Caution November 9, 2023
Worldwide caution, update november 9, 2023, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.
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Pakistan Travel Advisory
Travel advisory june 23, 2023, pakistan - level 3: reconsider travel.
Reissued with updates to health information.
Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism . Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do not travel to:
- Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to terrorism and kidnapping .
- The immediate vicinity of the India-Pakistan border and the Line of Control due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict .
Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue to plot attacks in Pakistan. Terrorism and ongoing violence by extremist elements have led to indiscriminate attacks on civilian, as well as local military and police, targets. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship, and government facilities. Terrorists have targeted U.S. diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past.
Terrorist attacks continue across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KP, including the former FATA. Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in numerous casualties.
Pakistan’s security environment remains fluid sometimes changing with little or no notice. There are greater security resources and infrastructure in the major cities, particularly Islamabad, and security forces in these areas may be more readily able to respond to an emergency compared to other areas of the country. While threats still exist, terrorist attacks occur less frequently in major urban areas than other parts of Pakistan.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Pakistan due to the security environment. Travel by U.S. government personnel within Pakistan is restricted, and additional restrictions on movements by U.S. government personnel outside of U.S. diplomatic facilities may occur at any time, depending on local circumstances and security conditions, which can change suddenly.
The U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar is unable to provide any consular services to U.S. citizens.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Pakistan.
If you decide to travel to Pakistan:
- Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas .
- Remain aware of your surroundings and local events.
- Vary travel routes and timing, especially for routine trips.
- Be cognizant of your surroundings, particularly around public markets, restaurants, government and military institutions, and other locations.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ) to receive security alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter .
- Review the Country Security Report for Pakistan.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergencies. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
Balochistan Province – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Do not travel to Balochistan province. Active terrorist groups, including an active separatist movement, have conducted deadly terrorist attacks against civilians, religious minorities, government offices, and security forces.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas .
KP Province, including the former FATA – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Do not travel to KP province, which includes the former FATA. Active terrorist and insurgent groups routinely conduct attacks against civilians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government offices, and security forces. These groups historically have not discriminated between government officials and civilians. Assassination and kidnapping attempts are common, including the targeting of polio eradication teams and Government of Pakistan security service (police and military) personnel.
Vicinity of Line of Control – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Do not travel to the India-Pakistan border, including the Line of Control. Militant groups are known to operate in the area. India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border. The only official Pakistan-India border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the province of Punjab between Wagah, Pakistan, and Atari, India. Travelers are advised to confirm the status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel. An Indian visa is required to enter India, and no visa services are available at the border.
Travel Advisory Levels
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- Passports, travel and living abroad
- Travel abroad
- Foreign travel advice
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) advises against all travel to:
- The districts of Baujar, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province
- the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
- the city and district of Peshawar
- travel on the N45 road, from the north of the Mardan ring-road, to the edge of the district of Chitral
- Balochistan province, excluding the southern coast of Balochistan (see below)
- the section of the N35 (or Karakoram Highway) between the Mansehra ring road and the N15/N35 Chilas interchange
- within 10 miles of the Line of Control
- within 10 miles of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:
- Arandu town and the road between Mirkhani and Arandu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province
- the southern coast of Balochistan, defined as the area south of (and including) the N10 motorway as well as the section of the N25 which runs from N10/N25 intersection to the Balochistan/Sindh border, including the port city of Gwadar
- areas of Sindh Province north of, and including, the city of Nawabshah
Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Pakistan’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have recently cancelled multiple flights to and from Gilgit and Skardu Airports in the north of Pakistan. Flight schedules may be unreliable and may change at short notice. You should consult your airline and/or travel agent.
Road routes are also likely to be restricted by seasonal weather, with the Babusar Pass liable to close due to snowfall.
Options to leave the north of Pakistan may therefore become limited.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO guidance on foreign travel insurance .
Before the COVID pandemic there were nearly half a million visits by British nationals to Pakistan. Most visits are trouble free.
In late August 2023, there were large demonstrations and protests in Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan. There remains a risk of protests, which could turn violent, and road closures throughout the region. Gatherings of four or more people are banned and the mobile phone and data network is disrupted.
Political rallies and protests regularly take place across Pakistan. Some may have an anti-western dimension and could turn violent. Tear gas can be used to disperse protests. Avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and political events. Be alert to local news and, where possible, social media and follow the advice of local authorities and your tour company. If you find yourself near protests, turn away and move to a safe place. See Safety and security
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There’s a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the major cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. Foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted. You should try to avoid all crowds and public events including political gatherings and religious events throughout Pakistan, and take appropriate security precautions .
Densely populated and unsecured areas, such as markets, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, hiking trails, airports, infrastructure projects, public transport, schools and educational institutions are potential focal points for attacks. You should be extra vigilant at all times in such areas and minimise your exposure to areas that pose a higher risk. See Terrorism
Some periods of the year may pose heightened risks. During holy periods/religious holidays, there is an increased potential for targeted attacks, including on western interests and religious minorities.
Pakistan can experience extreme weather, including severe heatwaves. These typically occur between March and June. The extreme temperatures can cause poor air quality, wildfires and power cuts. You should avoid unnecessary exposure to direct sunlight and take precautionary measures. More information and detailed guidance is available on the National Disaster Management Authority website . You should monitor the local and international weather updates from the Pakistan Meteorological Department , follow the advice of local authorities and your tour company before travelling.
The monsoon season in Pakistan is from late June to early October. Heavy rains can cause severe flash flooding in both urban and rural areas. Travel in many parts of the country can be severely impacted. See Natural disasters
Pakistan is in a major earthquake zone and remains at risk from further earthquakes, aftershocks, landslides and flooding. You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake. See Natural disasters
Call 15 to contact the police. Call 1122 for the fire service or an ambulance. Services may vary and will be more limited outside major cities.
Consular support is severely limited in parts of Pakistan where the FCDO has existing advice against all travel and all but essential travel (as set out above). The British High Commission’s ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be restricted or delayed in these areas.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice .
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
If you are abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission .
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers
Pakistan travel advice
Latest updates: Editorial change.
Last updated: October 26, 2023 04:55 ET
On this page
Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, pakistan - exercise a high degree of caution.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Pakistan due to the unpredictable security situation. There is a threat of terrorism, civil unrest, sectarian violence and kidnapping.
Regional advisory - Avoid all travel
- the area within 50 km of the border with Afghanistan
- the areas within 10 km of the borders with China, India and Iran
- the areas within 10 km of the Line of Control, except the official border crossings at:
- Wagah and the Grand Trunk Road leading there
- Khunjerab Pass and the Karakorum Highway leading there
- the section of the Karakoram Highway from Mansehra to Chilas
- Pakistan-administered Kashmir
- the province of Balochistan
- the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, except the following districts:
Karachi - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the city of Karachi, due to violence and the risk of terrorism.
Back to top
The Government of Canada may not be in a position to provide consular assistance to Canadians in areas where:
- there are serious security concerns
- the Government of Pakistan prohibits entry
- advance permission is required for entry
Demonstrations continue to take place across the country, due to the recent arrest of a prominent public figure.
Security forces continue to be on high alert in the following cities:
The security situation is evolving and remains unpredictable.
- Communication networks may be disrupted
- Roadblocks could lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation, including transit routes to airports
If you are in Pakistan:
- avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- always be aware of your surroundings when in public places
- carry photo identification at all times
- expect an increased presence of security forces
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice
- monitor local media to stay informed on the evolving situation
- follow the instructions of local authorities
There is a threat of terrorism in Pakistan. The security situation is fragile and unpredictable. Several terrorist groups are present and operate across the country. Incidents are typically attributed to extremism, ethnic divisions, sectarian strife, regional political disputes and the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan. Bombings, shootings and other terrorist attacks have been directed at a wide range of targets and have caused many deaths and injuries.
In the formerly Federal Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and in the province of Balochistan, attacks are frequent and are often directed at security and military forces.
Further attacks are likely. Attacks can take many forms, including:
- targeted killings and kidnappings
- armed assaults
- suicide bombings
- improvised explosive devices
Some attacks involve detailed planning to maximize casualties through multiple and consecutive explosions. Targets could include:
- sects or minority groups
- government and military assets and personnel
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
- elections-related events and polling stations
- civil aviation facilities, including aircrafts
There is an increased risk of attack during religious holidays and days of national significance, such as:
- National Day (March 23)
- Independence Day (August 14)
- the Islamic month of Muharram (particularly on the day of Ashura)
- the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha
Expect heightened security measures and associated disruptions during these periods.
In Islamabad, you should:
- keep a low profile, particularly in areas regularly frequented by foreigners
- avoid the Lal Masjid Mosque (also known as the Red Mosque)
- be particularly cautious in or around western-style restaurants and shopping centres
- only stay in hotels that have stringent security measures in place, including metal detectors and closed security perimeters
Border area with India
The level of tension between Pakistan and India is susceptible to sudden changes. You could experience difficulties when travelling between the two countries and may be subject to scrutiny if officials from either country become aware that you have recently travelled to the other.
The security situation in the Kashmir region, especially along the Line of Control (LoC), which separates India-administered Kashmir in the south from Pakistan-administered Kashmir in the north, and along the working boundary that continues south toward Sialkot, remains volatile. Since September 2016, cross-border gunfire and shelling have been occurring sporadically along the LoC.
