Pakistan is hands down one of my favourite countries to go backpacking in the world, unfortunately this is a country with fairly strict visa rules and without a Letter Of Invitation (LOI) to visit Pakistan it is almost impossible to apply for a visa, read this post carefully!
Although it remains the decision of the individual embassy at which you apply; some are more liberal than others, it is almost certain you will be required to submit a Letter Of Invitation as part of your visa application to visit Pakistan as a tourist, so be prepared.
Update, 17th April 2018: Read the full god-damn page before posting questions in the group that are answered here.
Update, 2nd April 2018: Karakoram Bikers were our recommended LOI provider but as of now they are unable to provide LOIs for independent travelers who do not book some tour services through them.
Independent travelers from certain countries will find it harder to source an LOI on account of recent events within Pakistan regarding a foreign tourist who went well and truly off the beaten track and got in trouble with the police for not being on an organised tour.
A letter of invitation to Pakistan can only officially be issued by a registered tour company within Pakistan.
There are a couple of companies who will issue the Pakistani letter of invitation to solo travellers for a stand-alone fee, but most tour companies will only issue a Pakistan LOI if you book a complete package tour through them.
These few companies issuing letters to solo travellers are in some cases charging a fee as high as one hundred euros per person and for some nationalities, such as Americans, it is pretty much impossible to get an LOI without booking a tour.
Conditions from LOI issuers, recently updated after chatting to several sources…
- AMERICANS need to book a tour
- Please note, LOIs will only be issued for the purposes of tourism in Pakistan. If you are visiting Pakistan to visit a boyfriend, to work on a charity project or to do anything other than tourism then no tour company will be able help you.
- No business or private visa support possible. The Pakistan letter of invitation is provided for tourist visas only.
- LOI for citizens of Middle East and Bangladeshis is provided only when they purchase a tour or book hotels for the whole period of their travel in Pakistan.
- Be aware that if you venture off the itinerary you specified for your visa application, you may be scrutinised by the police.
- LOI for citizens of USA, Middle East, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Central Asia States, Gulf States, Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Romania, Bulgaria and Bangladesh is provided only when they purchase a tour.
- No LOI possible for Afghanistan and Indian citizens. This includes people who used to have an Afghan or Indian passport but have changed citizenship since.
If you need a letter of invitation to Pakistan, you have three remaining options that I know of…
- Book a full tour with Find My Adventure Pakistan (get 10% off with code TBBT10).
- Book a full or partial tour with Lizzy and Shah at Karakoram Bikers
- You could try Caravanistan’s recommended LOI supplier and buy the LOI for a fee
Please note: Visa conditions are CONSTANTLY changing in Pakistan. Officially, you can only be issued an LOI by a tour company if you book a tour with them. If you go with Shah and Lizzy from Karakoram Bikers, they may be able to provide you with the LOI in exchange for a partial tour or motorcycle rental but they are no longer able to issue LOIs for purely independent travelers.
You can pay for your LOI using Transferwise.
Tours to Pakistan
In 2017 we ran our first adventure tours to Pakistan. This was an awesome success and in 2019 we will be running at least four more adventures to this amazing country.
Exciting news! We have launched our new tour company and website which you can check out at epicbackpackertours.com. Please visit the new website or email email@example.com to find out more, or simply sign up to the Broke Backpacker mailing list to be kept in the loop.
If you want to go on an adventure tour of Pakistan and Epic Backpacker Tours are either full or our dates do not work for you, I highly recommend checking out Find My Adventure Pakistan – run by my good friend, and one of Pakistan’s youngest entrepreneurs, Komail.
Komail works alongside EBT tours on the ground and we trust and recommend FMA wholeheartedly. TBB readers get 10% off FMA services with the coupon code: TBBT10
Please leave a review of your experience getting your Pakistan letter of invitation in the comments below 🙂
Need More Inspiration?
- Best Hikes in Pakistan
- Going on a Paksitan Adventure Tour with EBT
- Backpacking Pakistan
- A Female’s Guide for Exploring Pakistan
- Is Pakistan Safe?
Help open up Pakistan to the world, pin this post!