and realise we are brothers, the better the relationship will become.
Can Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) get a VISA for Pakistan?
NRIs have a much easier time getting a visa for Pakistan!
They can at least apply with their reason for wanting to visit Pakistan. If the immigration officer is satisfied with the purpose of a visit, they’ll be issued an appropriate visa.
If you want to read more about that process, visit your country’s Pakistan High Commission website. Or check out the High Commission for Pakistan (Wellington) website for information on that process in New Zealand.
Who to Contact for More Information?
For travel to Pakistan from India call the High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (New Delhi) +91 11 2611 0601.
For travel to India from Pakistan call the High Commission of India (Islamabad) +92 51 2833292 or +92 51 2833282.