Although the Wagah border crossing linking Lahore, Pakistan, to Amritsar, India, is regularly used by international travellers, it remains vulnerable to attack. Security measures are in place. Visitors may experience long delays.
Border areas with Afghanistan, China and Iran
Border areas with Afghanistan, China and Iran often experience terrorist activity, smuggling and violence. With the exception of official border crossings, foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 50 kilometres of the border with Afghanistan.
The security situation in the province of Balochistan remains unstable, due to a long-standing nationalist insurgency and government counter-insurgency operations. Insurgents and militants may target commercial spaces and foreigners, in particular those associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Attacks on police and security forces occur frequently. Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, is also a known route for smugglers.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province
The security situation in Central and Western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province, including its capital Peshawar is unstable due to terrorism, sectarian and political violence and high levels of crime. North Waziristan, South Waziristan, and the Khyber District are particularly volatile and continue to be impacted by the security situation in Afghanistan. Attacks on security and military forces occur frequently. Civil unrest also takes place regularly.
Certain sectors of Karachi experience high levels of violence. These include:
- Orangi Town
Extremist groups are present in some parts of the city and there have been terrorist attacks in recent years on high-profile targets, including the Stock Exchange and Chinese Consulate. Carefully plan any travel to, or in the city. Strikes and protest marches tend to take place in central areas of Karachi. These events may cause travel disruptions throughout the city and lead to violent civil unrest.
Stay away from areas where military or militant activity is taking place.
Demonstrations and civil unrest
Demonstrations take place regularly. Demonstrations can take place without warning, and some may take on an anti-western tone. They have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Deaths, injuries and widespread violence have occurred at such events. Demonstrations can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Kidnapping for ransom can occur, especially in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh. Pakistani citizens are particularly at risk. Express kidnapping also takes place.
- Use varied and unpredictable routes and schedules when moving from one place to another.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. Cell phones, credit cards and passports are favourite targets. Credit card fraud is common.
- Ensure that your personal belongings, passports other travel documents are secure at all times
- Avoid showing signs of affluence
- If travelling by car, keep valuable belongings out of sight, windows closed and doors locked.
- Avoid travelling after dusk, particularly in rural areas where road conditions are unsafe.
- Make arrangements to be met at the airport, especially if arriving after dark.
- Verify flight and airport operation details before travelling.
- Remain aware of the security situation on routes to and from airports.
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Gender-based violence is common in Pakistan. Honour killings and forced marriages are frequently reported.
Advice for women travellers
Forced marriage affecting foreigners occurs. It sometimes occurs without the affected person’s prior knowledge or consent.
If you’re in Canada
If you’re in Canada and you believe that you’re being forced to travel overseas or to marry, you should call your local police for assistance.
If you’re in Pakistan
Some Canadians have been forced into marital arrangements in Pakistan and have been detained against their will and subjected to threats, intimidation and violence by family members.
Family members may retain passports to prevent victims from returning to Canada.
- Keep digital or physical copies of your travel documents in a safe place.
If you’re in Pakistan and you believe that you’re being forced to marry, contact the High Commission of Canada to Pakistan in Islamabad. You may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre .
- General information and advice about forced marriage
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Business deals can involve extortion and corruption. All business disputes, including those involving criminality, are subject to Pakistani legal proceedings. The High Commission of Canada cannot intervene on a Canadian’s behalf in a private legal matter.
Trekking and climbing
No trekking is allowed in the closed zones located near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and near the Line of Control between Pakistan- and India-administered Kashmir. Trekking permits are required by the Government of Pakistan for peaks over 6000m, and in most national parks. Access to roads are limited, and often in very poor condition.
Only experienced climbers should go to the northern mountains of the Himalayas, Hindukush or Karakoram. Because of their great height, the Karakoram Mountains experience heavy glaciation, particularly on the southern, more humid slopes.
If you intend on engaging in trekking activities:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation from remote areas
- confirm that the air ambulance firm contracted has a local agent in Pakistan who can ensure that local rescue teams provide the required emergency services
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and don’t venture off marked trails or slopes
In case of air evacuation, advance payment of the total evacuation cost is required from the insurance company before rescue teams will perform rescue operations. The Government of Canada is unable to intervene, provide, or pay for rescue services.
- Pakistan Tourism Development Cooperation
- Alpine club of Pakistan
- Travel Insurance
In many urban areas, roads may be narrow, crowded and poorly lit, with limited signage. Outside major highways and main cities, roads are mostly unpaved and four-wheel drive vehicles may be necessary.
Drivers can be aggressive and reckless, and they do not respect traffic laws. Accidents are common. If an accident occurs and you feel that your safety is threatened, leave the area and report the accident to the nearest police station.
Checkpoints may be set up without warning.
Karakoram highway/Northern region
Travel on mountain roads only during daylight hours. Sections can be very narrow with precipitous drops and are sometimes partially obstructed by rock and earth slides. Consult local authorities regarding road openings, particularly during the monsoon rains and winter seasons.
For safety and security reasons, don’t use public transportation, including taxis and trains. There are frequent rail accidents due to low safety and maintenance standards. Railways have been targets for riots and terrorist attacks.
If you must use public transportation:
- use bus lines that provide two drivers if you’re travelling long distances
- use radio-controlled taxis from reputable companies
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Information about foreign domestic airlines
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Pakistani authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada .
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Pakistan.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
- Canadian passports
Work visa: required Tourism visa: required Business visa: required Student visa: required
Do not overstay the duration of your visa. The status or nature of the visa cannot be changed while in Pakistan.
Journalists may have to provide an itinerary to get a visa; the itinerary should be strictly followed during the stay.
Additional documentation may be required to visit some regions in Pakistan. Check with the High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Canada for entry requirements for the regions you intend to visit.
If you remain in Pakistan for more than four weeks, you must show proof of polio vaccination when leaving the country. The proof of vaccination must have been obtained within the 12 months prior to your departure.
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children .
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Relevant Travel Health Notices
- Extensively drug-resistant typhoid in Pakistan - 31 August, 2023
- Global Measles Notice - 31 August, 2023
- COVID-19 and International Travel - 31 August, 2023
- Polio: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Be sure that your routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.
Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:
- travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
- making multiple trips to endemic areas
- staying for extended periods in rural areas
- visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
- engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Travellers going to countries in South Asia should speak to a health care professional about getting vaccinated.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.
Malaria is a risk to travellers to this destination. Antimalarial medication is recommended for most travellers to this destination and should be taken as recommended. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:
- Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
- Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
- Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
- Wear permethrin-treated clothing.
If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.
If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals).
Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Wild poliovirus (WPV1) and/or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV1 or cVDPV3)) is/are present in this destination.
This destination is subject to Temporary Recommendations under the World Health Organization’s polio Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) .
Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.
- Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult .
- Make sure that the polio vaccinations are documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is the only document accepted as proof of vaccination. It is provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres .
- Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.
Proof of vaccination:
- Travellers who are visiting for longer than 4 weeks may be required to receive a dose of polio vaccine 1 to 12 months before they leave this destination. This may be required even if you have previously received all the recommended polio vaccine doses as part of the routine vaccine schedule in Canada.
- Make sure that the polio vaccination is documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions .
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin. In some cases, it can be fatal. It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
Cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly.
Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.
- In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.
Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.
Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those:
- visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
- working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
- hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
- working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
- working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)
All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country. Good health care is available in a small number of hospitals and clinics in some major cities, including in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. Basic non-emergency medical care is available in major cities but is limited in rural areas. Emergency services, including ambulances, are virtually non-existent in most of Pakistan. Most medical facilities require prepayment in cash.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .
The death penalty may be imposed for more than two dozen criminal offences, including drug trafficking, murder, illegal gathering, blasphemy and rape. Executions in Pakistan occur by hanging.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect the death penalty, jail sentences, heavy fines and/or deportation.
The possession and consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Transgressors may be punished by detention or other penalties.
- Drugs, alcohol and travel
Religious proselytizing is not permitted and may lead to accusations of blasphemy, which is considered a capital crime.
Pork products are illegal in Pakistan.
Photographing government buildings, military installations and airports is prohibited.
Ask permission before taking photographs of local residents.
Pakistani law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted can face up to life imprisonment.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Pakistan.
Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Pakistan.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Pakistan, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .
Travellers with dual citizenship
If you were born in Pakistan, or if your father was born in Pakistan, you should confirm your citizenship status with the High Commission of Pakistan in Ottawa as you could be considered a Pakistani citizen while on Pakistani soil.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Pakistan.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Pakistan by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Pakistan to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
Dress and behaviour
The country’s customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs.
To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- dress conservatively
- behave discreetly
- respect religious and social traditions
Shorts are considered inappropriate attire for both men and women, particularly in remote locations. Women should consider carrying a headscarf with them at all times while travelling in Pakistan.
Couples should avoid physical contact, such as holding hands, in public. It is illegal for heterosexual couples to live together without being married.
In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.
In public, between sunrise and sunset, refrain from:
Vehicles drive on the left.
You should carry an international driving permit.
International Driving Permit
The currency is the Pakistani rupee (PKR).
