With a population exceeding 23 million in a territory of 3,527 km2, Karachi is the largest and most populous city in Pakistan. Although not the administrative capital, it is considered to be the financial center of the country, and due to its large seaport, has been an important area in Pakistan throughout its history. As an international mega city, Karachi has a diverse population, and whilst the majority of its inhabitants are native Pakistanis, it is home to the largest Jewish, Nestorian and Armenian communities in the country, as well as many Afghans, Arabs, and Persians. This diverse population has led to the city being dubbed the melting pot. Nearly half of the population speak Urdu as their first language, with Punjabi and Pashto the second most common languages. Many people also speak English, particularly those in the younger generations and workers in the financial and business districts. Although the city is almost 97% Muslim, there are also Christian and Hindu communities.
Although Karachi has an arid climate, its location near to the coast means that it experiences milder temperatures and lower precipitation than other arid areas. This has caused many people to compare Karachi's climate to humid sub-tropical areas like Florida in America.
Expatriates living in Karachi will need to adjust to two different seasons; summer and winter. Whilst there is a spring and an autumn, they are relatively short and almost indistinguishable from summer and winter. Summer lasts from May to September, with average temperatures ranging between 30°C (86°F) and 36°C (97°F). The summer is also monsoon season, which brings heavy rain to the city between the end of April and August. Winter lasts from October/November until March/April, and has temperatures ranging between 19.5°C (67.1°F) and 24.5°C (76.1°F) on average.
Foreigners and expatriates will need a visa to enter Pakistan and move to Karachi. Tourist and short term business visas that last for 90 days can be applied for as part of your travel arrangements, and will allow you to enter the country. However, should you wish to move to Karachi for longer than three months, you would need to apply for a long-term visa.
Work permits and visas are not considered as separate documents in Pakistan, and are combined into one work visa. This allows foreigners and expatriates to move to Karachi for one year or for the duration of an employment contract, and is applied for as part of the hiring process. For more information work visas, see below.