To promote tourism in the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government have presented a new revamped visa policy. The new visa regime will uplift the dying tourism industry in the country and help Pakistan tackle withering economic conditions.
Imran Khan was always vocal about the tourism potential of Pakistan and was of the view that the country can earn billions in revenue through this sector. After coming in power, he reinstated his opinion several times. Even Mahathir Muhammad of Malaysia advised him to boost the tourism in Pakistan. However, there were hurdles related to cumbersome, lengthy and repellent visa policy.
The government has extended the visa on arrival, electronic visa services to citizens of many countries. Moreover, the process of getting a business visa has also been made easier and swift. The salient features of the new visa policy are:
- Citizens of 50 countries can enjoy on-arrival visas.
- There is no need to stand in long ques and visit an embassy or consulate. Facility of e-visa is announced for 175 countries
- Business Visas for 96 countries.
- Tourist group visa
- The government has allowed tourists to travel cross-border without any prior permission.
- No NoC is needed to travel in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
- No NoC is needed for traveling in Gilgit Baltistan.
- By getting a visa, you are free to roam everywhere in Pakstan except the military installations and sensitive areas.
- In Kashmir, tourists can roam everywhere near LoC.
- Open e-visa regime for Indian national and NRIs’
- Foreigner tourists are even allowed to cantonment areas
- Pak Missions abroad to issue work visas on the recommendation of BOI
- If you have a family in Pakistan, five years multiple entry visa will be given to you in 7-10 working days.
- Pak Missions abroad will issue 5 years validity and one year stay multiple entry visa to foreigners of Pakistani origin and their spouses
- 1-year missionary visa
- 45 days Tablighi visa
- 02 years student visa which can be extended after the written application by the educational institute
With the new policy, the PTI government lifted the visa restrictions and has opened Pakistan for the world. The government aims to facilitate visitors by all means and want them to explore Pakistan and covey the true softer image of the country contrary to what international media report.
The country has a remarkable culture and heritage which will entice the foreigners to visit Pakistan. Forbes has listed Pakistan among the top coolest destination to visit in 2019. Pakistan has everything from Punjab plains to 8 thousander mountains. Tourists can explore the North of Pakistan and Kashmir which have scenic views compared to no other region in the world. Pakistan has beaches and all four climates which make the country a perfect spot for vacations.
Last year 1.75 million visitors came to Pakistan, according to the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation
Moreover, with the new visa policy, Pakistan wants to maximize the tourists coming in Pakistan due to religious reasons. Things are changing for Pakistan, many countries have changed the travel advisories on Pakistan. The new visa regime of Pakistan is historic, and we had never seen such a pleasant and welcoming visa policy in the country before.