Reciprocity By Country Search
Pakistan Reciprocity Schedule
A-1 None Multiple 24 Months A-2 None Multiple 24 Months A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months B-1 None Multiple 60 Months B-2 None Multiple 60 Months B-1/B-2 None Multiple 60 Months C-1 None Multiple 60 Months C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months C-2 None Multiple 12 Months C-3 None Multiple 12 Months CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months D None Multiple 60 Months E-1 2 None Multiple 60 Months E-2 2 None Multiple 60 Months E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months F-1 None Multiple 60 Months F-2 None Multiple 60 Months G-1 None Multiple 24 Months G-2 None Multiple 24 Months G-3 None Multiple 24 Months G-4 None Multiple 24 Months G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3 H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3 H-2A None N/A N/A 3 H-2B None N/A N/A 3 H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3 H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3 H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3 I None Multiple 60 Months J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months K-1 None One 6 Months K-2 None One 6 Months K-3 None Multiple 24 Months K-4 None Multiple 24 Months L-1 None Multiple 60 Months L-2 None Multiple 60 Months M-1 None Multiple 60 Months M-2 None Multiple 60 Months N-8 None Multiple 24 Months N-9 None Multiple 24 Months NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A O-1 None Multiple 48 Months 3 O-2 None Multiple 48 Months 3 O-3 None Multiple 48 Months 3 P-1 None Multiple 48 Months 3 P-2 None Multiple 48 Months 3 P-3 None Multiple 48 Months 3 P-4 None Multiple 48 Months 3 Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3 R-1 None Multiple 36 Months R-2 None Multiple 36 Months S-5 7 None One 1 Month S-6 7 None One 1 Month S-7 7 None One 1 Month T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A T-2 None One 6 Months T-3 None One 6 Months T-4 None One 6 Months T-5 None One 6 Months T-6 None One 6 Months TD 5 N/A N/A N/A U-1 None Multiple 48 Months U-2 None Multiple 48 Months U-3 None Multiple 48 Months U-4 None Multiple 48 Months U-5 None Multiple 48 Months V-1 None Multiple 120 Months V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8 V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
Visa Category Footnotes
The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:
- G-1 through G-4
- NATO 1 through NATO 6
An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.
Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.
The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.
Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.
Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.
There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.
Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.
In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).
However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.
Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.
Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.
Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.
Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.
No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.
V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.
Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:
- T-2 (spouse)
- T-3 (child)
- T-4 (parent)
The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.
The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
Prior to 1961, in large cities, Municipal Corporations were registering births and deaths, but in 1961 the Muslim Family Law Ordinance (MFLO) was passed to formalize the marriages and divorces as well. Municipal Corporation records in big cities are still available but it is sometimes difficult to locate them, and the condition of these records is not good. After 1961, the Government began regulating the provision of some documents, but different offices were responsible for different documents, and implementation of regulations was inconsistent. In 1998, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) was created to develop a database for registering the citizens of Pakistan. NADRA-issued identity cards, birth and death certificates, and marriage and divorce certificates are now available. However, NADRA is only responsible for the computerized database used to register records; they are not responsible for the records themselves. Union Councils, Municipal Corporations, Directors of Health Services, and other local organizations are responsible for the actual records.
Birth, Death, Burial Certificates
Available for a fee, which varies by location and depending on whether a NADRA or Union Council birth certificate is requested. In larger cities, such as Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi, Municipal Corporations issued birth certificates prior to 2001. Birth certificates for older Pakistanis, particularly those born before partition in 1947, are often unavailable. These Pakistanis may present a "No Entry Certificate" issued by the Municipal Corporation or a late-registered birth certificate. Almost all records of vital statistics of the Karachi Municipality were burned in 1948.
Even today, birth records are not uniformly kept, particularly in rural areas. Where a record of birth exists, a certificate to that effect may be obtained from the Registrar of Births and Deaths, the Municipal Corporation, or the Union Council. Caution should be used, however, in accepting such certificates, since they frequently do not match the original ledgers.
Births are supposed to be registered with the Union Council within two months. Informants go to the Union Council, fill out a form, and provide their identification. The process for late registration is more complex, requiring two affidavits and the presentation of the child to the District Health Officer (DHO). The DHO then issues a letter to the concerned Union Council authorizing the late entry. Once this process has been completed, the informant can go to the Union Council for registration. Registrants can request the birth certificate on either the Union Council form, which varies from area to area and can be provided on the same day, or the NADRA form, which is uniform and usually provided in a few days. Both forms should bear a stamp and signature by the Union Council Secretary.
In lieu of a birth certificate, Pakistanis often use school records attested by the headmaster or principal of the school or matriculation certificates, both of which identify the father and the date of birth. "B" Forms, which are family registration forms listing all family members, are also available toshow family relationships. These documents are issued by NADRA, though pre-NADRA versions are sometimes available as well.
