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  #1  
Old 21 Sep 2007
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Visa problem, Pakistan

We were (are) planning to start off in a couple of weeks to go Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-India, 2-up with bike. As instructed, we sent our (Finnish) passports and visa applications to their embassy in Stockholm, that is 2 weeks ago today.

After receiving the applications, they first emailed us to ask for our flight tickets & hotel reservations. I replied, that we do not have flight tickets while we plan to travel overland, and we dont have hotel reservations either, because we dont want to book hotels, before we have our visas and know the exact dates.

Now we received the following information from them:
"The Embassy has received the requested documents. Your case has been
processed and the counsellor has refered your applications to
authorities concerned in Pakistan. Considering the fact that you intend to travel
overland on motorcycle and the situation in Pakistan, it is important
for your own safety to get the approval from Pakistan. This means it will
take some more time for us to issue the visas. It is difficult to say how
long, it usually takes up to several weeks."
So, the process which was supposed to normally take a couple of weeks maximum, is now going to take - who knows, how long? Cant help it, but Im beginning to wonder, if theres a possibility tha they´ll actually reject our application - havent ever heard there being any problem before with our nationality, but I guess few people from here ever visit the country. If that turned out to be the case, it would have to be because of the situation in the country, and not because of where we are from. Or if we will get visas, just how long wait were looking at. Meanwhile, we should also get visas to Iran and India, so all in all, this is getting a bit complicated.

Following this board however, travellers seem to be going thru Pakistan more or less all the time (at least until now).

I knew the situation was likely to get worse, with the coming elections and all, but this is still a bit surprising. Looks like our start will be delayed at best, or if there really is now problem to even get a visa, then I guess were going to have to go back to the drawing board.

Anyone else had problems getting a visa to Pakistan just lately? And if so, how long did it take you to get it? Is there anything else I can do, than just wait to hear from them?

Last edited by pecha72; 21 Sep 2007 at 14:37. Reason: add text
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  #2  
Old 22 Sep 2007
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This is indeed a surprise, even a shock. Last year I got two visas in Germany inside a week, incl. postage time. I was unable to get a new visa in Turkey, as my govt. refused to give me the required letter of non-objection. See my posting elsewhere.

Worse, you will hit the same problem going back, meaning you will be stuck on the Indian subcontinent.

Suggestion? Perhaps do what I did and go from Iran to the Arabian peninsula instead. It's the right time of the year and it's phantastic. I managed to get a 2-week visa on the way back, which is easily extended in Quetta.

Indian visas start ticking the day they are issued and are NOT extendable. Plan carefully.
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  #3  
Old 22 Sep 2007
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Hi,
I got my visa for Pakistan here in Ireland it took 6 days to go through,
they did ask me where i was staying I said was traveling by moto so not sure,
he then wanted to see carnet de passage they took a copy of it and then he said just pick a hotel that you might stay in, so I opened up my Lonely Planet guide book at Lahore and picked a hotel put it down as where i intented to stay and that was it, 6 days later picked up the visa for 3 months. I managed to get Iranian visa in 1 day got it for 60days tourist visa as for my Indian one again took 6 days just picked it up on last thurs its a 6 month tourist visa.
I called into all the embassies concerned and done it all face to face.
hope it helps
regards
joe
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  #4  
Old 22 Sep 2007
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ok, its good to hear youve got it with no problems! I hope were not paying for being "too" honest here, because even on the application form there is the question, where do you intend to stay in Pak, and had we just put some (any) town/hotel into that, who knows - maybe they wouldnt have started thinking about the whole thing in the first place! Well, thats not possible anymore, so guess I´ll just have to wait and see how it goes.

I actually talked to the lady at the embassy yesterday, and she said (though couldnt be 100% sure), that its likely that we will get the visas, at least she hasnt heard about them refusing any from our country, but couldnt tell how long wait this is going to be.
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  #5  
Old 22 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
ok, its good to hear youve got it with no problems! I hope were not paying for being "too" honest here, because even on the application form there is the question, where do you intend to stay in Pak, and had we just put some (any) town/hotel into that, who knows - maybe they wouldnt have started thinking about the whole thing in the first place! Well, thats not possible anymore, so guess I´ll just have to wait and see how it goes.

I actually talked to the lady at the embassy yesterday, and she said (though couldnt be 100% sure), that its likely that we will get the visas, at least she hasnt heard about them refusing any from our country, but couldnt tell how long wait this is going to be.
Pecha,
I'd say you'll get it no problem,
cant see why not.
Have you talked to the Iranian and Indian embasies yet,
as I was in the Indian embassies appling for mine
the fella in front of me got his visa in two days after
telling them a story about a his lost passport,
it all works out in the end.
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  #6  
Old 22 Sep 2007
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Yes, maybe its a bit far fetched that they wouldnt issue them, why would that be, and also when others, like you, have got it no problem... its just a bit annoying, now that we dont know how long it´ll take. Next week Im going to call the embassy every day, hope they have a long patience.. and perhaps they even have some way to make things happen more quickly.

