All foreign nationals planning to enter Afghanistan are required a passport with a validity period of six (6) months minimum since the date of visa issuance. Visas are also required and granted depending on the purpose of visit such as leisure, studies, mass media, business, permanent residency, investment, religious activity, etc. All applications and inquiries should be sent to the Afghan Embassy or Consulate located at the applicant’s country of residence. The basic tourist visa entitles a traveler to thirty days stay in Afghanistan. This visa needs to be obtained prior to travel to the country and can be obtained at an Afghan Consulate or Embassy worldwide.
The Afghan Department of Immigration and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are the main agencies ensuring that all visitors present the necessary travel documents upon arrival and stay only within the indicated period in their visas. Immigration officers will assess the foreign nationals’ real purposes of entry to Afghanistan and their ability to support themselves financially for the duration of the stay. There are laws and regulations that need to be followed concerning visitors and immigrants.
The Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs has the authority to deport or detain any foreign national who does not comply with the rules of immigration. Immigration officers at the point of entry are also given authority to refuse entry to any foreign national who appears to threaten the interests of the country. Persons who are mentally incapacitated or have serious health problems may be quarantined, and if cleared, will be allowed entry into Afghanistan.
Foreigners who wish to stay permanently in the country should present the necessary documents and proof of residency or citizenship in the country of origin. Dual citizenship is allowed and residence permits will be granted upon approval by the Afghan Department of Immigration. Employee regulations and protection laws are also present, and these apply to both Afghan nationals and foreign workers.
The general requirements for a visa to Afghanistan are as follows:
1. One visa application form.
2. One passport-sized photo (attached to application form).
3.Your passport, valid for at least 6 months.
4. If you are a U.S. alien resident, provide a copy of your Green Card.
5. A letter of introduction from your employer or sponsor
stating the purpose and duration of your trip,
sponsorship information and financial guarantee for
expenses that you will incur in Afghanistan.
Visa Immigration Service
All visitors are required a valid passport with at least six (6) months validity period since the date of visa issuance. Several individuals come to Afghanistan every year and are granted visas for different types of purposes such as the following:
- Persons visiting for family affairs, holidays, sightseeing, leisure, relaxation, funerals and other personal reasons.
- Non-Afghan spouses of Afghan nationals with documents providing evidence of existing relationships.
- All official delegations from various countries entering Afghanistan
- Students in Afghanistan providing sufficient documents that certify admission and continuing studies in Afghanistan-based schools, academies and institutes.
- Diplomatic personnel and workers along with their families sent on missions in Afghanistan.
- Journalists, cameramen and other mass media crew providing sufficient evidence that they belong to a network or publication approved by the Afghan Government.
- Members of NGO’s or Non-Government Organizations providing sufficient evidence that they have current relations with Afghan-based organizations.
- Businessmen and investors with sufficient evidence proving existing relations or invitations with Afghan authorities, or if the Minister of Foreign Affairs introduces them as such.
All foreign nationals entering Afghanistan are advised to request for a visa extension before the expiry date if they intend to stay longer than the duration allowed. Visitors will be fined US$2 for each day of delay for the first month followed by US$5 for each day of delay for the second month. Holders who still fail to ask for an extension after two (2) months will be subject to deportation.
Foreigners are advised to go to their respective embassies in Kabul, the Afghan Tourist Organization and Afghan Police Department to register upon arrival. This is required for holders of tourist visas. Visitors are asked to respect local culture, sensitivities and traditions. The Minister of Foreign Affairs with the aid of immigration officers may extradite violators if they seem to threaten the peace and interests of Afghanistan.
Mass media personnel and private individuals who plan to take photos and cinematographic films are required to obtain written permission from the Press Department, Tourist Bureau and Ministry of Information and Culture before beginning any activity. Transportation of rare birds out of the country is also prohibited. The Afghanistan Tourist Bureau is responsible for regulating such activities.
Souvenirs that can legally be brought home by tourists include a few antiques and crafts, precious stones, skins and 30 square meter carpets. Visitors are not required vaccination certificates unless they come from areas known to be infected with diseases in epidemic proportions.
All US travelers are advised to register with their local Embassy or Consulate upon arrival in Kabul. Vital services that will ensure their protection can be efficiently provided. These services include:
- Issuing a new passport if they lose the original
- Locating persons during family or personal emergencies
- Fixing evacuation transportation during natural disaster or civil unrest
- Providing useful safety and travel information regarding Afghanistan
- Administrative services related to personal documentation
US Official and Diplomatic passport holders are given special requirements to enter Afghanistan.
