Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 16:28 GMT

Pakistan: Certificate of domicile; requirements and procedures to obtain it

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 7 January 2013
Citation / Document Symbol PAK104252.E
Related Document(s) Pakistan : information sur le certificat de résidence; les exigences à respecter et la façon de procéder afin de l'obtenir
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Pakistan: Certificate of domicile; requirements and procedures to obtain it, 7 January 2013, PAK104252.E, available at: [accessed 17 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. Overview

According to the Express Tribune, a Karachi-based newspaper, the domicile certificate was introduced in 1951 in order to register Pakistani citizens (26 Apr. 2012). Sources indicate that a domicile certificate is required when applying for admission to public colleges (Academic 5 Dec. 2012; The Express Tribune 26 Apr. 2012), public schools (ibid.), universities (Academic 5 Dec. 2012), and for government jobs (ibid.; The Express Tribune 26 Apr. 2012). Other sources also note that a domicile certificate is required for admission to educational institutions (BBC 7 June 2012; University of Engineering and Technology 2012).

The Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951 indicates that

[t]he Federal Government may upon an application being made to it in the prescribed manner containing the prescribed particulars grant a certificate of domicile to any person in respect of whom it is satisfied that he has ordinarily resided in Pakistan for a period of not less than one year immediately before the making of the application and has acquired a domicile therein. (Pakistan 1951, Sec. 17)

2. Procedures to Obtain a Certificate of Domicile

According to the Pakistan Citizenship Rules, 1952, a certificate of domicile can be issued by the federal or a provincial government or any district magistrate authorized by a provincial government (Pakistan 1952, Sec. 23). The Pakistan Citizenship Rules state that

  1. An application for a certificate of domicile shall be made in Form ‘P' in duplicate, shall be accompanied by an affidavit affirming the truth of the statement made in it and affirming further that the applicant had not migrated to India after the first day of March 1947 or that, having so migrated, and returned to Pakistan under a permit for resettlement or permanent return issued by an officer authorized by the Government of Pakistan.
  2. Any authority to whom an application is presented may demand such evidence as it may considered necessary for satisfying itself that the facts stated in the application are correct and that the applicant has been continually resident in Pakistan for a period not less than one year and intends to live permanently in Pakistan. (ibid.)

Sources indicate that when applying for a certificate of domicile, an applicant must provide the following information: his or her name; parent's name; address in Pakistan; former address outside of Pakistan; date of arrival at the place of domicile; marital status; name of spouse; names of children and their ages; trade or occupation; and identifying marks (ibid., App. VIII; ibid. n.d.). A certificate of domicile obtained from the website of the police in the city of Jhelum in Punjab Province indicates that the certificate includes the above information, as well as the individual's photograph placed in the lower right corner of the certificate (ibid.).

In order to obtain a certificate of domicile, an individual must also provide the following documents:

  • three photographs;
  • birth certificate;
  • property ownership documents;
  • proof of occupation;
  • copies of education certificates;
  • copy of a National Identity Card (NIC), or a Form ‘B' for applicants under 18 years of age;
  • if an applicant is less than 21 years of age, a copy of the NIC and a certificate of domicile of the father/mother/guardian;
  • utility bills, or a copy of a rental agreement;
  • for married men/women, photocopies of the spouse's NIC, spouse's certificate of domicile and copies of children's birth certificates or their forms ‘B' (The Express Tribune 26 Apr. 2012).

An academic at McGill University who specializes in Islamic law and the history of Pakistan (5 Dec. 2012), and a representative of the Evangelical Asian Church Toronto, which serves Pakistani and Indian Christians by promoting religious freedom, human rights and assisting immigrants, refugees, youth and "persecuted" communities (Evangelical Asian Church Toronto n.d.), both corroborated the above information (ibid. 14 Dec. 2012; Academic 21 Dec. 2012). Corroborating information from Pakistan government sources on the required documents could not be found by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. The academic noted that sometimes individuals are also required to submit a police report (ibid.). An individual must submit additional documents in some circumstances (The Express Tribune 26 Apr. 2012). For example, a government employee must submit a certificate confirming that he or she works for the government, and an applicant who migrated to Pakistan from India before 14 April 1951 must submit his or her proof of residence (ibid.). The fee for processing is 200 Pakistani rupees (PKR) [about C$2.00 (XE 20 Dec. 2012)], which is to be paid at the National Bank of Pakistan (The Express Tribune 26 Apr. 2012). The processing time is one to three weeks (Academic 21 Dec. 2012). Corroborating information from Pakistan government sources on the fees and processing time could not be found by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

The Pakistan Citizenship Rules of 1952 state that, in order to replace a domicile certificate, obtain a copy of a certificate or change one's name on a certificate, an individual must submit an application to the government authority that issued the previous certificate (Pakistan 1952, Sec. 28-B). An applicant must submit an application form "V" and four passport-size photographs (ibid.). The form "V" contains the following information: full name and the address of the applicant; father's name; government authority that issued the previous certificate; number of original certificate and date of issue; reason for replacement; applicant's signature; place and date of signature (ibid., App. XVII). Further information on the replacement of a certificate of domicile could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Academic, McGill University, Montreal. 21 December 2012. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

_____. 5 December 2012. Telephone interview.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 7 June 2012. "Pakistan's Experience with Identity Management." [Accessed 10 Dec. 2012]

Evangelical Asian Church Toronto. 14 December 2012. Correspondence sent by a representative to the Research Directorate.

The Express Tribune [Karachi]. 26 April 2012. Saba Imtiaz. "Domiciles: Don't Forget Your Place." [Accessed 28 Nov. 2012]

Pakistan. 1952. Pakistan Citizenship Rules, 1952. [Accessed 6 Dec. 2012]

_____. 1951. Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951. [Accessed 13 Nov. 2012]

_____. N.d. Jhelum Police. "Appendix VIII: Form 'P': Application for a Certificate of Domicile in Pakistan." [Accessed 6 Dec. 2012]

University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore. 2012. "Entry Test and Undergraduate Admission 2012." [Accessed 6 Dec. 2012]

XE. 20 December 2012. "Currency Converter Widget." " [Accessed 20 Dec. 2012]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral Sources: Attempts to contact the following were unsuccessful: academics at the Lahore University and University of Birmingham; human rights journalist; lawyers in Pakistan; Pakistan — consulates of Pakistan in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Vancouver, embassies of Pakistan in France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Washington, DC, High Commission of Pakistan in Ottawa, Honorary Consulate General of Pakistan in Boston, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Ministry of Interior, National Database and Registration Authority.

Officials of the High Commission of Canada in Pakistan were unable to provide information within the time constraints of this Response.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Council on Foreign Relations; Daily Times; The Economic Times; Emory University Law School; Factiva; Freedom House; Frontier Post; The Hindu; Institute for Human Rights, Finland; Muslim Women's League; The Nation; Nyasa Times; Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre; Overseas Pakistanis Foundation; Pakistan — Civil Service of Pakistan, consulates general of Pakistan in Montreal and New York, Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, DC, Federal Board of Revenue, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Interior, National Assembly of Pakistan, National Database and Registration Authority, National Reconstruction Bureau, Police; South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation; UN — Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Refworld; US Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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