By Moustafa Daly
To attract wealthy investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and China, Pakistan announced the launch of a new investor visa.
The visa has been a few months in the works by Pakistan’s Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), a government agency launched in June 2023 tasked with attracting foreign investments.
The agency launched the eponymous SIFC visa to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to travel and conduct business in the country. SIFC aims to attract $100 billion in FDI by 2027
“SIFC proudly unveils the exclusive SIFC Visa,” said the agency in a Twitter post. “Designed with distinction, it caters to visionary investors and dynamic business leaders.”
The visa has two categories, Investor and Business visas, with varying validity and processing periods.
Categories and requirements for Pakistan’s SIFC visa
For the Investor SIFC visa, applicants can apply for a short-term visa valid for up to three years or a long-term visa valid for up to five years, and maintain the right to extend the visa for two additional years if they continue to meet the requirements.
This investor visa is processed within one to 14 business days, per SIFC’s official website. The process can be done fully online.
The Business visa, on other hand, is issued for short-term, a single-entry visa valid for up to six months, or long-term; a multiple-entry visa valid for up to five years; and, like the investor visa, it can also be extended for up to two additional years.
The Business visa specifically aims to ease access for those intending to conduct business within the country’s mining and gold industries; applicants should be able to provide evidence of this intention.
Notably, SIFC hasn’t announced any investment threshold to be eligible for either route. Thus far, applicants are only required to provide their identification details, business intentions in Pakistan, and pay administrative visa fees, which vary depending on the duration and validity of the pursued visa.
The long-term categories of the Business and Investor visas allow foreigners to legally reside in the country. After five years of legal residence and mastering at least one official language in Pakistan, foreigners can apply for citizenship.
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