The economy is primarily cash based. Credit cards are accepted by some larger establishments. Currency can be exchanged at all international airports. ATMs are available in main cities, but may not accept foreign debit cards.
Pakistan is prone to extreme weather events such as:
- dust storms
Extreme temperatures can occur in both summer and winter.
Severe earthquakes can occur in the western and northern regions of the country. Landslides are possible in affected areas, and strong aftershocks may occur after the initial quake. Transportation, health and telecommunications services may be affected, and land travel could be disrupted.
- Monitor local news reports
Monsoon and cyclones
The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from June to September. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. It can also lead to landslides. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
Flash flooding can occur, including in densely populated areas. There is a risk of flooding along rivers, including the Indus River.
Pakistan’s coastline is subject to tropical cyclones, which are usually accompanied by high winds and heavy rain. During any storm, flash floods and mudslides as well as damage to transportation routes and infrastructure may occur.
- Monitor regional weather forecasts, including those of the Pakistan Meteorological Department
- Follow the advice of local authorities
Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons
In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk and have resulted in fatalities. Monitor local media and weather forecasts and follow the advice of local authorities.
In case of emergency, dial:
- medical assistance: 115 / 1122
- firefighters: 16
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Pakistan and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services .
take normal security precautions.
Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.
Exercise a high degree of caution
There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.
Avoid non-essential travel
Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.
Avoid all travel
You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.
Reconsider your need to travel to Pakistan overall due to the volatile security situation and very high threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping and violence.
Higher levels apply in some areas.
Pakistan (PDF 899.15 KB)
Asia (PDF 2.31 MB)
Local emergency contacts
All emergencies, fire and rescue services.
Call 1122 or 16.
Call 1122 or 115, or go to the nearest hospital.
Call 15 or visit the nearest police station.
Reconsider your need to travel to Pakistan overall.
Reconsider your need to travel to Pakistan overall due to the volatile security situation and very high threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping and violence.
See Safety .
Do not travel to Balochistan or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (excluding Chitral, Abbottabad and Haripur districts).
Do not travel to:
- Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (excluding Chitral, Abbottabad and Haripur districts)
due to the poor security situation and high risk of kidnapping.
Do not travel to border areas with Afghanistan and India (excluding Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal and Sialkot).
Do not travel to border areas with Afghanistan and India (excluding Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal and Sialkot) due to the volatile security situation.
There are ongoing protests in Pakistan which can turn violent quickly. Avoid large groups of people, demonstrations and protests. The security situation is evolving and remains unpredictable. Monitor media for information on the latest developments and follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Reports continue to identify the potential for attacks in Islamabad, including at major hotels. In response, heightened security arrangements are in place, including an increased security force presence, additional checkpoints and temporary road closures. Terrorists may also target places frequented by foreigners, transport infrastructure, including trains and airports, and places of worship. Australian officials in Islamabad have been advised to increase vigilance and limit travel within the city. You should exercise heightened vigilance, review your personal security plans and monitor the media for the latest updates.
- Terrorist groups hostile to foreign interests operate in Pakistan. The threat of attack remains very high. Don't travel to Balochistan or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (except the Chitral, Abbottabad and Haripur districts). The risk of attack is highest in these locations. If you travel to other parts of Pakistan, be cautious, including in major cities. Avoid crowded places and possible targets. Always have an exit plan.
- Violent crime, including armed robbery, assault, carjacking and kidnapping, occurs across Pakistan. The risk of kidnapping is very high in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh. If, despite our advice, you travel to these areas, get professional security advice. If you must go to the Chitral district or Gilgit Baltistan, travel by commercial aircraft and not by road.
- Political protest action has increased in recent months and is likely to continue. This can impact travel and can turn violent. Religious protests are common. Political, sectarian and gang violence often occurs in Karachi. Avoid large public gatherings. If you're caught in a rally, find a safe place and stay indoors.
- The Afghanistan border area is volatile. The Government of Pakistan does not allow foreigners to travel within 50km of the Afghanistan border in Gilgit Baltistan or within 15km of the Kashmir Line of Control or the entire border with India except at official crossings. If you're in an area close to the border, consider leaving.
- Firing guns into the air in celebration is illegal but common. People have died as a result. Be careful of celebratory gunfire, especially around major holidays, weddings, celebrations and after sporting victories.
- Earthquakes are common. Flooding, landslides and tsunamis can occur. A National Emergency was declared in Pakistan following severe flooding caused by monsoonal rains in mid-2022; further flooding is expected in 2023. There were significant casualties and widespread damage to infrastructure, including roads and bridges. Essential services may be disrupted. The risk of disease can increase during the monsoon season (July to September). Follow the advice of local officials.
Full travel advice: Safety
- Insect-borne diseases including malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever occur. Drug-resistant strains of malaria have been reported. Consider taking anti-malarial medication. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent. Consider getting vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis.
- HIV/AIDS is common. Take precautions if you engage in high-risk activities.
- Polio is endemic. Ensure your vaccinations are up to date. If you're staying longer than 4 weeks, carry evidence of your polio vaccination.
- Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are prevalent. They include typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis and measles. Drink only boiled or bottled water listed as 'safe' by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources . Avoid raw or undercooked food.
- Facilities at some clinics and hospitals in major cities are close to Western standards. Medical facilities are extremely limited in most towns and rural and remote areas. If you're seriously ill or injured, you may need medical evacuation. Ensure your travel insurance covers this.
Full travel advice: Health
- Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Penalties for drug offences are severe. They include the death penalty, large fines and long prison sentences.
- Domestic violence against women is common in Pakistan. Standards of domestic violence support are far lower than similar services available in Australia. You should consider these risks if you're planning travel to Pakistan.
- Corporal punishment applies for some offences, including robbery, public drunkenness, and drinking alcohol if you're Muslim. Be aware of religious sensitivities. It's illegal to import alcohol or pork products. It's illegal to try to convert a Muslim or encourage them to abandon their religion.
- Same-sex relations are illegal. It's also illegal for unmarried heterosexual couples to live together.
- Blasphemy can attract the death penalty. Those charged with blasphemy can spend years in prison, undergo lengthy trial processes and are in constant danger from members of the public or prisoners. If you have made public comments, including on social media, that may be construed as blasphemous you should not travel to Pakistan.
- Strong Islamic codes of dress and behaviour exist in Pakistan. Avoid wearing shorts or short-sleeved clothes. Avoid physical contact between men and women in public. Women may be harassed, especially if they're alone.
Full travel advice: Local laws
- You'll need to get a visa in advance to enter Pakistan. Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Pakistani embassy or consulate for the latest details.
- Some land borders with neighbouring countries are open but could close with little or no notice. You'll need to check if land borders are open before travelling.
- Contact the Pakistan High Commission in Canberra for details.
- Carry your yellow fever vaccination certificate if you're coming from a country with a risk of yellow fever. You may need it to enter Pakistan.
Full travel advice: Travel
- The Consular Services Charter details what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
- To stay up to date with local information, follow the High Commission's social media accounts.
- For consular help, contact the Australian High Commission in Islamabad . The High Commission will close to the public at short notice if there are security threats.
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Former federally administered tribal areas (fata).
In 2018, all agencies and tribal regions consisting of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) became part of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province. All recommendations in this travel advice for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa include these former regions of FATA.
Reporting continues to identify the potential for attacks in Islamabad, including at major hotels. In response, heightened security arrangements are in place, including an increased security force presence and additional checkpoints. Terrorists may also target places frequented by foreigners, transport infrastructure, including trains and airports, and places of worship. Some public events have been banned. Australian officials in Islamabad have been advised to increase vigilance and limit travel within the city. You should exercise heightened vigilance, review your personal security plans and monitor the media for latest updates.
Terrorist groups hostile to foreign interests operate in Pakistan. The threat of attack remains very high, especially in Balochistan and KPK provinces , which suffer regular, and sometimes large-scale terrorist attacks. If you travel to Pakistan, you should remain cautious and vigilant, including in major cities.
Counter-terrorism operations occur across the country. Terrorist attacks could occur anywhere and at any time.
Previous attacks have included the use of grenades, firearms, and bombing, including suicide bombs. Some terrorist attacks in Pakistan have involved multiple explosions, one after the other.
Security officials may cut mobile phone services when the threat of terrorism is high or straight after an incident.
If you go to Chitral district or Gilgit Baltistan, travel by commercial aircraft, not by road, as the safety and security risks are significant.
In the past, terror attacks have targeted the Pakistani government, military and police, including:
- buildings and symbols of the government
- military and security forces
- judicial buildings such as courts
- police stations and checkpoints
Terror attacks have also targeted:
- international hotels
- embassies, high commissions and other diplomatic interests
- places of worship, such as mosques, shrines and churches
- shopping centres, banks, hospitals, cinemas, markets (markaz) and bazaars
- humanitarian workers
- foreign aid agencies
- public transport and transport infrastructure, including trains and airports
- religious sites and processions, especially during religious festivals
- demonstrations and political events
- rallies and polling stations during elections
Terrorists may target places associated with foreigners or Westerners, including:
- tourist areas
- clubs, restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets and other places foreigners tend to visit
- foreign businesses and other Western symbols
- foreign non-government organisations (NGOs)
- universities and international schools
- convention centres, outdoor sporting and recreation events
Times when attacks may occur
Militants may mount attacks in the days leading up to and on days of national or commemorative significance. These include:
- Pakistan National Day (23 March)
- the storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad by government troops (10 July)
- Independence Day (14 August)
- the Islamic month of Muharram (particularly on the day of Ashura)
Diplomatic security measures
Reporting continues to identify the potential for attacks in Islamabad, including at major hotels. In response heightened security arrangements are in place. Australian High Commission staff have been urged to increase their vigilance and limit travel within the city.
