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Author Topic: Pakistanese visa in Iran or Turkey?  (Read 842 times)

Stephane

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Pakistanese visa in Iran or Turkey?
« on: January 16, 2010, 03:05:41 PM »
A few people have asked me this question on www.facebook.com/cyclocamping and on a different forum... so here is what I can say with what I experienced myself and with what I could gather from our CycloCamping Network (since I haven't traveled this part of the world myself for several years).

It's always been easier to get the Pakistani visa in Turkey than in Iran, no matter what. They regularly stop issuing Pakistani visas (especially in Zahedan, Iran, for such and such political drama going on). It might be OK for a time, but know that the situation may change by the time you get there. It's been a few years since I have been there, but many travelers regularly report getting stuck there for this reason. Then, if you want to travel east by land, it gets very tricky. Having to go back to Teheran or even to Turkey is not fun. You would be better off simply applying for the visa in Turkey, if you're able.  It's less risky. Of course, the problem after is that you will be limited in time (your visa will expire if you do not enter the country within the allotted time). It's not really an issue for Iran, since you won't get much more than a 3-4 week visa (5-6 weeks, with an extension, if you're lucky). But if you want to make a detour to Syria or Iran, or to use your entire visa time in Turkey, then it might be a problem.

Anyway, good luck. Again, be careful with what they tell you at the Embassy.  It might be OK today, but who knows how the political climate or local politics have changed policy by the time you get there.

Enjoy your ride.  This region is one of my favorite parts of the world.

If anyone has any fresh updates or information, please share it!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 09:34:42 PM by Stephane »
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petervanglabbeek

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Re: Pakistanese visa in Iran or Turkey?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 03:32:58 PM »
I got my Pakistan visa in Ankara with just one day waiting.
After I talked with the consul he even agreed that i needed a 2 month visa.
But the stupid guy that processes the visa didn't listen very well (I am sure he heard it, but wanted to tease me), so I got the normal 30 day in stead.
Other people I met had problems with their visa application in Iran.
This was all in 2005 though and it can change quickly.
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travelinxs

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Re: Pakistanese visa in Iran or Turkey?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2010, 11:48:11 AM »
My own experience has been...
12 months ago I got my Pakistan visa in Tehran. It took 2 days and required an interview with the Pakistani consol who made me promise not to cycle through the Baluchistan area on the Iran / Pak. border, but otherwise no problem. It gave the time I needed, as had I obtained it in Turkey I wouldnt have had time for Turkey (2 months), a month detour into Syria / Lebanon and the 2 months crossing Iran. The LP guide will tell you not to get an Iranian visa extension in Tehran. It entailed another brief interview / lecture about the Baluchistan area, but a month extension from there  was easy and ready following day.

Of course nothing is written in stone, esp. concerning Iran, and it can change over-night and can depend on your nationality etc so it would be safer to try in Turkey. The major stumbling block, in fact, is not the Pakistan embassy but your own. You will need a 'Letter Of Introduction' (LOI) from your own embassy in order to apply. Many governments have become nervous of their citizens travelling though Pakistan and refuse to issue them. At the time I applied, the UK embassy was issuing them, but the Spanish, Italian, and German's werent, and those were just the few I heard of. They were only allowed to fly into Pakistan, eg into Islamabad so avoiding the Baluchistan area. They would have had to buy air tickets first to prove this before being given LOIs. Its worth contacting your own embassy in Iran by email to confirm this first. A back-up plan through Turkmenistan from Iran should Pakistan become unviable is another option as this tends to be the prefered route lately anyway. Most of those I met in Iran on bikes were going that way through to central asia.  Dont over-stay your Iran visa!! Obvious advise, I know, but I missed the border by 20 minutes as I cut  it too fine, was put under house arrest, had my passport taken from me and next day had to pay $70 for a 24 hour extension to get out. Getting out of Iran turned out to be harder than getting in!!
Hope this helps.