Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Learn About Your Destination > Pakistan International Travel Information
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Telephone: +(92)(51) 201-4000 or +(92)(51) 201-5000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(92)(51) 201-4000
Fax: +(92)(51) 282-2632
U.S. Consulate General Karachi
Plot 3-5 New TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road
Telephone: +(92)(21) 3527-5000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(92)(21) 3527-5000
Fax: +(92)(21) 3561-2420
U.S. Consulate General Lahore
50, Shahrah-e-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees,
(Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill Circle,
Telephone: +(92)(42) 3603-4000
Fax: +(92)(42) 3603-4212
U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar
11 Hospital Road, Peshawar Cantt.20
Telephone: +(92)(91) 526-8800
Fax: +(92)(91) 527-6712
** Consular services are not available in Peshawar and are handled by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad**
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Pakistan for information on U.S.-Pakistan relations.
The Government of Pakistan requires all travelers age 12 and over to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Requirements for entry and exit:
Obtain your visa at the Pakistani Embassy or a Consulate prior to initiating travel to Pakistan. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan cannot assist you with Pakistani visa issues. Visit the Embassy of Pakistan website for the most current visa information.
All U.S. government employees and immediate family members must follow appropriate procedures for official and personal travel to Pakistan. All official U.S. government travel requests must be submitted via the normal country clearance process and will be limited to mission-critical travel only. U.S. government employees wishing to conduct unofficial travel to Pakistan must contact the appropriate office in their home agency to determine whether there are any limitations or restrictions.
Dual Nationals: Be aware that different visa requirements may apply if you hold both U.S. and Pakistani citizenship. For more information see the Embassy of Pakistan’s information regarding National Identity Cards for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and Pakistan Origin Cards (POC).
When you travel to Pakistan, you are subject to the laws of Pakistan. If you travel to Pakistan on NICOP or POC cards, you are considered citizens of Pakistan, which may limit the amount of assistance and communication we can provide should you be arrested. For more information see Government of Pakistan Directorate General of Immigration and Passports.
You must obtain advance permission from local or federal authorities to travel in:
Operational and personal security policies for official U.S. government personnel change frequently.
Stay in compliance with Pakistani immigration regulations. If you overstay your visa or violate the terms, you may be detained, arrested, fined, and/or imprisoned. For further details see the Ministry of Interior website or call +92-51-920-7290.
Keep copies of your U.S. passport data page, Pakistani visa or ID card, and Pakistan immigration entry stamp with you at all times. Consider downloading these documents to your mobile phone in case of emergency.
Vaccinations: With the exception of COVID-19 vaccination, no routine vaccines are required when entering Pakistan from the United States, but proof of polio vaccination within one year may be required to exit Pakistan. See the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for recommended vaccinations and health tips for travel to Pakistan. For further updates, contact the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, telephone: +92-51-910-7307, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Pakistan.
Terrorism: Extremist groups within Pakistan continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where U.S. citizens and Westerners are known to congregate or visit, including government facilities and public locations, such as schools and universities, shopping malls, markets, hotels, clubs and restaurants, , transportation hubs/stations, minority neighborhoods, and outdoor recreation areas. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates prohibit personnel from visiting houses of worship. Terrorists also target Pakistani officials, government facilities, security forces, religious minorities and facilities including Sufi shrines, and regularly resort to kidnapping for ransom. Attacks have included armed assaults on heavily guarded sites, including Pakistani military and police installations, and airports. Primary terrorist tactics include suicide operations, gunfire, and bombings (including vehicle-borne explosives and improvised explosive devices), while other actions include but are not limited to assassinations, carjackings, and assaults. The Government of Pakistan maintains heightened security measures, particularly in major cities, and these measures can vary from day to day. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates regularly assess security situations and restrict the movements of official personnel.
Demonstrations, political rallies, or large religious gatherings intended to be peaceful can become confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. We advise U.S. citizens to avoid areas where large crowds of any kind gather. U.S Embassy and Consulate personnel are routinely instructed to avoid areas of any demonstration. During demonstrations or periods of civil unrest, the Pakistani government has in the past disabled cellular telephone and internet service, making it difficult for individuals to contact each other or the U.S. Embassy or Consulates.