Available for a fee. Records of deaths are inconsistent because most people only request one when required for a specific reason. There is no required timeframe in which to report a death. Where the death is recorded, a certificate can be obtained from the Registrar of Births and Deaths of the Municipality or the Union Council. Cantonment Boards in urban areas are also authorized to issue death certificates. In locations where a proper graveyard system exists, local authorities accept the graveyard receipt as proof of death. A death certificate issued by a hospital is also acceptable as proof. As with birth certificates, caution should be used in accepting such documents as authentic because Union Council Secretaries and other officials who document deaths may issue a certificate with little or no evidence. Union Councils will issue NADRA death certificates if requested. If the deceased died in a hospital or had a long illness prior to death, hospital and medical records can provide corroborating evidence of death.
Marriage, Divorce Certificates
The marriage certificate for Muslims is the Nikah Nama. At the marriage ceremony, the bride and groom, their representatives, at least two witnesses, and the Nikah Nama officiator sign this document. There are four original copies of the Nikah Nama, which are then given to the Nikah Registrar, who is often also the officiator. The Municipality, Panchayat Committee, Cantonment Board, or Union Council appoints registrars. The Registrar should sign and stamp each original and submit the first copy (noted as such on top of the form) for registration with the Union Council, while the second and third copies are provided to the bride and groom. The Registrar should keep the fourth copy. The Nikah Registrar should register the marriage within two months, but this does not always occur. The Registrar must pay a fee for registration, which is generally obtained from the groom at the time of the Nikah ceremony. The date of registration should be entered on line 24 of the Nikah. It is not unusual for the registration date to be missing from the Nikah. The NADRA marriage certificate can provide further proof of registration. For immigration purposes, the Nikah must be registered.
The original Nikah Nama is usually in Urdu and is required for consular processing of immigrant visas. The NADRA marriage certificate is not an acceptable substitute for the Nikah Nama. Attested translations of the Nikah Nama should be provided. In some larger jurisdictions, such as Karachi and Lahore, an original English Nikah Nama may be given upon request.
Marriage certificates for religious minorities (Christians, Hindus, Parsis) are issued by church or temple leaders and are not generally registered with local authorities. The internal procedures for marriage documentation vary between institutions and denominations. Christian marriages can be made a matter of civil record with subsequent preparation of registrar certificates witnessed by magistrates under the Christian Marriage Act of 1892, though this procedure is rarely followed.
Many foreign embassies require wedding photographs and video in addition to the Nikah Nama or marriage certificate as proof of marriage.
Available. Muslim Pakistani divorce laws, governed by the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance (MFLO), are complicated and must be followed for divorces to be recognized for immigration purposes.
In Azad Kashmir, the "bare Talaq" (uncontestable verbal pronouncement of divorce by the husband) is still permitted. Some foreign embassies and Pakistani legal authorities question the validity of the bare Talaq if the wife resides outside Azad Kashmir and contests such a divorce under the laws prevailing in other areas of Pakistan. While there may be no documentation of a divorce in Azad Kashmir, the Tehsil or District Mufti will give a certificate upon request stating the details of the divorce. These details are provided by the interested parties. While some District Muftis will keep copies of these certificates, there is no requirement for this, nor will there be any other record of these divorces.
In Pakistan (apart from Azad Kashmir), divorce is subject to arbitration, and the process of divorce differs depending on whether it is initiated by the husband (Talaq), or the wife (Khula). A husband can go directly to the Union Council to initiate a divorce. Unless the wife grants permission otherwise, the divorce must occur in the district where she resides at the time of divorce. The Union Council registers the divorce and initiates the Arbitration Council, which normally consists of two representatives from each party. The chairman of the Arbitration Council is normally the administrator of the Union Council. Each month for three months, the Union Council sends arbitration notices to the parties for attempts at reconciliation. After three months, either party may request a failure of reconciliation certificate from the Union Council/Arbitration Council. This divorce certificate means the divorce is effective and either party may remarry.
There are two possible procedures to obtain a Khula divorce. A husband can grant his wife the right of divorce by stating "yes" on line 18 of the Nikah Nama (which is rare). If this right is granted, the wife follows the same procedure as for the Talaq above. If the wife is not granted this right, she must first go to Family Court to request the right to initiate a divorce. If the suit is successful, the Family Court is required to submit their decision to the Union Council within seven days. The Union Council will then initiate the Arbitration Council and follow the same arbitration procedures as above. In reality, the Family Court often does not inform the Union Council of their decision. Often, the court order will actually state that the divorce is granted. However, to finalize the divorce under the MFLO, if the court does not notify the Union Council, the wife must do so herself. Once the wife notifies the Union Council, the same procedure as for Talaq is followed, but if the parties reconcile during the arbitration process, the court decision will be null and void.
A divorce in Pakistan is not effective and neither party may remarry until 90 days after the divorce has been announced to the Arbitration Council. The Union Council divorce certificate will indicate if the divorce was a Talaq or Khula. A handwritten divorce certificate is issued by the Union Council. NADRA began issuing divorce certificates a few years ago, but if a NADRA divorce certificate is provided for an older divorce, the original Union Council certificate should also be provided. The specific form for the Union Council certificate will vary by location. In all cases, copies of the arbitration notices should be available upon request.
