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 part of India. And likewise, Pakistanis are inquisitive about going to India – when I was there many asked me what India is like (I’ve answered that question).
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 pilgrim VISA allows Indians to visit 15 sites in Pakistan for religious tourism – they will be given a visitor visa. 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 Indians and according to reports, Pakistanis have had their requests rejected.
Why Can’t Indians or Pakistanis Get Tourist VISAs?
It’s to do with India and Pakistans 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. Even I faced an issue with the Intelligence Bureau watching me while I was in Pakistan – and I have a New Zealand passport.
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.
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“Tourist Visa: A non-extendable tourist visa valid for 14 days is issued by Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi” This out of date and the information is not valid anymore, we called the Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi and verified that.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.