Guide to relocating to Pakistan for expats



Pakistan’s landscape is blessed with picturesque mountains, green valleys, snow capped peaks and lakes; on the other end of the spectrum, the more metropolitan cities are alive. Although Pakistan’s media representation has been filled with negativity, once in the country, it will be hard to miss the good-natured hospitality, enthusiasm and friendliness of the people. This is one country expats would have to take a much closer look other than the papers. If your moving to this part of the world, have a look at some information we’ve compiled.


Expat Clubs

All Pakistan Women’s Association Punjab APWA

Serving as acatalyst APWA spear headed volunteerism for NGO movement in Pakistan; APWA has always raised social and economic issues, Gender injustices and discrimination, inadequate participation of women in national issues and decision making.


International Schools 

International School of Islamabad

ISOI is a private, coeducational, college-preparatory day school.  It offers an international curriculum to students of over 26 nationalities representing 16 Diplomatic Missions. The school operates on a semester system and is accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Address: P.O. Box 1124, Johar Road, Sector H-9/1, Islamabad, Pakistan

Tel: +92 51 443-4950/4951/4952/4953

Fax: +92 51 444-0193

E-mail: [email protected]



American International School

AISS is an educational program which combines curriculum, technology and innovative teaching techniques to challenge our talented students. AISS partners with George Washington University for Teacher training and certification program and has initiated the Accreditation process with Middle State Association of Schools and Colleges USA.

Curriculum: American

Address: Canal Road, (5 miles from Royal Palm), Towards Jallo Park - 53400, Lahore-Pakistan

Tel: (+92-42)-3 653 3500-3

Fax: (+92-42) 3 654 8805

Email: [email protected]


Local News in English



Pakistan Observer

This is an English-language news site that covers local events and stories.



The Nation

Latest and breaking news updates from Pakistan, all the news from Today's Newspaper and ePaper for Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.



The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune in partnership with The International Herald Tribune is the first Pakistani newspaper offering global perspectives and local news.



Daily Times

Latest news headline and daily eNewspaper from Pakistan.


Country Information 

Location: Middle East

Capital City: Islamabad

Other Important Cities: Karachi

Currency: Rupee

Language: Urdu, English

Calling Code: +92

Internet TLD: .pk

Electricity: The country runs on 230V 50Hz. Electricity is provided by two public sector companies: Water and Power Developoment Authority WAPDA and Karachi Electric Supply Corporation KESC.



Address: WAPDA House, Sharah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Lahore

Tel: +92-42-99202211




Address: KE House, 39-B, Sunset Boulevard, Phase-II, Defence Housing Authority, Karachi

Tel: 92-21-3263 7133,92-21-3870 9132

Email: [email protected]


Emergency Numbers:   

Ambulance: 115

Fire: 16

Police: 15

Country Information

Embassy Information

Residents Visa and Work Permit information

These countries have visa exemption: Iceland, Maldives, Nepal, Samoa, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, and Zambia. Nationals from most countries in North, Central and South America, the EU, Australia and most of Asia may obtain a business visa on arrival in Pakistan. Others will have to apply for a visa at a Pakistani embassy or consulate in their home or host country.

A business visa is for short term stays, mostly for tourism purposes. Expats opting for extended stays in the country will need a long-term visa, like a work visa.

According to the Pakistani immigration dept:

Pakistan Missions abroad are authorized to grant entry Work Visa to foreign expatriates on the recommendations of Board of Investment for one year (Multiple) validity , extendable on yearly basis in Pakistan . Board of Investment will process work visa applications expeditiously within four weeks and recommended to the Ministry of Interior for authorization of visa to concerned Mission.

Visa Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary Board of Investment approves the work visa cases received in BOI through the companies working in Pakistan.

Visa advice is however issued by Ministry of Interior to Pakistan Mission abroad as per recommendation of BOI, in case of fresh entry visa and to Regional Passport Offices (RPOs) in case of visa extension.

Extension of three months provisional work visa, on application, recommended by BOI would be endorsed by the RPOs instead of Ministry of Interior.

From Directorate General of Immigration and Passports Pakistan site>>


The expat population are mostly found in Karachi and Islamabad. Karachi is a sprawling, bustling and busy metropolis. It is the largest city in Pakistan, with rapidly growing commercial industries. It is also a hotspot for tourists who look for modern amenities such as shopping malls, fancy restaurants and luxury hotels. A melting pot of cultures, there is an international air in Karachi that embraces more liberal attitudes compared to the rest of the country.

In contrast with Karachi, Islamabad’s towering feature is the mountain range surrounding the city. Expats will see that this city is much greener, cleaner and calmer compared. Government buildings and offices are situated here, most of the residents are diplomats or public employees. Although the skyline of Islamabad is made up mostly of jagged mountain edges, the city is urban and very metropolitan with commercial and industrial facilities.

