Although getting a visa for Pakistan can be notoriously difficult in some countries, getting a Pakistan visa extension in Lahore is markedly easier. Here’s our quick guide on getting a Pakistan visa extension in Lahore.
So you’ve traveled around Pakistan for several weeks, you’ve realized how insanely awesome it is to travel the country, and you’re not ready to leave, even though your visa is expiring. Now what?
It’s time to extend your visa, of course!
Visas can be extended in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad, but we’ve heard the visa office in Lahore is the easiest place to get an extension.
Note that this only applies for paper visas that are in your passport. If you made use of the new e-visa system, you can apply for an extension online.
Finding the Passport Office in Lahore
To get a Pakistan visa extension in Lahore, head over to the Passport Office in New Garden Town. The cost of getting there depends on where you are; we recommend using Careem or Uber to save yourself being ripped off by rickshaw drivers. The visa section is open from 8:30 – 13:00 Monday till Thursday, and 11:30 – 13:00 on Friday.
The office is behind a road blockade and a big green gate with a security guard watching the door. Officially, you’re not supposed to carry cameras inside, but the guards were pretty lax about it most days.
The entry hall is a bit of a mess, but the visa section is easy to find. Just go in, loop around to the right, and go up the stairs in the back corner marked with a sign for foreigners.
Requirements for a Pakistan visa extension in Lahore
To apply for a Pakistan visa extension, you need the following:
- A new visa application form (available at the visa office)
- One passport size photo
- A copy of your passport information page, current visa, and entry stamp
- The details of your sponsor or LOI provider
When you fill out the form, follow the same guidelines as you did to apply for your visa. Avoid mention of visiting places like Peshawar. Feel free to say you’re flying out. And don’t worry about India visits—we’d spent the previous 9 months in India, told the officer we’d be going back in a few weeks, and still there was no issue.
If you have a visit visa, meaning you received your letter of invitation from a local, it might help if you bring your sponsor with you. We went with another friend who was not our sponsor, and we were told it’s not always possible to extend visit visas. Luckily, our friend managed to sweet talk the officer, and he relented. You shouldn’t encounter such issues with a tourist visa.
Paying for the Pakistan visa extension in Lahore
The price of a visa extension depends on your nationality. We paid:
- UK citizen: 85 GBP / 11,560 Rs
- EU citizen: 60 EUR / 7,560 Rs
To pay for the extension, visit any National Bank of Pakistan branch, head to the cash payments window, and ask for visa payment. If they’re confused, tell them it’s a payment for the passport office. The clerk will give you a green form to be filled out in triplicate.
On the form, fill in your passport number where it asks for a CNIC number. Pay the clerk to finalize your visa payment.
Once you’ve made the payment, head back to the visa office with the payment slip to prove you’ve paid for the extension.
How long it takes to get a Pakistan visa extension in Lahore
Although we heard stories of people getting their extension in one day, getting a six month extension, and getting two new entries, we were told Islamabad has recently tightened the extension process rules, and that those aren’t possible anymore.
We were told we’d only get an extension for the duration of our current visa (45 days), and only one re-entry. It would also take two weeks for the process to be done. Apparently there is a new person in charge, and they are less lax than the previous official. However, if you’re friendly but insistent (or have a Pakistani friend with you), it should be possible to get it done in a day or two so long as it’s during the week and there are no holidays. In the end, we got a 130 day re-entry visit visa instead of the 45 days we were told we would get.
Traveling while waiting for a Pakistan visa extension in Lahore
Remember that it’s very difficult to travel around in Pakistan without your passport. Checkpoints on highways will likely turn you away, or even take you to the police station if you can’t produce your passport on request. If you’re a dual citizen, we’ve also been told that officials do not take kindly to learning you have two passports, and have left one in the office while you travel around.
Make sure to have ample copies of your information, visa, and entry stamp pages, and don’t plan on traveling too far while your passport is at the passport office. Lahore has plenty to offer for the trapped traveler, never fear.
There you have it, a quick guide on getting a Pakistan visa extension in Lahore. Let us know in the comments if anything has changed!