I'm probably getting ahead of myself here but assuming that I'm successful in applying for both Iran and Pakistan visas, how long do I have to submit my passport for the visa stamps?
Also, am I right in saying that from the date of visa issue, which I'm assuming is the date it goes into my passport rather than the date of notification, I have three months to enter that particular country?
Best to check with the relevant embassy but last year -
Iran - We applied for a pre-authorisation number via a tour organisation company. This made the visa application process very straightforward and we got the visa in the passport while we waited. Can be picked up at an embassy of your choice (eg in turkey). Authorisation number valid for 3 months, visa valid for three months once in passport, max stay 1 month.
Pakistan - Real pain in the ass to get. Valid for entry up to 3 months from date of issue. Max stay 1 month from date of entry. Tried applying by post but basically our application was ignored and the form involved was changed after we posted it off (no notification of change). Best to go to embassy. Need Letter of Invitation from someone in Pakistan (eg tour company). Don't mention you are travelling by bike if at all possible.
When I applied in Australia I told them all about me and my trip - included a sponsorship booklet, I went all out. They gave me a visa valid for three months (to enter the country) and lasted three months.
However - no matter how long or short you get the visa you can always extend the visa super easy in Pakistan for up to 6 months before you have to leave the country.
Iran - allow one month (roughly) for the code and in Islamabad it only took two days for normal process, one day for double your money.
Smashing. Thanks very much to you both for the information.
I know what you're saying Neil about keeping quiet on the motorbike front but having to list my itinarary, even a rough one, on the application form will probably set the overland travel alarm bells ringing regardless of vehicle type.
All opinions on this one are welcome as from what I've been reading here and elsewhere this does seem to be the big stumbling block as far as visas are concerned.
Sorry to resurrect this thread but the pakistan high commission website for UK is vague,
The three month validity of the visa, does this start the moment the visa is issued in the UK or the moment you enter Pakistan? My issue is that I'm leaving maybe 3rd June, and not getting to pakistan til early september, just over three months.
apparently this is what they want to see on application....
Duly filled Visa Form
Original passport (valid for at least six months) along with its photocopy
Two recent passport size photographs (with white background)
Invitation letter from sponsor
ID of the sponsor with complete address in Pakistan
Last three months bank statement
Proof of residence, UK Driving Licence (DVLA) with Counterpart OR a Utility bill (Electricity, Gas or Water) in applicant’s name may suffice
Reference letter from workplace
Itinerary, Hotel booking and schedule of visit
and all these bits of information?
What should I do about hotel bookings? I don't even know how long I'm staying anywhere? Should I just book a couple that are on my route?
Along with my application form I included a covering letter detailing which towns/cities I planned to stay in along with the names of some decent hotels. I explained that reserving rooms so far ahead was virtually impossible due to the nature of an overland trip.
The chap at the consulate, who himself had travelled the KKH and was most supportive, was more than happy with everything. That was seven weeks ago however and I'm still waiting to hear back so I can't really comment how successful I've been. Apparently anything from six to twelve weeks is the expected time for a reply.
ummm. CIBT to a 9 day service for £90 fee on top of the £104. Which by the time I calculate my train fare to london or Birmingham twice, and two days off work, seems value for money.
Once you get the Pakistan Visa in your passport, is there an expiry date on it, therefore will it expire if it takes me longer than three months to get from London to Pakistan?
Thought i'd share my experiences on Pakistan - my wife and i rode through it in September 2010 on our RTW.
We applied directly to the embassy in London before we left, and we did tell them about our bikes.
For us Pakistan and China were the only two visas we left the UK with as for us they were the only two we couldn't bypass if rejected.
We had to jump through a few hoops and provide examples of our bank statements, proof of a hotel booking, itinary etc etc. The staff there were mostly curiously about the fact that we'd WANT to go to Pakistan. One of the guys in our China crossing group went to the embassy on the same day and got his without hardly having to provide a thing for proof! - just depends on which guy you get.
It was just about the time that Pakistan passed a new rule saying that visa applicants HAD to apply in their country of origin. they didn't mention this on their websites and so caught quite a few overlanders out! However, this rule didn't seem to apply at the crossing at the top of the KKH from China. Three in our China group had not got one. they tried and failed to apply in every central asian capital. But upon arriving in sost, were given one in 10 minutes for just $20!!! I think this exception exists simply because by the time you get to Sost you're already 80km inside the country and it's not practical to drive you back up the mountain to China (who wouldn't take you back) - still not a chance worth taking!
We were issued with our 30 day visas on 22 April, they were valid for 6 months - if things have changed i don't know, but they seemed pretty understanding about our plans and we just kept telling them about how excited we were about visiting the country.
all i can say is it will be worth the effort - highlight of our trip!
We may have more details on our website, but give me a shout if you have any questions.
Motoventurers: honeymoon world motorcycle adventure
First off Pakistan embassies globally are very vague and not remotely up to date.
Why dio you need a sponser? I keep reading that but I don't understand what it's for when I'll eventually apply for a Pakistan visa. I don't know anyone in the country and I only plan on travelling through it. It seems I may need additional information which I can't give.
I had no problems with getting a Pakistan visa a month ago. I didn't need a letter of introduction, show bank statements or anything else. I just sent my application downloaded from the internet off to the embassy (in Australia). I gave them a call after the time period quoted to see how it was going, and they said I hadn't included what hotel I was staying in on my application. Just as well I called!
I told them what I was doing, including the fact I was riding a bike and received my visa back within two days. Guess, it depends on who you get and where.
I'm still waiting on my Iranian verification number. Followed up on that two weeks ago and was told it would be ready in a few days. Still haven't heard anything. Again, it seems pretty random, but I'm hopeful.
Interesting to read each person's experience re. Pakistan visa. It seems the rules are a lot tougher in the UK than in Australia. Waiting time too differs, someone here mentioned 6 - 12 weeks, I got mine two weeks after I posted it off with a return express postbag so it was delivered to the door. As I said previously though, if I hadn't called them I wouldn't have known it was sitting in the too hard basket waiting for me to tell them what hotel I was going to stay at. I just told the guy on the phone (who was very helpful by the way) the name of a hotel in Lahore that I'd marked down as one to consider when I pass through. It's like everything, all the squares need to be ticked so be inventive and think outside the box is my motto.
When do you plan to go through Pakistan
How long is the visa for and does it start as soon as they process it?
This is the same question that I'm asking and can't seem to get a precise answer, apart from a link I saw here...
Overland Drive from Southport (UK) to Melbourne (Australia): Visas
this visa seems that it has 6 months to expire before you get into pakistan
whereas this only gives three months, but I think it is a USA passport..
“Why Are You Going to Pakistan?” | Asia Overland
I've tried twice to ring pakistan consular phone no, first day couldn't get through, 2nd attempt had a language situation. ummmm. Lets try again.
Success, just got through to Pakistan consulate visa line in London.
Once Pakistan Visa is issued you have 6 months to get into Pakistan.
So If I get mine in May, I can enter up til November.
Yay for me. :-) No worries about beating the clock. China visa piece of poop for me too.
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