Celebratory gunfire may occur at any time but is most likely to occur during wedding celebrations, which are frequent from October to May, and on holidays such as New Year’s Eve. Although the likelihood of being struck is remote, falling rounds can cause injury or death.
We recommend you limit the frequency of travel and minimize the duration of trips to public markets, restaurants, and other public locations. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates prohibit personnel from using public transportation or taxi services. With few exceptions, official visitors are not authorized to stay overnight in local hotels anywhere in the country; we strongly urge you to avoid hotels that do not apply stringent security measures. Depending on ongoing security assessments, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates sometimes place areas such as tourist attractions, hotels, markets, shopping malls, and restaurants off-limits to official personnel.
Threats to civil aviation in Pakistan are not limited to attacks in which militants target airports. The U.S. government is aware of narcotics smuggled onto flights from Pakistan, which may indicate broader security vulnerabilities at Pakistani airports.
We recommend you follow media coverage of local events and maintain good situational awareness and operational security wherever you travel in Pakistan. If you feel that your life is in danger in Pakistan, we advise you to report the threat to local police authorities and consider immediately changing locations or departing Pakistan.
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: All travelers are advised to dress conservatively, with arms and legs covered, and to avoid walking alone. We recommend against travel on the streets late at night. Urban crime can be organized or opportunistic and conducted by individuals or groups. It can include fraud, theft, robbery, carjacking, rape, assault, and burglary. Incidents of crime and levels of violence are higher in low-income residential and congested commercial areas but are seen in wealthier areas as well. Pickpocketing, theft, and larceny are common on buses and trains at all hours of the day.
Take precautions to avoid crime, including:
If you are assaulted, flee to a safe area and report the situation to local authorities by going directly to a police station or dialing 15.
Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.
During demonstrations or periods of civil unrest/heightened security concern, the Pakistani government has in the past disabled cellular telephone and internet service, making it difficult for individuals to contact each other or the U.S. Embassy or Consulates.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.
Report crimes to the local police at 15 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(92)(51) 201-4000. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
Police responsiveness varies widely, and crimes often go unsolved or unprosecuted.
Dual U.S-Pakistani nationals may not be recognized as U.S. citizens by local authorities.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or the Consulates in Karachi or Lahore for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. The U.S. government may not act to circumvent local authorities or advocate for particular outcomes on behalf of private individuals. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates cannot offer “safe haven.”
It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings or structures, particularly sensitive places like military installations, cantonments, and nuclear sites, but the law on this subject is vague and applied inconsistently.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could land you immediately in jail and result in severe penalties.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Pakistan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences in local prisons, heavy fines, and sometimes even the death penalty.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Pakistani law enforcement authorities will typically not notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulates if a foreign citizen is arrested or detained, unless you request they do so. Pakistan’s regulations governing the travel of foreign diplomats and the procedures for gaining access to arrested individuals have delayed consular access in the past. In some cases, a consular officer may not be able to visit due to security-related travel restrictions.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details::
LGBTQI+ Travelers: Same-sex sexual conduct is a criminal offense in Pakistan. While the government rarely prosecutes cases, society generally shuns lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons, and violence and discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons occur frequently.
The penalty for same-sex relations is a fine, imprisonment (sentences ranging from two years to life imprisonment), or both. No laws protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and LGBTQI+ persons rarely reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Pakistan prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, and the law is unevenly enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. The most common types of accessibility may include accessible facilities, information, and communication/access to services/ease of movement or access. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure. The availability of rental, repair, and replacement parts for equipment and devices is limited, especially outside major population areas. Services for persons with disabilities may also be limited outside the largest cities.
