The citizens of 50 world countries will soon no longer need to apply for a regular visa to Pakistan. The country has updated its visa policy allowing the citizens of these countries to obtain visas-on-arrival. Electronic visas will also be available to 175 nationalities.

On January 25, the Government of Pakistan announced through a tweet in its official Twitter account that they were introducing a “New Visa Policy” to encourage tourism in the country.

The new revolutionary visa policy includes the increase in the number of countries under the visa-on-arrival policy, from 24 to 50. It also permits IATA approved Tour Operators to bring tourist groups to Pakistan.

Aside of the visa-on-arrival and the e-visa, some other highlights of the new visa policy are as follows:

  • The number of countries the nationals of which can apply for a business visa to Pakistan will increase from 68 to 96 countries
  • Embassies and consulates of Pakistan across the world will issue Work Visas based on the recommendation of the Board of Investment (BOI)
  • Multiple-entry family visit visas valid for 5 years will be issued within a period of 7-10 working days
  • Foreigners of Pakistani origin and their spouses will be able to obtain multiple-entry visas with a validity of 5 years
  • Diplomatic visas and house aide visas will be introduced
  • Tablighi visas will be valid for 45 days
  • Student visas will be valid for two years
  • The validity of missionary visas will be extended to one year

In addition, close cantonments will retain prohibited status and visible signboard will be installed at the restricted areas instead of the whole district or tehsil. With the new policy, the list of the restricted areas will also be revised.

The Pakistani Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry confirmed that the move has been taken in a bid to lure more tourists to Pakistan.

Despite not giving further information on the countries that will benefit on this policy, Minister Chaudhry confirmed that most of the European countries would be able to get a visa-on-arrival.

However, Pakistani journalist Omar Quraishi posted a list of 49 countries, claiming they were the countries the nationals of which would soon be able to get a visa-on-arrival.

These countries are as follows:

  1. Angola
  2. Argentina
  3. Austria
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Bahamas
  6. Bahrain
  7. Barbados
  8. Botswana
  9. Brunei
  10. Costa Rica
  11. Finland
  12. Germany
  13. Ghana
  14. Iceland
  15. Indonesia
  16. Italy
  17. Japan
  18. Jordan
  19. South Korea
  20. Kuwait
  21. Lithuania
  22. Luxembourg
  23. Malaysia
  24. Maldives
  25. Malta
  26. Monaco
  27. Mozambique
  28. Nepal
  29. New Zealand
  30. Oman
  31. Paraguay
  32. Qatar
  33. Rwanda
  34. San Kitts & Nevis
  35. Saint Lucia
  36. Saudi Arabia
  37. Singapore
  38. Spain
  39. Sri Lanka
  40. Tajikistan
  41. Tanzania
  42. Thailand
  43. Tonga
  44. Trinidad & Tobago
  45. Tunisia
  46. Turkey
  47. UAE
  48. Western Samoa
  49. Zambia

Tourism in Pakistan has declined since the 1970s, when Western travelers visited countries of the “hippie trail”, including Pakistan. However, according to the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, in 2017 the number of tourist arrivals increased to 1.75 million.

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