We´ve applied for Iran, should get confirmation early next week, then its a matter of bringing our passports to their embassy, which is luckily here in Helsinki, wont take more than 15 minutes there, they said. Indian visa we can also get from here, *should* take about 5 working days.

Ive got the carnet, so these 3 visas is all we need to get going.
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  #7  
Old 22 Sep 2007
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pakistani visa

hi pecha,
i'm donato italian traveller. i had your same trouble with the pakistani bureaucrazy. i went to the embassy in italy on last may to get a visa. they asks me fly ticket hotel booking and others bullshits, ive replyed i'm going there by bike. the man look at me and say: you go by bike? in this case it will takes from 4 to 6 weeks to get an answer. i left italy on july 28 without any answer! i was in tehran to the pakistan embassy, asking 4 visa once again. they ask me a presentation letter from the italian embassy. i went there asking 4 the letter, but the man who spokes to me tell me: for our foreign ministry pakistan is it an unsafe area, we cannot take any responsability for you. no letter, no visa. solution: went to the tehran airport
got a deal with a local shipping agent, and carry me and my byke on the same plane for mumbay. 470euro 4 the bike(all inclusive) and 157 for my flyticket. 2 days at the airport to arrange the shipping procedure, and then go to india. now i'm in delhi my trip is coming to the end, and i'm waiting to
start the shipping procedure on the wayback 4 the bike, then next friday back 2 home.
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Old 23 Sep 2007
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(american) Also trying to get from Turkey/Iran/Pakistan/India

Thanks for all this great information. I am in Germany in the midst of trying to get these visas which obviously are harder for americans. I am intrigued by the idea of trying to fly the bike from Istanbul(?) to Mumbai, after hearing the brilliant solution of our Italian poster.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how else to get this way?

We are planning on trying to go door to door to the Indian, Pakistani and Iran embassies in one of the big capitals. Any hints on whether Prague, Vienna, Berlin or elsewhere would be easiest?

Also for the Iran visa there are tourist agencies in Iran and other places like London that help you get your visa. We were given the name of the one in Tehran by the Iranian embassy in Brussels: touranzamin.com

Many thanks,
kevin & clara
(trying to go round the world, motomoments.blogspot.com)
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  #9  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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Got the visas today!!

phew.. it wasnt such a long wait afterall! Our passports were returned today with Pak visas valid for 3 months after issue, max stay 1 month. The whole process, including sending to Sweden, and sending them back, took 20 days.

Weve been told were also cleared for Iran, now just take the passports there, and then apply for India, that should take some days.. and then we´re ready to go!!
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Old 27 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin&clara View Post
Any hints on whether Prague, Vienna, Berlin or elsewhere would be easiest?
hi, i got the visas as austrian in Vienna, Austria.
No problems at all, when you have time ;-)
  • Iran: 2 weeks after filing the visa application, you can bring your passport,1 week more and you have your visa stamped. Single entry - guilty:3 months - 30 days - €60.-
  • Pakistan: it tooks 9 days. Double entry - guilty 6 months - 30 days each stay - €72.-
  • India: same day, morning you bring the passport - afternoon you get it back. Multiple entry - guilty 6 months - 6 months - €50.-
  • Nepal: 10 minutes ;-) guilty 6 months - 30 days - €40.-
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  #11  
Old 27 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
Weve been told were also cleared for Iran, now just take the passports there, and then apply for India, that should take some days.. and then we´re ready to go!!
hi pekka,
great to hear, that it finally worked!!!
I get started tomorrow.Wanna cross slowly Austria and Slovenia to come to Venice, where i wanna take a ferry to Igoumenitsa, Greece.
see you on the road
Helmut
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Old 2 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
phew.. it wasnt such a long wait afterall! Our passports were returned today with Pak visas valid for 3 months after issue, max stay 1 month. The whole process, including sending to Sweden, and sending them back, took 20 days.

Weve been told were also cleared for Iran, now just take the passports there, and then apply for India, that should take some days.. and then we´re ready to go!!
Hi Pekka,
Great news, I am just outside Bari Italy about to boat across to Greece tomorrow, should be in Turkey in about eight days.
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Old 3 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the celt View Post
Hi Pekka,
Great news, I am just outside Bari Italy about to boat across to Greece tomorrow, should be in Turkey in about eight days.
Hi, we´ll be in Germany Oct 11th, then go quickly to Thessaloniki, Greece. Will probably ride thru Serbia & Macedonia so not have to take the boat from Italy. That should be more than 90% motorway, so it should take us 4-5 days. Maybe we spend a couple of nights in Thessaloniki to fit new tyres, etc.

Heading to Turkey, we have 2 options: the road towards Istanbul, and then turn south to Canakkale and Izmir, or if we can find some boat from around Athens to Turkey (but the road seems like the better option now). From Izmir on to Cappadocia, then head further east and unless it gets uncomfortably cold, spend a couple of days around lake Van. Then on to Iran... so it looks like we could be near the border about 25th Oct.
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