The Higher Education Commission Islamabad also aims to facilitate foreign students with all administrative aspects of their application and study in Pakistan including applying to universities, obtaining a Non-Objection Certificate (NOC), and securing a visa. Please note the following instructions to apply to professional programs as a dual citizen or foreign national.
Dual citizens and foreign nationals applying under the Self-Finance Scheme must apply through the HEC Islamabad, while foreign students applying under the Pakistan Technical Assistant Programme must apply through the Economic Affairs Division.
- The foreign applicant must apply directly to the university they wish to attend. The university must then send a copy of the acceptance letter to the HEC, which will then confirm its receipt and pass on an endorsement to the Ministry of Interior.
- The student must then apply for a visa with a Pakistani Embassy or Consulate in their country. She or he must submit the following documents:
- Application Form (Student Visa Form)
- Photocopy of passport
- All relevant transcripts, diplomas, and other educational documents
- Acceptance letter from the university applied to
- The Pakistani Embassy or Consulate abroad will then forward the complete application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, for further processing.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will forward the application to the Ministry of Interior for security clearance. The Ministry of Interior will consult with the Ministry of Education and Health and the Higher Education Commission in this process. It must complete the clearance process within four weeks, and submit its judgement on the matter to a) The HEC and b) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- The HEC must then notify the concerned university and Ministry of Health of the decision by email.
- The visa, once issued, must be renewed annually, adhering to the same security clearance process.
- The host institution bears the responsibility of:
- Verifying the Visa Extension Form
- Issuing a Bona Fide Student Certificate
- Recommending whether or not to extend the visa
- The student must submit these documents to the concerned Passport Office (or mail to the Pakistani Embassy or Consulate, if living abroad), which will then grant the visa extension.