How foreigners can invest in Pakistan real estate

Foreigners living in Pakistan are generally discouraged to rent or buy property here in the sense that they are made to follow a lengthy and lethargic process which can take several months to complete. The following post discusses the process in detail as well as why the government needs to relax the process in order to attract foreign investment in Pakistan real estate sector.

Following are the documents that foreigners are required to submit to the home department if they wish to rent or buy property in Pakistan.

  1. An employment letter from the company they’re currently working for, declaring the nature of their job, the duration of their employment along with the contact details of the company per se.
  2. A copy of their passport, along with the copy of a valid visa with six recent, passport size photographs.
  3. They are also required to submit a copy of the landlord/realtor’s CNIC.
  4. Additionally, the owner of the property in question also needs to submit attested copies of proof of ownership.
  5. Last but not the least, the law requires a contract to be drafted in the name of the occupant of the property. In case, a new tenant occupies the property, he’s legally required to get a new contract otherwise strict legal action would be taken against him.

Violation of the above mentioned procedure may lead to prosecution of the tenant, the landlord or both.

The whole of this process is daunting to say the least and keeps foreigners from investing in Pakistan real estate. The refusal on part of government to let foreigners freely buy and sell property in Pakistan under the pretext of security concerns is rather hollow since there are many glitches in our own security system. In most cases, the government itself is deemed responsible for facilitating elements that put Pakistan’s security on the line (a recent example being the expansion of American Consulate in Islamabad which has alarmed national defence institutes).

So in my point of view, there is a need for the government to only take actions if and when required and facilitate other foreigners who, after proper scrutiny, are found to pose no harm to the national security.

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