Due to the very high threat of terror attacks, Australian officials in Pakistan always use enhanced security measures. The Australian Government has a 'no children at post' policy for Islamabad.
The Australian Government has also advised staff to:
- limit restaurant use
- not linger in shopping areas
- be cautious when walking in Islamabad
For the same reasons, the British High Commission and US Embassy sometimes restrict the movement of their staff in Pakistan.
These restrictions may be applied at short notice. Areas put 'out of bounds' tend to include markets, shopping centres, restaurants and hotels.
Ensure you have a security plan in place. Discuss security issues with tour providers before travelling.
Ask about safety from local business partners and universities before travelling to Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi for business or academic reasons. Take security precautions.
If, despite the risks, you travel to Pakistan, be very cautious and avoid:
- public gatherings
- crowded places
- places of worship
- places that foreigners tend to go
- other places terrorists tend to target
When you plan your activities, receive updates on the level of security at venues and your route to them.
- Wherever you go, have a clear exit plan in case there's a security incident or attack.
- leave the area straight away if it's safe to do so and avoid the affected area straight after the attack because of the risk of secondary attacks
- follow the advice of local authorities
Subscribe to this travel advice to stay up to date on new terror threats, and monitor:
- the media and other sources
- the UK Foreign Travel Advice for Pakistan
- British High Commission Islamabad
- US Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan Alerts and Messages
Those websites will also contain updates on restrictions on movement that apply to their diplomatic staff.
Check flight status and airport operations before each of your flights.
There's a high threat of kidnapping of foreign nationals across the whole of Pakistan, but it's higher in:
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
If, despite the risks, you decide to travel to an area where there's a threat of kidnapping:
- seek professional security advice
- arrange effective personal security measures
Civil unrest and political tension
The security situation in Pakistan is volatile. It could get worse at short notice.
Campaigning and election periods often spur civil unrest.
Demonstrations and protests
In response, authorities may suspend internet and mobile phone networks and close roads and highways at short notice.
To stay safe during a period of unrest:
- avoid demonstrations and large-scale public gatherings
- avoid areas where people congregate after Friday prayers
- monitor the media and other sources for possible unrest and avoid those areas
- if you're near an affected area, find a safe place, stay indoors and seek local advice
- Demonstrations and civil unrest
Violence in Karachi
Political, sectarian and gang violence often occurs in Karachi. Many people have died as a result of this violence.
There's a higher level of public security across much of the city, with police and paramilitary rangers conducting counter-terrorism operations in the city from time to time.
Reprisal attacks by militants or criminals can occur anywhere.
Border with Afghanistan
Cross-border tensions increase security risks in the regions bordering Afghanistan.
The Pakistani military has ongoing operations in these border areas.
Foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 50km of the border with Afghanistan in Gilgit Baltistan. However, it is legal to cross the border at official crossings.
Attacks against government, security and military interests in Balochistan are very likely. Attacks are also likely against infrastructure for:
- oil and natural gas
- transport, including the railway network
Border with India
There's continuing tension between Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir. This follows air force incidents over border areas of Kashmir in February 2019 and the announcement by the Government of India on 5 August 2019 of constitutional changes that will affect the internal political status of Kashmir.
If tensions between Pakistan and India rise again, airspace restrictions may be imposed with little or no warning. This may impact an airline's ability to operate flights and your ability to quickly leave the country.
Higher security is in place where Pakistan borders India. This reflects the volatile security situation.
Foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 15km of the Kashmir Line of Control and the entire border with India. However, it is legal to cross the border at official crossings.
The situation is more stable in the border region cities of:
Violent crime occurs in many parts of Pakistan, particularly in major cities. This includes:
- armed robbery
Incidents can increase around major religious holidays.
Incidents have occurred with people posing as police officers with fake police ID cards. This has occurred in cities across Pakistan, including Islamabad.
Petty crime is common. It can include pick-pocketing and theft of mobile phones.
Sexual harassment of women occurs. Travelling alone can pose more of a risk.
Be aware of celebratory gun fires (firing guns into the air in celebration). Although it is illegal, it is common across Pakistan. It tends to occur on major holidays, at weddings, other celebrations, and following sporting victories. Although the likelihood of being struck is remote, falling rounds can cause injury or death.
Be alert to your surroundings. Pay attention to your safety and security and:
- keep car doors locked, windows up, and valuables out of sight, even when moving
- lock your accommodation doors and windows against intruders
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
- Cyber security when travelling overseas
Climate and natural disasters
Pakistan experiences natural disasters and severe weather , including:
- landslides and avalanches
The Pakistan Meteorological Department offers weather warnings.
If a natural disaster occurs:
- secure your passport in a safe, waterproof place
- monitor local media
- register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters
- keep friends and family up to date about your welfare
Flooding and landslides
A National Emergency remains in effect in parts of Pakistan following severe flooding caused by monsoonal rains in mid 2022. Follow the advice of local authorities and check media for updates.
The monsoon season is July to September. During this time, flooding and landslides can occur. They can happen with little warning.
During floods, fresh drinking water and food can be in short supply.
The risk of contracting a waterborne disease stays high after flood waters go down.
Floods often hinder services and transport.
Avalanches and glacial lake outbursts occur in mountainous regions of Pakistan. People have died in them in recent years. When you're travelling in these areas, monitor local weather and safety conditions, particularly during severe weather and follow the advice of local authorities.
Cyclones and storms can disrupt key services, including:
- emergency and medical care
- food and water supplies
If there's a cyclone or storm:
- you may get stuck in the area
- flights could be delayed or suspended
- available flights may fill quickly
- adequate shelter may not be available
Earthquakes and tsunamis
Pakistan is in an active seismic zone and experiences earthquakes .
Coastal areas are also at risk of tsunamis. Be alert to warnings. A tsunami could quickly follow a tremor or earthquake.
If near the coast, move to high ground straight away if:
- local authorities advise you to
- you feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up
- you feel a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
- you see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
- you hear loud and unusual noises from the sea
Don't wait for official warnings. Once on high ground, monitor local media and weather services.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
- what activities and care your policy covers
- that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
- have a basic health check-up
- ask if your travel plans may affect your health
- plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of someone you know, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
- General health advice
- Healthy holiday tips (Healthdirect Australia)
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Pakistan. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
- what the medication is
- your required dosage
- that it's for personal use
To reduce your risks of contracting typhoid :
- ask your doctor about getting vaccinated
- take care to avoid anyone who's sick or has recently been sick
Malaria is common in Pakistan, except in areas above 2,000m. Chloroquine- and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine-resistant strains of malaria have been reported.
Other insect-borne diseases occur, including:
- Japanese encephalitis
- Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur. In late 2019, there was a severe outbreak of dengue.
To protect yourself from disease:
- make sure your accommodation is mosquito-proof
- use insect repellent
- wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
- get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel
- consider taking medicine to prevent malaria
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
HIV/AIDS is common. Take precautions if you engage in activities that expose you to the risk of infection.
Many Pakistanis, including children, have recently been reported as HIV+ in interior areas of Sindh Province.
Polio (poliomyelitis) is endemic.
In March 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed that the risk of international spread of polio remains a 'public health emergency of international concern'. WHO extended its temporary recommendations .
Before you leave, make sure your polio vaccinations are up to date. This includes getting a booster dose, as per the Australian Immunisation Handbook .
Rabies is endemic in Pakistan. Stray dog bites cause most infections. There are thousands of cases of dog bites and deaths by rabies each year. Avoid contact with stray dogs. If you're planning an extended stay or work assignments in remote or rural areas, we recommend you have pre-exposure rabies vaccinations before travelling to Pakistan.
Other health risks
Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are common. They include:
More serious outbreaks occur from time to time.
There have been periodic reports of cholera cases in Sindh.
Reports of skin infections, acute diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections usually increase after flooding.
Some bottled water may be contaminated.
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources produces reports that list safe and unsafe bottled water brand names. Reports are available under the publications and information tab.
To protect yourself from illness:
- drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids that are listed as safe
- avoid ice cubes
- avoid raw and undercooked food, such as salads
Seek medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
- Infectious diseases
Air pollution is an environmental health risk in Pakistan. The risk is higher during winter, particularly in much of Punjab.
Take precautions when increased levels are recorded.
- Pakistan environmental health (WHO)
- Pakistan air quality index (Airvisual)
Medical facilities at a small number of clinics and hospitals in major cities are close to Western standards. However, in most towns, and in rural and remote areas, facilities are extremely limited.
Before they'll admit you, hospitals in Pakistan usually require you to either:
- pay up-front
- confirm insurance cover
- guarantee payment
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to evacuate to somewhere with more suitable facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
If you have an accident while hiking or undertaking other adventure activities in the north of Pakistan, medical evacuation can take days and requires your insurance company to guarantee the payment of the flights.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty.
