Pakistan Work Permit and Visa 2024 – Cost, Eligibility, Application, Processing time, etc

Pakistan, a country with a rich cultural heritage, diverse landscapes, and a burgeoning economy, attracts individuals from around the world for professional opportunities, business ventures, or personal exploration. Understanding the Pakistan work permit and visa process is essential for those looking to contribute to its dynamic workforce, engage in entrepreneurial pursuits, or experience the warmth of its hospitality. In this article, we will guide you through the steps necessary to obtain legal permission to work and reside in this South Asian nation.

However, the process of obtaining a Pakistan work permit and visa involves several steps. Initially, foreign nationals are required to secure a job offer from a Pakistani employer. The employer then applies for a work permit on behalf of the foreign worker through the Board of Investment (BOI). Once the work permit is approved, the foreign national can apply for a work visa at a Pakistani embassy or consulate in their home country.

Overall, it’s important to note that the requirements and procedures can vary depending on the foreign worker’s country of origin and the nature of the work they will be doing in Pakistan. Therefore, it’s advisable for foreign nationals to thoroughly research and understand the process before initiating their applications. This will help to ensure a smooth transition and successful integration into the Pakistani workforce.

Types of Work Permits and Visas in Pakistan

Pakistan provides various types of permits and visas to accommodate different purposes and durations:

  1. Work Visa: The Work Visa is a fundamental requirement for foreign nationals seeking employment in Pakistan. It is typically linked to a specific job and employer.
  2. Business Visa: The Business Visa is suitable for individuals intending to visit Pakistan for business-related activities, such as meetings, negotiations, or exploring potential business opportunities.
  3. Investor Visa: Entrepreneurs and investors looking to make significant financial contributions to Pakistan can apply for an Investor Visa.
  4. Employment of Foreigners Regulations: Pakistan has specific regulations governing the employment of foreign nationals, and adherence to these regulations is crucial for obtaining legal work status.

Pakistan Visa Application Process

  1. Job Offer or Business Engagement: To apply for a Work Visa or Business Visa, securing a job offer from a Pakistani employer or establishing a business engagement is a critical initial step.
  2. Legal Representation: Foreign nationals often engage the services of a legal representative in Pakistan, such as a lawyer or a designated individual, to assist with the application process.
  3. Gather Required Documents: Commonly required documents for work permits and visas in Pakistan include a valid passport, proof of financial means, a job offer letter or business plan, health records, and a police clearance certificate.
  4. Permit or Visa Application: Submit your permit or visa application, along with all necessary documents, to the Pakistani embassy or consulate in your home country. Alternatively, your employer or business partners in Pakistan may assist with the application process.
  5. Preliminary Approval: Pakistani authorities will review your application, considering factors such as your qualifications, the job market, and the economic impact of your presence in the country.
  6. Medical Examination: Depending on the type of permit and your circumstances, you may be required to undergo a medical examination in Pakistan.
  7. Wait for Approval: Processing times can vary, so it’s crucial to be patient while waiting for final approval from Pakistani authorities.
  8. Travel to Pakistan: Once your permit or visa is approved, you can travel to Pakistan and commence your work, business, or other activities. Additionally,  registration and immigration procedures will be necessary upon arrival.
  9. Renew or Extend: Be aware of the expiration date on your permit or visa and be prepared to renew or extend it if necessary to continue your legal stay in Pakistan.

How long does it take to obtain a work visa in Pakistan?

The processing time for a work visa in Pakistan can vary. According to the official website of the Government of Pakistan Ministry of Interior, the processing times for Pakistan work visas are outlined as follows:

  • 48 hours (working days) for first-time entry.
  • 24 hours (working days) for first-time entry for the Reko Diq Project.
  • 4 weeks (working days) for visa extension.

However, it’s important to note that these are general guidelines and the actual processing time may vary depending on individual circumstances. Also, it’s always a good idea to apply well in advance of your planned departure date to allow for any potential delays in the processing of your application.


Can I apply for a work permit without a job offer?

According to the information available, to apply for a work visa in Pakistan, you must have a valid job offer from a Pakistani employer. The employer then applies for a work permit on your behalf through the Board of Investment (BOI). Therefore, it appears that you cannot apply for a work permit in Pakistan without a job offer.

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