Pakistan: Getting that visa

I don’t need this ordeal!

Three separate trips from where I live to the Shanghai Consulate located 1.5 hrs away and an hour long interview plus several hours waiting in line just to get my hands on the visa. I had a feeling that it will not be easy but this is just too stressful. yes, I had a mini emotional tantrum….I need to get to Pakistan.

Now, it depends on your nationality and type of visa so don’t think that getting a visa to Pakistan is always THIS dramatic. If you are a foreigner living in China, go to the main Pakistani Embassy website and follow the instructions. However, bear in mind that things always change and when preparing for documents, it is always better to bring more.

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Don’t trust what you read on their website since I found out that you need a lot more. In the end, you need the following documents to apply for a tourist visa if you are a foreigner living in China: Printed visa application form filled online, original passport + photocopy, work permit in China original and photocopy, original tour operator letter of invitation, letter from Pakistani Tourist Department,  a letter from your employer dispatch letter signed and stamped with company letterhead detailing that you are their employee and why you are going to Pakistan, bank statement, booked airline tickets and 3 passport photos ( either white or blue background).

On my second attempt, they accepted the documents and since a Muslim holiday and Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival meant a long break, timing is everything.  After paying 294 rmb for the visa, I waited for a week and received my passport in the mail just one day before my actual date of departure. Not fun at all….reminds me of my Indian visa ordeal- sigh!

But at least I’m going to Pakistan!

I think it is unfair that Chinese don’t have to spend a single cent on Pakistani visa.

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 12.08.11 PMBelow are some photos taken at the Consulate which details the cost of visa for various nationalities (October 2016)



Oh yes and for those facing the interview, it really depends on the visa officer. A few Chinese had a 15 minute interview and I guess it was my lucky day to be interviewed for an hour. Questions ranged from the 5 W’s and 1 H to my views on Pakistan and what I want to get out from the trip.