Penalties for small amounts of drugs include:
- long jail sentences
- large fines
- Carrying or using drugs
Domestic violence against women, from partners or male relatives, is common in Pakistan. Standards of support services, including legal and police protection for those affected by domestic violence, are far lower than similar services available in Australia. You should consider these risks if you're planning travel to Pakistan.
Australian parents of Pakistani origin, especially women, sometimes have trouble leaving Pakistan with their children. This happens when one parent refuses to let the children return to Australia. If that parent withholds the children's passports, the other parent can't bring the children back to Australia. Plan carefully if you think this could happen to you. Before you leave Australia:
- think about the risk of not being able to return to Australia with your children
- speak to a lawyer to identify and resolve any child custody or other family law issues
- make sure you know your legal rights and limits on those rights
The death penalty can apply to crimes including terrorism, murder, rape, blasphemy and unlawful assembly.
Those charged with blasphemy can spend years in prison, undergo lengthy trial processes and are in constant danger from members of the public or prisoners. Australians who have made public comments, including on social media, that may be construed as blasphemous should not travel to Pakistan.
Corporal punishment is rare but can be a penalty for some offences. These include:
- public drunkenness
- drinking alcohol if you're Muslim
Other activities that are illegal in Pakistan include:
- same-sex sexual acts
- unmarried heterosexual couples living together
- importing alcohol
- importing pork products
- taking photos of airports, military or government buildings or installations
- flying unregistered drones
Be careful about religious sensitivities. It's illegal to:
- try to convert a Muslim
- encourage a Muslim to abandon their religion
- Advice for LGBTI travellers
Some provinces have banned kite flying. This ban is due to fortified kite strings that injure or kill people.
These types of strings are used for flying kites in kite-fighting competitions. Competitors coat their kite strings with metal, crushed glass or chemicals to help cut opponents' kite strings. These strings can fall across roads, cutting motorcycle riders' throats or contact power lines, causing electrocution.
There's also a ban on the sale of kite equipment and the use of premises to fly kites.
Don't bring kites with you or fly kites in Pakistan.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
- Staying within the law and respecting customs
- Forced marriage
Pakistan recognises dual citizenship.
If you or your father were born in Pakistan, authorities may consider you to be a Pakistani national. This applies even if you don't hold a Pakistani passport.
If you're a dual citizen, this limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
Always travel on your Australian passport .
- Dual nationals
There are strong Islamic codes of dress and behaviour in Pakistan.
Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice. Also:
- avoid wearing shorts or short-sleeved clothes
- avoid physical contact between men and women in public
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is observed in Pakistan. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking may be illegal in public during the day. If you're not fasting, avoid these activities around people who are. Seek local advice to avoid offence.
Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.
Visas and border measures
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
You'll need a visa to enter Pakistan.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the Pakistan High Commission for details about visas, currency, customs and other travel requirements.
To exit Pakistan, you must have either:
- a valid visa
- a Pakistani national identity card
- a valid Pakistani passport
Authorities may stop you from boarding your flight if your visa has expired. You could also face heavy penalties, including fines and detention.
Take care not to overstay your visa.
If your visa has expired, contact the Ministry of Interior to get an exit visa.
Illegal entry into Pakistan is an offence and subject to deportation or imprisonment. There is currently no process for regularisation of status for illegal entrants, which is necessary for onward travel.
Monitor your health closely and follow the advice of local authorities. The current policies for travellers entering Pakistan can be found on Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority website.
Yellow fever vaccination.
You may need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Pakistan from a country with yellow fever.
- Countries with a risk of yellow fever (PDF 151KB)
Travel with children
If a child travels unaccompanied, or with only one parent or guardian, local immigration authorities may ask for either:
- documents to prove that the children have consent to travel, or
- proof of parental responsibility
This is particularly the case if the child is of Pakistani origin.
- Advice for people travelling with children
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport .
Lost or stolen passport
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
- In Australia, contact the Australian Passport Information Service .
- If you're overseas, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate
Dual passport holders
If you're a dual national and hold a Pakistani passport, seek advice about when to use it.
Use your Australian passport to leave from and return to Australia.
Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
- LGBTI travellers
The local currency is the Pakistan Rupee (PKR).
US dollars and euros are the easiest currencies to change.
ATMs are widely available in urban areas, though fraud occurs.
International hotels and some shops in major centres accept credit cards.
Pakistan is primarily a cash-based society, but this is changing with the broader acceptance of credit and debit cards in major centres. Arrange to have enough local currency to meet your needs.
To drive in Pakistan, you need both:
- an Australian driver's licence
- an International Driving Permit (IDP)
You must get your IDP before you leave Australia.
You can apply for a local driver's licence if you're a long-term resident. To apply, you have to take a road sign test and provide:
- a supporting letter from your employer
- a copy of your passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months
- a copy of your Australian driver's licence
- a medical fitness certificate from a government hospital in Pakistan
- Pakistan visa valid for at least 6 months
- proof of residency
Road travel in Pakistan is hazardous.
You're more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Pakistan than in Australia. Road accidents are a common cause of death and injury.
Hazards include bad roads and poor driving standards.
Severe flooding of major waterways can occur. This causes widespread damage to transport infrastructure.
Dense fog in northern Pakistan during the winter months can disrupt road travel. Motorways may close until the fog lifts.
Heavy snowfalls in mountain regions cause road blockages each winter. Leading to lengthy and, at times, dangerous traffic jams. This is due to the combination of snow and:
- many cars visiting mountain areas are ill-equipped for driving in snow
- too many vehicles
- lack of snow clearing equipment
- poor traffic management.
In January 2022, 22 people died after being trapped in their vehicles in a snowstorm and traffic jam near Murree, north of Islamabad.
Check you have the right insurance cover before driving.
To reduce your risk on the road:
- learn about local traffic laws and practices
- avoid road travel after dark
- seek local advice and monitor local media and weather reports for information on your planned route before you travel
- Driving or riding
- Natural disasters
Check your insurance policy covers using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Don't use taxis due to security concerns. Never hail a taxi on the street.
Use transport services from accredited tour operators and hotels.
Australian High Commission staff must not use taxis or other ride-sharing services.
Avoid using public transport due to frequent accidents and security concerns. This includes buses and trains.
Only use transport services provided by accredited tour operators and hotels.
Terrorists have targeted Pakistan's civil aviation facilities.
There are strict security measures in place at airports, but attacks could occur in the future.
Dense fog, especially in northern Pakistan during the winter months, can also disrupt air travel. Airports may close until the fog lifts. Flights can be cancelled with little warning due to weather and other operational reasons.
If you plan to fly within Pakistan:
- check flight status and airport operations before you travel
- contact your travel agent and airline about any disruptions to transport services
- be alert to security developments
- allow extra time to pass through airport security
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Pakistan's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
- family and friends
- travel agent
- insurance provider
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
The Australian High Commission in Islamabad sometimes closes to the public at short notice if security concerns arise.
Always call before going to the High Commission.
Australian High Commission, Islamabad
Constitution Avenue and Ispahani Road Diplomatic Enclave No. 1 Sector G-5/4 Islamabad, Pakistan Phone: (+92) 51 835 5500 Fax: (+92) 51 282 0112 Email: [email protected] Website: pakistan.highcommission.gov.au Facebook: Australia in Pakistan Twitter: @AusHCPak
Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
Visiting the High Commission
The Australian High Commission is in the diplomatic enclave.
The Pakistani Government restricts access to the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad for security reasons.
You can only access the enclave if you first schedule an appointment with the High Commission.
If you have an appointment, you can access the enclave by using the Diplomatic Shuttle Service (DSS). You can also visit using a private vehicle or on foot.
Visiting by shuttle bus
The DSS office and bus station is on the corner of Third Avenue (Quaid-e-Azam University Road) and Murree Road.
You can buy bus tickets at the DSS office.
Arrive at the shuttle bus station at least one hour before your appointment to allow time for security checks.
Find out more about the DSS by calling +92 (0) 333 520 5334 .
Visiting by car or on foot
To enter the enclave by car or on foot, the Diplomatic Protection Department needs to clear you in advance.
Arrange this clearance through the Australian High Commission .
Once you get entry clearance, you can enter the enclave by vehicle or on foot from either:
- the Foreign Office gate entrance on Constitution Avenue
- the Shams gate entrance on Ispahani Road
24-hour Consular Emergency Centre
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
- +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
- 1300 555 135 in Australia
Travelling to Pakistan?
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- Our Ministers
If you’re travelling to Pakistan, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.
- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
Safety and Security
Local laws and customs, additional information, embassy contact.
Avoid Non-Essential Travel
Latest Travel Alert
We advise against all travel to:
- the Kashmir region
- the former FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas)
- the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
- the city of Peshawar and districts south of the city, including travel on the Peshawar to Chitral road via the Lowari Pass
- northern and western Balochistan
- travel on the Karakoram Highway between Islamabad and Gilgit
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens require a visa to enter Pakistan. Irish citizens may apply for a visa online through the Pakistani Government’s Official Visa Portal .
A valid passport is required for travel to Pakistan. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 6 months. Passport cards cannot be used.