Women Travelers: We often receive reports of U.S. citizens subjected to domestic violence, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and forced marriage in Pakistan. There are also cases of individuals having their own and their children’s passports confiscated by spouses, parents, or other family members and having their freedom of movement severely restricted. Local police are not consistently responsive to reports of such cases. Nonetheless, if you find yourself in a life-threatening situation, you are encouraged to call the police immediately and follow up with a call to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. We can sometimes connect you with a Pakistani non-governmental organization that may be able to provide assistance.
If you are victimized overseas, you may be entitled to receive compensation for counseling and/or other services such as relocation back to the United States. For further information, visit the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime committed in Pakistan
See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
The Government of Pakistan requires travelers age 12 and over be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Basic medical care is available in major Pakistani cities but is limited in rural areas. Facilities in cities vary in quality and range of services and may be below U.S. standards; facilities in rural areas are consistently below U.S. standards. Medical facilities require pre-payment for services, and most do not accept credit cards.
Effective emergency response to personal injury and illness is virtually non-existent in most of Pakistan. Ambulances are few, lack medical equipment, and are not necessarily staffed by medical personnel. Visitors and foreign residents should bring sufficient supplies of prescription and commonly used over-the-counter medications. Many U.S.-brand medications are not available, there is a high incidence of fake pharmaceuticals, and the quality of locally produced medications is uneven.
A CDC Level 1 Travel Health Notice regarding extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid in Pakistan has been in place since 2018. Review the Travel Health Notice.
A CDC Level 1 Travel Health Notice regarding global increase in the number of cases of measles including in Pakistan. Review the Travel Health Notice.
There is a risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other communicable diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV, in Pakistan. Travelers are urged to use the same cautionary and protective health measures they would in their own country.
For emergency services in Pakistan, dial 15.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover possible medical evacuation. If you plan to engage in high-risk outdoor activities in Pakistan, it is essential that you engage the services of a travel risk and crisis management provider.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Government of Pakistan to ensure the medication is legal in Pakistan.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air pollution is a significant environmental problem across Pakistan. Throughout the country, air quality varies considerably by city and fluctuates greatly depending on the season and local weather patterns. We encourage you to consult with your doctor prior to travel and consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you. It is typically at its worst during the winter in Pakistan. Anyone who travels to areas where pollution levels are high is at risk. People at the greatest risk from pollution exposure include:
Air quality data for major cities in Pakistan can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s website.
Throughout Pakistan, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.
Sanitation in most restaurants is inadequate. Diarrheal illnesses are common. Travelers to Pakistan are at risk for other infectious diseases as well. More information about these illnesses and how to protect against them can be found on the CDC webpage for Pakistan
Adventure Travel: Pakistan’s mountains and glaciers make it a tempting destination for adventure enthusiasts. Despite the best efforts of local authorities, assisting visitors lost or injured in such remote areas can be difficult. In recent years, several U.S. citizens, including expert climbers, have lost their lives while climbing in the Karakoram mountain range, where rescue missions are often difficult or impossible to execute. Costs for emergency rescues start at $15,000, and payment is required prior to commencement of a search operation.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.
The following diseases are prevalent:
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Pakistan.
Road Conditions and Safety: While in Pakistan, you will encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below about Pakistan is provided for general reference only, and it might vary in a particular location or circumstance.
Traffic Laws: Traffic in Pakistan moves on the left; the opposite of U.S. traffic. Roads are crowded, drivers are often aggressive and poorly trained, and many vehicles, particularly large trucks and buses, are poorly maintained. Local drivers may drive head-on in your lane of traffic if they believe it helps them get to their destination more quickly. Animals, horse carts, bicyclists, and pedestrians can pose roadside hazards in some areas. Roads, including most major highways, also suffer from poor maintenance and often have numerous potholes, sharp drop-offs, and barriers that are not sign-posted. Drivers should exercise extreme caution when traveling at night by road, since many vehicles do not have working headlights or dimmers, and many roads are not illuminated or signed. We recommend driving with experienced local drivers or guides.
Public Transportation: Avoid all trains, taxis, and other forms of public transportation or online ride hailing services. For security reasons, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from using all forms of public transportation. See the Safety and Security section above.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards for oversight of Pakistan’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.