The second largest city in Pakistan and the capital of the Punjab region, Lahore is one of the main economic, cultural, and religious centers in South Asia. It is now among the most densely populated cities in the world, with a population of over 10 million in a territory of 1,772 square kilometers; this also makes Lahore one of the 35 largest cities in the world.
Although the vast majority of the population is native Pakistanis, there are also large groups of foreigners and a growing expatriate community, including many Afghans and Indians. The main language in Lahore is Punjabi, which is spoken by nearly 90% of the population as their first language, but due to its diverse population, many different dialects are spoken in the city, including Majhi, which is the most popular, as well as Pothohari, Shapuri, and Chenavari. Urdu and English are common second languages.
Expatriates moving to Lahore will need to adjust to a semi-arid climate. This means that Lahore has five seasons every year: a foggy winter (from mid-November to mid-February); a mild spring (from February to mid-April); a hot summer (from April to June), with lots of dust, heatwaves, and rain storms; the monsoon period (from July to September); and a dry autumn (from mid-September to November). The driest, coolest month is January, with temperatures around 12.8 °C (55 °F) on average. June and July are the hottest and wettest months, with an average high of 40.4 °C (104.7 °F) and rainfall of 202.1 mm (7.957 inches). Thunderstorms and cloudbursts are commonplace during the monsoon season.
Expatriates moving to Lahore will need a visa to enter Pakistan. A tourist or short-term business visa should be applied for before entering the country, and will allow you to stay in Lahore for up to three months (90 days).
However, should you wish to stay for longer than that period, you will need to apply for a work visa; you can find more information on this in our article on Working in Lahore. In Pakistan, you do not need to apply for a residency permit in addition to your work visa, as the work visa allows expatriates to move to Lahore and live in the city for the period of time stipulated on the permit. This is usually for one year, or for the length of your employment contract.