There is a high risk of terrorism in Pakistan, including in major cities. Irish citizens in Pakistan should exercise vigilance and caution and avoid large public gatherings.
While many public demonstrations take place in Pakistan without incident, there is always the potential for violence, and travellers should avoid such demonstrations as well as large crowds if possible.
Travellers with essential travel to Pakistan should register their presence on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs, avoid border areas and keep their stay to a minimum.
Except for official border crossing points, foreigners are not permitted to travel within 10 miles of Pakistan’s international borders and the Kashmir Line of Control, or within 30 miles of the Afghan border in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Visitors to Pakistan are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
Pakistan can experience extreme flooding and landslides. In the event of a natural disaster, transportation, power distribution, access to food and water, telecommunications networks emergency services and medical care may be significantly impacted. More information is available on the National Disaster Management Authority website .
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Pakistan. Specific emergency numbers are:
- Fire brigade: 16
- Ambulance: 115 and 1122
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
As there is no Irish Embassy in Pakistan, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Ankara, Türkiye.
Safety and security
You should carry photographic ID at all times
The security situation in Pakistan is unstable and dangerous. You should avoid all large gatherings and areas which are known to be vulnerable to unrest.
There is an ongoing threat of sectarian violence particularly in Baluchistan and North West Frontier Province and you should be cautious during Islamic festivals and on Friday in the vicinity of mosques.
Avoid political demonstrations and large crowds assembled for political or religious purposes as there is a risk that these gatherings may turn violent. Keep yourself informed of what is going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your local contact, hotel or tour organiser.
There is a high risk of terrorism in Pakistan. In addition to an established pattern of terrorist attacks on military and Government installations, there have been a lot of indiscriminate terrorist attacks on public places and these have resulted in large numbers of casualties. Locations frequented by Western nationals - hotels, restaurants, shopping centres and diplomatic Missions – have been targeted.
The threat of kidnap of foreign nationals across Pakistan remains high. Kidnappers don’t discriminate between nationalities or religions so you should follow these basic precautions:
- Get advice from your local contacts about staying safe
- Avoid travelling at night, particularly inter-city
- Avoid travelling alone
- When driving, ensure all car doors are locked
- Vary your routes and departure times – avoid patterns which could be tracked
- Pay careful attention to local media for reports of kidnapping activities
Crime levels in Pakistan are high, especially in Karachi and much of Baluchistan, rural Sindh and the North West Frontier Province, including the former FATA (Federally-Administered Tribal Areas), have a high incidence of lawlessness.
Criminal violence, including armed car-jacking, robbery, kidnap and murder, is common in Pakistan, especially in Karachi. Travellers have also been offered drugged food and then robbed. Always be aware of the risks and take personal security precautions.
Reporting a crime
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Pakistan, report it to the local police immediately. You can also contact the Honorary Consul if you need help.
If you are planning to drive in Pakistan, you should be extremely careful. Local driving standards are erratic, especially at night, road conditions are poor and there is a risk of car-jacking. Take particular care on long road journeys and when travelling cross-country.
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Pakistan is an Islamic Republic and you should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions. Dress conservatively; men and women should cover their shoulders and legs when in public. Women should cover their heads when entering mosques or other holy places, and when travelling in more rural areas.
Always be aware of your actions and take care not to offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or other religious festivals, or if you intend to visit religious areas.
During Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke during daylight hours. To avoid offence, you should not eat, drink or smoke in public during this time.
Homosexuality is illegal. We advise caution and discretion at all times.
Co-habitation by an unmarried couple is also illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including prison terms. Drug smuggling can attract the death penalty.
It is illegal to import alcohol and pork products.
We advise you not to take photographs at military establishments, airports or any infrastructure, including bridges and dams or from aircraft.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens may apply for a visa online through the Pakistani Government’s Official Visa Portal: https://visa.nadra.gov.pk/
If you are unsure of the entry requirements for Pakistan, including visa and other immigration information, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Pakistan.
Your passport must have six months validity.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
Travelling with children
A single parent or other adult who is not the child’s parent may need to provide documentary evidence of parental responsibility, particularly if the child is of Pakistani origin, before the immigration authorities will allow the child to leave the country.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Pakistan.
Typhoid vaccination is recommend for all travellers from Ireland to typhoid-endemic countries, including Pakistan. In addition, travellers should be aware of precautions to take to reduce their risk of acquiring typhoid infection including:
- wash hands before eating
- avoid ice and drink only bottled water
- avoid risky foods – undercooked food, raw, unpeeled, unwashed fruit and vegetables or fruit and vegetables washed in unsafe water
More information is available on the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre website.
Polio vaccination is recommended for all travellers from Ireland to countries where polio transmission is a risk. Before travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are still occurring, travellers should ensure that they have completed the recommended age-appropriate polio vaccine schedule and have received a booster dose, if necessary. More information is available on the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre website .
Please note that if you require assistance in the case of an emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 00 90 312 4591000, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox. This mailbox will be monitored regularly. Please have an English speaker leave the initial message.
Embassy of Ireland Ugur Mumcu Caddesi No.88 MNG Binasi B Blok Kat 3 Gaziosmanpasa Ankara 06700 Turkey
Tel: +90 312 459 1000 Fax: +90 312 446 8061
Monday to Friday 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00
Honorary Consulate Contact
Honorary Consul of Ireland Pakistan Mr. Osman Asghar Khan House number 91/1, 1st Lower Commercial Street, Phase IV, Defence Housing Authority Karachi 75500
Tel: +92 21 35891181 - 82 - 83 Fax: +92 21 35821184
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Contact our Honorary Consul in Karachi or the Embassy in Ankara for assistance
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- Reviewed: 8 September 2022, 15:13 NZST
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If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here , alongside our destination specific travel advice below.
Do not travel
Do not travel to Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (except for Chitral district), and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir due to the high risk of kidnapping, terrorism and the unpredictable security situation (level 4 of 4).
Do not travel to the border areas with Afghanistan and India, including the line of control, due to the volatile security situation (level 4 of 4). This does not include Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal, Sialkot (except for areas within 15km of the border) and the Wagah official border crossing point.
Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel elsewhere in Pakistan due to the threat of terrorism, the risk of kidnapping, potential for civil unrest, sectarian violence and the unpredictable security situation (level 3 of 4). New Zealanders in Pakistan with concerns for their safety should consider leaving the country.
As there is no New Zealand High Commission in Pakistan, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is limited. We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Pakistan should consider.
Terrorism There is an ongoing and significant threat from terrorism throughout Pakistan. Future terrorist attacks are expected, could be indiscriminate and could occur throughout Pakistan. We continue to receive information that terrorist groups are planning attacks in Pakistan, including against Western targets.
Numerous terrorist groups are present and operate in Pakistan. While terrorist attacks frequently target Pakistani Government institutions, security and military personnel, foreigners and foreign interests have also been targeted. The provinces of Balochistan and Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa are particularly volatile. There is an increased risk of attack during religious holidays and days of national significance. Security forces may cut mobile phone services and internet access until a threat has passed.
Potential targets across Pakistan could include Government, military institutions, security and law enforcement personnel, public places, sporting events, live music venues, hospitals, courts, hotels, transport hubs (including airports), markets, shopping malls, educational institutions, embassies, religious sites and identifiably Western interests, premises and symbols, including businesses and NGOs.
Methods of attack have included shootings, grenades, and bombings (including improvised explosive devices, roadside bombs and suicide bombs).
Sectarian violence is common in many parts of Pakistan and places of worship and religious sites associated with religious sects are also at risk of terrorist attack. The city of Karachi has high levels of political, sectarian and criminal violence. Protests and demonstrations by religious and political parties have at times led to significant disruptions in the city and regularly result in violent civil unrest. There is a higher level of public security across much of Karachi, police and paramilitary rangers occasionally conduct counter-terrorism operations.
Pakistan has suffered a significant number of terrorist attacks. Recent attacks include:
- On 26 April 2022, 4 people were killed and 4 injured in a suicide IED attack at Karachi University in Karachi, Sindh.
- On 4 March 2022, 63 people were killed and 198 injured in a suicide bombing at a Shia Muslim Mosque in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- On 20 January 2022, 3 people were killed and 29 injured when an IED detonated outside a bank in Lahore, Punjab.
- On 8 January 2022, 6 people were killed during an exchange of gunfire in Quetta, Balochistan.
- On 30 December 2021, 4 people were killed and 15 injured when an IED detonated in Quetta, Balochistan.
- On 5 September 2021, 4 people were killed and 19 injured in a suicide bombing in Quetta, Balochistan.
- On 15 July 2021, 13 people were killed and 28 injured in an IED detonation in Kohistan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- On 23 November 2018, the Chinese Consulate in Karachi was attacked. Seven people were killed.
New Zealanders in Pakistan are advised to exercise extreme caution in public places, maintain very high levels of personal security awareness and take all possible security precautions to protect their safety. Discuss security issues with tour providers or business partners before travelling. We recommend monitoring the media and local information sources for new information on potential threats to safety and security. You should follow the advice of the local authorities and keep a low profile.
Kidnapping There is a significant threat of kidnapping throughout Pakistan, especially in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Foreigners are particularly at risk. Foreign nationals have been kidnapped in the past and killed or held captive for long periods of time. On 17 April 2021, two foreign nationals were kidnapped in Lahore.