As with adoption documents, Pakistanis often obtain "divorce deeds" on "rupee paper". Such documentation of divorce is not valid for immigration purposes. The legal procedures above must be followed for the divorce to be valid.
Where a divorce has been granted by a civil court, as in the case of Christians, copies of the orders may be obtained from the court.
Unavailable. Islamic law, and as a result, Pakistani law, does not recognize adoption. Pakistanis often obtain various documents identified as "adoption deeds". One common format is an "adoption deed" written on "rupee paper" and signed by the biological and "adoptive" parents. As adoptions are not recognized in Pakistan, and "rupee paper" is not a legal document, these documents are not evidence of a legal adoption and as such are not acceptable for immigration purposes. Even court documents claiming that a child has been adopted are not acceptable. Family courts, in an attempt to assist those who agree to care for the children of others, may state in the orders that an adoption has occurred, but this is not a legal adoption acceptable for immigration purposes. At best, the court can grant guardianship of a child to a non-parental adult. While such an order may be acceptable for an IR-4 visa if the child meets other qualifications, this order is not sufficient for immigration under other family-based visa categories.
Due to the complicated nature of cases involving adults caring for non-biological children, those wishing to take such children to the U.S. or those wishing to take children to the U.S. for purposes of finalizing adoptions should first contact an immigration attorney or the U.S. Embassy for more information.
Pakistan issues identity cards to citizens at age 18 for a fee. These are required of adults in order to vote or to obtain driver's licenses and passports. The NADRA identity cards include the father or husband's name, date of birth, gender, address, identification number (old and current), family number, as well as some biometrics. Some new cards also include an electronic chip. The identity cards are issued by NADRA when an applicant fills out the proper form and submits their birth certificate. NADRA also accepts "B" Forms or school records as proof of identity to issue the card. National Identity Cards for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP, for Pakistanis working overseas) and Pakistani Origin Cards (POC, for Pakistanis having other nationalities after surrendering Pakistani Nationality) are also issued by NADRA. The holder of a POC doesn't need a visa to come to Pakistan, but they need to have their valid passport in addition to the POC.
Police, Court, Prison Records
Not available. Pakistan has no nationwide tracking system in place for criminal activities. Police Character Certificates are available for a fee from District Coordinating Offices. However, they are not an accurate reflection of an individual's criminal record. An applicant who has committed a crime in one district may be able to obtain a clean Character Certificate from that district or another. Given the inaccuracy of these certificates, they are not required for consular processing.
Available for a fee. Records of court proceedings can be requested and obtained through the appropriate court.
Not available to individuals. Prison records will be issued only in response to an official request, made through the Ministry of Interior, to the Inspector General of Prisons in the district where the prison is located.
Some military records may be available. Current and former military personnel should be able to provide their service book, which is issued to all service personnel and contains biographical information, rank, and retirement information. Some personnel are able to obtain records related to their assignments though there is no uniform method through which this information is received.
Passports & Other Travel Documents
Available for a fee, which varies depending on the number of pages in the passport and whether the passport application is expedited or processed normally. The validity of the passport was five years but, starting November 1, 2012, passports are now valid for ten years. The Government of Pakistan issues three types of travel documents in the form of passports (ordinary, official, and diplomatic). Passports are printed by NADRA but issued by the Ministry of Interior. Travel documents may not be available for refugees or stateless persons.
Diplomatic Passports (red cover): Issued to ambassadors, career diplomats, heads of state and government and federal ministers.
Official Passports (blue cover): Issued to members of the National Assembly and their immediate family members, high-ranking civil service personnel, and military personnel traveling on official business.
Ordinary Passports (green cover): Issued to any qualifying citizen of Pakistan for private travel. Normally valid for travel to all countries of the world except Israel. Older passports will be valid for all countries except Israel, India and/or South Africa.
Pakistani names are subject to a variety of combinations with no established surname rule. Individuals may change their names by simply announcing name changes in the newspaper. For older persons and those born in rural areas, frequently only the year of birth is available. It is not uncommon for birth dates to be changed. The essential element of identity is generally the name of the father and, in the case of a married woman, the name of the husband. Adherence to standards of proof of identification for these passport entries can be lax.
Visa Issuing Posts
Islamabad, Pakistan (Embassy)
All categories, serves Pakistan and some citizens from Afghanistan, particularly those who are resident in Pakistan.
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
U.S. Consulate General
Plot 3, 4, 5, New TPX Area
Mai Kolachi Road
Visa Inquiries: (+92-21) 111-234-111
Monday - Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM
General Telephone: (+92-21) 3520-4200
Fax: (+92-21) 3568-0496
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Islamabad is the only location for immigrant visa processing in Pakistan. Lahore offers no visa processing. Islamabad also processes refugee and asylee follow-to-join beneficiaries for Afghanistan.
Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.