Can Foreigners Buy Property in Pakistan?

Pakistan attracts expats and foreign investors from across the globe. Many consider acquiring real estate here for residence, rental income or capital growth.

As a developing economy with close ties to major markets like China, the UAE and UK, Pakistan offers attractive property investment potential.

But can non-citizens legally own land or buildings here? The answer is yes – with caveats. While Pakistani law permits foreign nationals to purchase property, some restrictions apply depending on visa status and location. Let’s clarify the regulations, procedures and requirements for foreigners buying in Pakistan.

Eligibility to Buy Property

Only foreign citizens holding Pakistani origin cards or visas valid for at least one year can legally acquire property. The three categories eligible are:

  • Overseas Pakistanis with NICOP or POC cards
  • Foreign spouses of Pakistani citizens
  • Expatriates with work visas lasting 12+ months

Tourists and short-term visitors cannot directly buy property. Foreign companies also require special approval from the Board of Investment or State Bank of Pakistan.

Permitted Areas for Purchase

Foreigners cannot freely purchase agricultural land or property in restricted zones like Cantonment areas. Major cities like Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi have fewer limitations. The most open regions for foreign buyers are Gwadar and adjoining districts earmarked for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor investment.

Documentation Needs

Standard property purchase paperwork applies for foreigners, alongside passport, visa and NICOP/POC/marriage certificates confirming eligibility.

Overseas Pakistanis occasionally need inheritance proofs connecting them to owned land they wish to build on. Hiring a reputable lawyer ensures fulfilling all documentation requirements when buying or constructing property as a non-citizen.

While not entirely straightforward, with appropriate visas and expert guidance, overseas Pakistanis and resident foreigners can legally invest in the country’s rapidly growing real estate market.

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