New Zealanders in Pakistan are advised to seek professional security advice and ensure appropriate personal security measures are in place at all times. Travel routes and times should be varied and the use of public transport should be avoided.
Military activity The Pakistan military is conducting ongoing operations against militant groups within Pakistan, largely in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. We strongly advise that New Zealanders do not travel to areas where there are reports of militant or military activity.
New Zealanders in Pakistan should also be aware that any increase in violence between Pakistani security forces and militant groups or terrorists is likely to increase the possibility of reprisal terrorist attacks, which may not be limited to the geographic area of confrontation.
Border areas There is a volatile security environment along the border with India. With the exception of official border crossings, foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 15 kilometres of the entire border area with India, including the Kashmir Line of Control. Foreigners are also prohibited from travelling within 50 kilometres of the border with Afghanistan in Gilgit-Balistan. We strongly advise that New Zealanders do not travel to these areas.
If you must travel to Chitral district or Gilgit-Balistan, do so by air rather than by road due to significant safety and security risks.
Early in 2019, there were reports of air force incidents over border areas of the disputed region of Kashmir. The security situation in and around Kashmir is volatile and could deteriorate without warning.
Crime Violent crime, including armed car-jacking, assault and robbery, occurs in many parts of Pakistan, particularly in Karachi, Balochistan, rural Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. There is a high level of lawlessness in some of these areas. Petty crime such as bag snatching, passport theft and pickpocketing occurs and is common in tourist areas, in larger cities and on public transport. We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings.
There have been incidents across Pakistan of people posing as police officers with fake police ID cards, including in Islamabad.
Celebratory gunfire is illegal but common. While the likelihood of being hit is remote, it has occasionally resulted in injury and death. If you’re in Karachi on New Year’s Eve, we recommend you stay indoors from 11pm until 4am the following day (New Year’s Day), to limit exposure to celebratory gunfire.
Women may be subject to forms of harassment and verbal abuse, especially if travelling alone. Gender-based violence, particularly in the home, is common. Standards of domestic violence support are far lower than similar services in New Zealand. Forced marriages have also been reported. You should consider these risks if you are planning travel to Pakistan.
Avoid travelling alone and outside urban areas after dark. When travelling by car, it is advisable to keep doors locked and windows up at all times. Photo identification should be carried for presenting at police checkpoints.
Civil unrest The political situation in Pakistan remains unpredictable. Demonstrations and civil disorder are common and can develop quickly. Some may take on an anti-Western tone. Authorities may suspend mobile networks and close roads at short notice in response.
New Zealanders are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests, political rallies and large public gatherings in Pakistan given the potential for these to turn violent with little warning. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should leave the area if it is safe to do so, or find a safe location, remain indoors and follow the advice of local authorities.
Transport safety Avoid using taxis and public transport (including buses and trains) due to security concerns. Only use transport services provided by hotels and accredited tour operators.
We advise against travelling on the section of the Karakoram Highway from Mansehra to Chilas, via Battagram, Besham City, Dasu and Sazin due to security risks.
General travel advice Access to certain areas of Pakistan may be restricted by authorities. New Zealanders in Pakistan should be aware of, and adhere to any restrictions in place on travel.
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Pakistan to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour. Homosexual acts and relationships are considered illegal in Pakistan. Blasphemy is illegal, severe penalties can apply, including the death penalty. Those accused of blasphemy are also at risk of significant violence from the public.
The monsoon season in Pakistan is normally from late June to early October. During this time, there is a heightened risk of severe flooding and landslides. Check local weather forecasts and in the event of a flood, always follow the instructions of local authorities.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.
Photography of government buildings or installations, airports, military establishments or officials, is prohibited, and could result in detention. If in doubt, don’t take a picture.
New Zealanders in Pakistan should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel to Pakistan – exclusions may apply.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Pakistan are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
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The New Zealand Embassy Tehran, Iran is accredited to Pakistan
Telephone +98 919 554 0130 Email [email protected] Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/iran Hours By appointment. Note Visa enquiries will only be responded to between 1000-1230. The Embassy is currently not accepting any walk-ins, and all contact must be made via email or telephone +64 99 20 20 20.
New Zealand Consulate-General Karachi, Pakistan
Street Address Suite 214-5, Glass Tower 2 Ft 3, Adjacent to PSO House Main Clifton Road Karachi 75530 Telephone + 92 21 3565 6993 Alternate Telephone +92 21 3565 6994 Email [email protected]
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14 things you need to know before traveling to Pakistan
Sep 2, 2023 • 9 min read
Pakistan offers amazing adventures but it pays to read up on the challenges © Dave Primov / Shutterstock
Pakistan is one of the world’s great surprises, with an incredible diversity of scenery – from the world’s biggest mountain glaciers to the sparkling waters of the Indus River – alongside some of the most beautiful forts, mosques and archaeological sites in the Subcontinent. It is the cultural bridge between India and Central Asia and home to some of the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet.
It would, however, be fair to say that Pakistan has a mixed reputation beyond its borders. The country is beset with economic, political and security problems, but much has changed security-wise in recent years. An incredible welcome is guaranteed here, but this is also a destination that requires a bit of research in order to travel with confidence. Start your planning with the following essential travel tips.
1. Choose the right season for the areas you are visiting
Travel in Pakistan is strongly affected by the seasons . The summer months of July and August are the best time to visit the high mountains of the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges in the north, but this is also the busiest time for domestic tourism and it’s incredibly hot elsewhere in the country. If you want to explore the center, south and west of the country, consider a visit in spring (April and May) or autumn (October and November), especially if you don’t plan on going trekking. October brings fabulous fall colors to places like the Hunza Valley, whereas winter (November to February) is the best time to explore central and southern Pakistan.
Festivals worth planning your trip around include the Shandur Polo Festival in the second weekend of July, held atop the mountain pass between Hunza and Chitral, and the Chilam Joshi spring festival in the Kalash Valley in mid-May.
2. You’ll probably need a visa and letter of invitation to visit Pakistan
Most foreigners need a visa to enter Pakistan but you can apply online through the immigration department’s slightly glitchy e-visa system . You will also need a letter of invitation from a local hotel, your Pakistani host or a Pakistani travel agent to secure a visa, so give yourself enough time to get this document in place. Even if you don't plan on taking a tour, travel agencies can provide a letter of invitation for a fee. Contact your local Pakistani embassy or high commission for the latest information.
3. Be prepared for some challenges if you travel during Ramadan
The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan brings a specific set of challenges for travelers. Most Pakistani Muslims avoid eating or drinking between dawn and dusk during this holy month, and most restaurants close during the day, with offices often working reduced hours. You’ll need to be fairly self-sufficient when it comes to food during daylight hours and you should avoid eating in public during the fasting period. This said, evenings are especially lively during Ramadan, as the devout break their daily fast with blowouts in local restaurants.
The dates for Ramadan shift annually according to the Islamic lunar calendar and sightings of the moon, and the festival moves forward by 11 days each year, relative to the Gregorian calendar; in 2024, the festival should start around 10 March.
4. Get a Pakistani SIM card to use the local taxi apps
Public Wi-Fi is not all that common outside of larger cities in Pakistan, so it’s useful to bring an unlocked smartphone for mobile browsing. Buy a local SIM card from the main customer service center for your chosen operator, in whichever town you happen to be in. Travelers recommend Zong , Telenor or Jazz for central Pakistan, or the government-owned SCOM for the mountainous northern area of Gilgit-Baltistan .
With a local SIM and phone number, you should be able to use local taxi apps such as Uber and its local equivalent Careem , which will save you both time and money, compared to flagging down local taxis in big cities such as Islamabad and Lahore .
5. Bring plenty of photocopies of your passport
There are lots of checkpoints in Pakistan where you'll need to show your identity documents, so bring lots of photocopies of your passport’s information pages and Pakistan visa, and always travel with the original passport on your person. You’ll find yourself handing over these copies regularly on long-distance road trips, including when traveling on the Karakoram Highway .
6. Enjoy the local hospitality (but don’t abuse it)
Culture and customs can vary widely as you move from region to region in Pakistan but in general, you’ll find most Pakistanis to be extremely friendly and hospitable. Conversations, cups of chai and even dinner invitations flow easily, and you can expect to participate in hundreds of selfies.
Hospitality is so integral to Pakistani culture that many locals feel obliged to offer to pay for a foreigner’s meal or bus tickets, even if money is short. You may have to turn down these invitations multiple times to avoid burdening anyone unnecessarily. If you do share a meal in Pakistan be sure to pass and accept food with your right hand only; the left hand should not be used for eating or shaking hands.
7. Women travelers might face some challenges in Pakistan
For the most part, Pakistan is a conservative, male-dominated society, and this can pose some challenges for female travelers. Women and men don’t mix much in public, and women generally sit in segregated areas on public buses and trains and, often, in restaurants. Attitudes towards foreign women can be protective and curious but women traveling alone may face some suspicion, and sexual harassment can sometimes be a risk in crowds. Special rules for women also apply at some religious sites.
For solo women travelers traveling through Pakistan, it helps to already have some experience of travel in other Islamic countries. Women traveling with a male companion generally face fewer obstacles. On the plus side, women travelers can gain insights into family dynamics and the lives of Pakistani women, which are completely off-limits to male travelers. And in some situations, foreign women may have unique access to both the male and female worlds.