There is a good range of rental prices in Pakistan from inexpensive $100 per month 1 bedroom apartments to pricy $2,000 per month luxury units. It is advisable to consult with real estate agencies in securing an rental, as this would facilitate the search and the legalities of tenancy contracts.

Driving License

A domestic license and an international license are valid to drive legally in the country for six months. Third party insurance is also required.

To apply for a Pakistani driving license, expats must go to a License Issuing Authority, usually the District Police. Applicants will then have to take classes and pass a course.

Documents required, but not limited to:
  • Two passport size photos
  • Copy of National Identity Card
  • Driving License form
  • Medical Report


In major cities, the facilities and services are adequate, with varying standards, resources, and hygiene. Emergency response is poor, ambulances are limited. Generic medication is available, although branded, specific ones are few and sometimes unavailable. Cash payment is more common prior to treatment and most hospitals do not accept credit cards.

Insurance Companies


AIG Pakistan

AIG is a world leading property-casualty and general insurance organization serving more than 70 million clients around the world.  With one of the industry’s most extensive ranges of products and services, deep claims expertise and excellent financial strength, AIG enables its commercial and personal insurance clients alike to manage virtually any risk with confidence.

Address: 1st Floor, Dadex House, 34-A/1, Block 6, PECHS, Shahrah-e-Faisal Karachi, Pakistan

Tel: +92-21-35205443-44

Fax:  +92-21-34169013



Allianz EFU Pakistan

Allianz EFU is Pakistan's First specialized health insurance company. It was incorporated on May 15, 2000 as a joint venture of Pakistan's largest insurance group, EFU with Allianz SE which is one of the largest composite insurers in the world with active presence across the globe. Together, Allianz and EFU bring over 190 years of experience to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable.

Address: D-136, Block-4 KDA Scheme-5

Clifton Karachi-75600, Pakistan

Tel: (+92-21) 111-Health (111-432584)

Fax: (+92-21) 3586-4020, 3586-0403




Shifa International Hospital

Address: 11 Kilometer, Jaranwala Road, Faisalabad. – Pakistan

Tel: 041 - 8740046042-5839182, 5887262, 5916719

Fax: 042-5869037

Email: [email protected]



Shaukat Khanum Memorial

Over the past decade, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre has established itself as a centre of excellence providing comprehensive care free of cost to thousands of indigent cancer patients. This pioneering, state-of-the-art hospital located in the heart of the Punjab was founded by Imran Khan, one of Pakistan's most illustrious cricketers. As a charitable institute, it is funded predominantly from the donations of friends and well-wishers from around the country and across the world.

Address: 7A Block R-3, M.A. Johar Town, Lahore

Tel: +92 42 3590 5000

Fax: +92 42 3594 5208



Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation SIUT

Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) is one of the most reputed medical institutions in the South Asian region, providing specialized medical care to the population at large suffering from kidney, liver, related cancers and ethical transplant procedures “Free of Cost".

Address: Civil Hospital Karachi 74200, Pakistan

Tel: (+92-21) 99215752 & 99215718

Fax: (+92-21) 99215469 & 99215362

Email: [email protected] & [email protected]



Liaquat National Hospital

Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College, located at the center of the city is the largest private sector tertiary care hospital serving the society for the last 56 years. This non-profit organization covering an area of nearly 53 acres, started with four outpatient services and 50 beds, has now approximately 700 beds with 30 medical and surgical specialties providing both inpatient and outpatient services keeping the tradition of delivering distinguished health care facilities.

Address: National Stadium Road, Karachi – 74800, Pakistan

Tel: +9221-111-456-456

Fax: +9221-34140014

Email: [email protected]



The Indus Hospital

The Indus Hospital focuses on providing excellence-driven (as stipulated in the Islamic concept of Ehsan), comprehensive, free of cost, unconditional healthcare to the creations of Allah Swt. The Indus Hospital is a not-for-profit entity and is funded by the Islamic concept of WAQF, Zakat, Kahirat, Sadqat and sharing of excess wealth with the Ummah.

Address: Korangi Crossing, Karachi -75190, Pakistan.

Tel: +92 (21) 111 111 880, +92 (21) 3511 2220

Email: [email protected]



Sharif Medical City

Sharif Medical City was established in 1997, as the vision of the founding father Mian Muhammad Sharif to build a multidiscipline hospital of the international standards. This hospital is 350-bed tertiary care center located in the suburbs; about 25 minutes drive from the city center of Lahore. This is the first hospital established on the concept of a "Medical City" in Pakistan. This has the unique advantage of offering comprehensive medical facilities under "one roof". The main hospital along with allied campus buildings, including staff residences, and a planned medical college, are situated on 80-acre area on a canal bank, in green and pollution free idyllic surroundings.

Address: Sharif City Road, Jati Umra, Raiwind Lahore.Pakistan

Tel: + 92-42-37860101-4

UAN: + 92-42-111-123-786

Fax: + 92-42-37860105

Email: [email protected]