Born in Hong Kong, Katrina, alongwith the rest of her family travelled across the world before settling down in London for a few years. A chance visit to India, Katrina was hooked and the rest as they say, is the stuff that history books are written about. A few initial years were spent in endorsing select advertising assignments and then in 2005, Kaif made a cameo in Ram Gopal Verma's drama Sarkar. The same year, she landed her first major role in David Dhawan's Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya, where she was paired opposite Salman Khan. The film was a huge commercial success. In 2007, Kaif appeared in four films, all of which were successful at the box office. Her first release was Vipul Shah's romantic-comedy Namastey London. She next played a supporting role in Anil Sharma's melodrama Apne. Her next release was David Dhawan's Partner, where she starred alongside Salman Khan, Govinda, and Lara Dutta. Her final film of 2007, Welcome, directed by Anees Bazmee and co-starring Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and Anil Kapoor, was declared a blockbuster in India. Her first release of 2008 was Abbas-Mustan's action-thriller Race. Kaif was next seen in Anees Bazmee's action comedy Singh Is Kinng, portraying Akshay Kumar's love interest and Ranvir Shorey's fiancée. After its release, the film was declared a blockbuster, making it Kaif's sixth consecutive success at the box office. The movie also emerged as the third highest grossing film of 2008. Kaif's final release of the year, Subhash Ghai's Yuvvraaj, was a commercial failure, but its script made its way into the Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for artistic merit, original screenplay with a substance, and the film as a whole.
In 2009, she featured in Kabir Khan's terrorism drama New York, with John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh. It was a critical and commercial success in both India and overseas. For her performance, Kaif received her first Filmfare nomination in the Best Actress category. In November 2009, she appeared along with Ranbir Kapoor, in Rajkumar Santoshi's blockbuster comedy Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. Her final release that year was Priyadarshan's star-studded De Dana Dan which again, was a box office winner.
Kaif's first release of 2010 was Prakash Jha's political thriller Raajneeti, where she appeared opposite Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. Upon release, the film performed extremely well at the box office, and earned Kaif favourable reviews for her portrayal of the dynamic Indu Sakseria. Her final release that year was Farah Khan's brainless comedy Tees Maar Khan with Akshay Kumar. The film received unanimous negative reviews from critics and was declared a flop. However, Kaif's song in the film Sheila Ki Jawani became a major chartbuster.
In 2011, she was seen alongside Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin in Zoya Akhtar's dramedy Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which emerged as a major critical and commercial success. Kaif was praised for her portrayal of a fun-loving diving instructor Laila. Taran Adarsh wrote, "Katrina is a revelation...the actress continues to surprise you with her performances in film after film." She next featured in Yash Raj Films' comedy Mere Brother Ki Dulhan opposite Imran Khan and Ali Zafar. The film was successful at the box office, and earned Kaif positive notice for her portrayal of vivacious punk-rock girl Dimple Dixit, with Rahul Gangwani saying "the film ultimately belongs to Katrina Kaif. She sparkles, sizzles and infuses energy into the film." Consequently, she received her second Filmfare nomination in the Best Actress category. Her first release of 2012 was Kabir Khan's spy thriller Ek Tha Tiger opposite Salman Khan. The film opened on 15 August, 2012 and has hence become the 2nd film to cross the 300 crore box office mark in the Bollywood film space. Her current projects include Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Vijay Krishna Acharya's adventure film Dhoom 3 alongside Aamir Khan. Early 2013, she begins shooting for Twentieth Century Fox’s ‘Knight & Day’ adaptation by Siddarth Anand with Hrithik Roshan.