8. Invest in a shalwar kameez to travel like a local
Pakistan’s national dress is the shalwar kameez , a garnet resembling a long shirt worn over wide, baggy trousers, popular with both men and women. It's worth investing in a set if you are going to be traveling for any length of time in Pakistan. The shalwar kameez is supremely practical and comfortable in this climate – you’ll also blend in nicely with the crowd, and locals will respect you for sharing in their culture. Women should also add a dupatta scarf to cover their hair when visiting mosques and other religious sites.
9. Dial down public displays of affection
Many Pakistanis are socially conservative, and public displays of affection between men and women – including kissing, touching and even holding hands in public – are frowned on. Attitudes towards LGBTIQ+ people can also be quite negative, and same-sex relationships are illegal, so Pakistan is not a good place for openly LGBTIQ+ people to travel . It is not unusual for Pakistani men to hold hands or drape arms around each other, but this is generally platonic.
10. Treat bargaining as a lighthearted sport
Haggling is acceptable, commonplace and often necessary in Pakistan, but it is best approached as a lighthearted social exchange rather than a life-or-death struggle, as some travelers treat it when traveling in Asia. The goal is for both purchaser and seller to walk away happy.
When bargaining, respond to the first price quoted with a lower offer, then work back and forth until you reach a price you can both agree on. If you can afford it, avoid haggling over small sums – local people are often poorly paid and financially insecure, and overpaying by a few rupees won’t make a big dent in your wallet.
11. Be aware of the no-go areas
The security situation can vary widely as you travel around Pakistan. Potentially dicey areas include parts of rural Sindh, some neighborhoods in Karachi , the area of Indus Kohistan close to Abbottabad (where Osama Bin Laden lived in hiding until 2011), parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan , and all of Baluchistan and Azad Kashmir provinces.
In general, you are unlikely to stumble into a danger zone because foreigners require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to visit such places, and you won’t be given one of these without excellent local contacts. The safest parts of the country are central Punjab Province and the area north of Gilgit, extending as far as the Chinese border along the Karakoram Highway . Check out the latest travel advisory information from your home government before you travel.
While the risk is small, terrorist attacks and kidnappings do take place in Pakistan, and street crime can be an issue in parts of Karachi. Stay alert, exercise caution, and heed local advice on problem areas. Be aware that Sufi and Shia shrines are sometimes targeted by extremists, so visiting these locations can bring a slightly elevated risk.
12. Don’t panic if you get an armed escort
The Pakistani government is keen to protect the nation’s tourism industry, and officials sometimes insist that tourists take an armed guard to visit certain locations. You don’t have to pay for these guards, but the use of their services is mandatory.
Some travelers find the guards somewhat constraining but their presence is usually just a precaution. You may be given a police escort in places such as Swat, the Kalash Valley and the scenic Fairy Meadows hiking area (on the northern flanks of Nanga Parbat peak).
13. Get travel insurance (and read the small print)
Good travel insurance is important for travel to Pakistan, but be aware that most policies won’t cover you for areas where your home government advises "against all travel." For example, in 2023, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office was advising against all travel to Swat and Peshawar, amongst other destinations. Check the latest government travel advisories for up-to-date information and plan your itinerary accordingly.
14. Give some thought to potential problems before you come
Beyond security issues, natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes are unfortunately common at times in Pakistan, while power cuts are a smaller but more frequent occurrence. Monitor the local and international media for news on problem areas, and if you get caught in a natural disaster, follow the guidance of the authorities.
In terms of personal health, intestinal problems are the most common complaints among foreign tourists; the two golden rules are don’t drink the tap water and be wary of pre-cooked food. Eating from busy stalls and restaurants where food is freshly cooked is the way to go.
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U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Pakistan
Social / search, alerts and messages, level 3: reissued with updates to health information. read more.
- Demonstration Alert – U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan (3 November, 2023)
- Demonstration Alert – U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan (October 27, 2023) (28 October, 2023)
- Message for U.S. Citizens: Demonstration Alert – U.S. Consulate General Lahore (20 October, 2023)
- Security Alert – Worldwide Caution (20 October, 2023)
- Demonstration Alert – U.S. Consulate General Karachi (18 October, 2023)
- Demonstration Alert- U.S. Mission to Pakistan (13 October, 2023)
- Travel Advisory: Eid Milad Un Nabi Celebrations (27 September, 2023)
- Security Alert – U.S. Consulate General Karachi, Pakistan (September 22, 2023) (22 September, 2023)
- Demonstration Alert – U.S. Consulate General Karachi, Pakistan -September 19, 2023 (19 September, 2023)
- Travel Advisory: Protests in Gilgit-Baltistan (2 September, 2023)
- Embassy operating status July 31 and August 1 (30 July, 2023)
- Security Alert: Countrywide Demonstrations (7 July, 2023)
- Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Islamabad, May 15, 2023 (15 May, 2023)
- Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan, May 14, 2023 (14 May, 2023)
- Alert: U.S. Mission Pakistan (May 12, 2023) (12 May, 2023)
- Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan (10 May, 2023)
Footer Disclaimer This is the official website of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
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*Entry to Pakistan: Since 5 May, Pakistan has restricted the number of international flights to/from Pakistan. On 20 March, the Pakistan government announced that entry restrictions for inbound travellers from the UK will be lifted from 0001 hours on 23 March. Travellers are still required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours before the start of travel. You should arrange to take a private test.
For information about this and possible quarantine periods on arrival please see Pakistan government advice.The Pakistani authorities have closed land borders with Afghanistan, India and Iran. Despite this, there are ongoing limited border openings for repatriation and trade. Those crossing into Pakistan may have to comply with coronavirus testing and quarantine measures.
*Testing / screening on arrival: If travelling by air, you will be subject to Rapid Antigen testing on arrival at airports in Pakistan. From 1 May Pakistan government guidelines state that those testing negative will then need to undergo 10 days of self-quarantine at home. Travellers who test positive will be moved to a self-paid facility for 10 days quarantine. A second PCR test will be conducted on the 8th day of quarantine, following which a negative result will enable a passenger to proceed home and a positive result will necessitate a further quarantine period or move to hospital if required. Travellers to Pakistan will also be required to provide their contact information through the Pass Track App or through a web-based form. If necessary you may also be able to fill in a health declaration form on arrival.
Government guidelines, issued on 18 November, state that children under the age of 12 and disabled passengers are exempt from the COVID-19 test requirement and Pass Track App requirement. However they will be required to complete a health declaration form upon arrival. You may also be required to follow special measures before boarding flights to Pakistan and while on board the aircraft, including the wearing of a face mask. Pakistan government guidance, including links to the Pass Track App and web-based form is available on their COVID-19 website .
*Screening on departure: If you’re leaving Pakistan, you will be screened at the airport for any symptoms of COVID-19. You may also be subject to thermal screening for high temperatures. If you’re free from symptoms you will be allowed to travel. If you’re suspected of having symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough and breathing difficulty, you will be subject to a secondary screening by a medical professional. After which, you may be allowed to board if it is assessed that you do not have symptoms, have not been at risk of exposure and do not have a fever. If the secondary screening assesses that you may have COVID-19 you may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days before you can travel. You may also be referred to a medical facility.
*Travel in Pakistan: Public transport has restarted across Pakistan with some restrictions. Domestic flight operations have restarted at all airports in Pakistan. Rail and bus travel has also restarted, including inter-city and inter-province travel. However, there are mandatory standard operating procedures for public transport including social distancing and restrictions on numbers of passengers. You must wear a face covering when in public across Pakistan including on public transport, punishable by fine.
Authorities can impose local restrictions on travel to prevent the spread of coronavirus. You should follow the federal and relevant provincial guidance, and monitor local media for updates.
*Travel to the airport: You’re strongly advised not to travel to the airport if you’re displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, including a high temperature. When you enter the airport, you may be thermal scanned by the Pakistani authorities. If you have a high temperature or other COVID-19 symptoms, you will not be permitted to fly and may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days before you can travel.
*Public places and services: Pakistani authorities have imposed restrictions on some public activities in Islamabad Capital Territory and parts of Punjab province due to rising cases of COVID-19 including a ban on indoor and outdoor dining, restrictions on commercial activities, educational institutes and gatherings. Restrictions may be lifted or re-imposed based on the levels of COVID-19 in the country.
There are mandatory standard operating procedures which must be followed in public spaces, including the use of face masks, temperature screening and social distancing. Across Pakistan, it is now mandatory to wear a face mask in public and not wearing one is punishable by a fine. There are additional varying measures in force in each province including compulsory self-isolation for people who have COVID-19 symptoms, or people who have come into contact with others with COVID-19 symptoms. In some cases, authorities are locking down specific areas. Some provinces have introduced powers to fine or arrest anyone breaking the rules. You should follow the federal and relevant provincial guidance, and monitor local media for updates. Plan any movements accordingly.
*At the airport: You must wear a face mask at the airport. You will need to bring your own mask with you. Airlines and airport authorities will not provide masks. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) require the plane to be disinfected prior to departing for Pakistan. Luggage will also be disinfected before it is loaded onto the plane. Cabin Crew will be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
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