The following are the fees for visa applications to Afghanistan:
Payment options for a single-entry visa good for a one month stay:
- Visa processed within 24 hours: $100.00
- Visa processed in 3 days: $70.00
- Visa processed in 2 weeks: $50.00
Long-term, single entry visas processed in 1-2 days:
3-month stay visa: $140.00
6-month stay visa: $180.00
The Afghan Consulate or Embassy abroad is tasked to issue these documents to foreign nationals who wish to enter Afghanistan for the purpose of leisure, vacation, family visit and other personal matters. Tourists can travel in groups or as individuals. The Tourist Visa has a validity period of one (1) month, but extensions can be requested before visa expiration and approved by the Ministry of Interior and the Afghan Tourism Organization.
Entry Visa for Work Permit
The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consulate Section is responsible for the issuance of the Entry Visa for Work Permit for commercial, business, cultural, economic, financial and industrial purposes. Applicants with this type of visa can apply for work in government and non-government organizations provided the sponsor or employer contacts and confirms to the Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Interior can also issue the Work Permit Visa.
This is issued to foreign nationals who intend to travel to a third country or reach their destination with Afghanistan as a stopover point. The Transit Visa is issued by Afghan missions abroad, which is valid for seventy-two (72) hours for air travelers and six (6) days for land travelers. Travelers who do not leave the airport premises or are bound to continue with their journey in two (2) hours are not required a Transit Visa.
This is issued to foreigners who are already in Afghanistan and are holders of a valid visa and ordinary passport. The Ministry of Interior is responsible for the issuance of the Resident Visa, which is valid for one (1) month up to six (6) months. Extensions are also available upon request by applicants.
Double Entry Visa
This is issued to foreigners who already have a visa but intend to enter Afghanistan more than once. The validity period can also be extended through the Ministry of Interior and the Afghan Tourism Organization.
This is issued to individuals who intend to enter the country for the purpose of business transaction, commercial, contracts, investment, meetings, discussion, seminars and other work-related activities with Afghanistan-based organizations or companies. Applicants will need to provide a letter confirming the purpose of the visit, business references in Afghanistan and the name of the sponsor company from the country of origin. Single or multiple entry may be provided depending on the specific purpose.
This is issued to foreign students who intend to pursue studies or courses in Afghan-based schools, educational institutions, academies, etc. provided that the institutions contact the “Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cultural Relations Department to confirm.
This is issued to holders of diplomatic passports who wish to enter Afghanistan for a variety of purposes. Application should be directly submitted to the “Section of Diplomatic Visa and Diplomatic Passport” in the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the mission of the applicant’s country in Kabul. The Diplomatic Visa can be acquired from Afghan missions abroad.
This is issued to holders of special or service passports. The Service Visa can be acquired from Afghan missions abroad.
This is issued to foreign nationals who enter Afghanistan with an entry work permit visa. Validity lasts from one (1) to six (6) days with extensions available upon request.
All issued visas are valid anywhere from three (3) months, six (6) months or one (1) year since the date of issuance depending on the purpose of the visit.
To apply for a visa, the requirements are:
- One (1) completed visa application form
- Two (2) recent passport-size photos
- A valid passport for a minimum of six (6) months
- Visa processing fee
- Possibly a short interview
The following are the guidelines for visa applications:
- It is strongly recommended that foreign visitors to register with their embassy in Kabul, the local Afghan Police Department and the Afghan Tourist Organization (if the visit is for tourism purposes only) on arrival.
- During the stay in Afghanistan, it is respectfully requested that visitors respect local culture and sensitivities.
- Photos and Cinematographic films can be taken after obtaining previous permission in writing from the Tourist Bureau, Press Department, located on the first floor of the Ministry of Information and Culture Building.
- Transportation of some rare birds out of the country is illegal. Therefore, visitors must contact the Afghan Tourist Bureau to obtain more information and relevant export certificate.
- Tourists may export duty free 30 sqm carpets, 10 skins excluding Karakul, cut and polished precious stones including Lapis Lazuli, handicrafts and a limited variety of antiques.
- Upon arrival, visitors are required to declare all foreign currency (If the amount exceeds 1million AFS or its equivalent value) that they carry. Please ask for ‘Ansari Application Form’ at the airport.
Types of Permits
A work permit is issued to foreign nationals who have a pre-made employment contract with any Afghanistan-based organization or company. Sufficient evidence of relations, transfer, position or employment with the organization is required. Should the applicant be bound to stay for a long period of time in Afghanistan, dependents may also be given residence permits. Application may be done together with the applicant’s or independently.
A residence permit is granted to individuals who intend to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, provided that the qualifications and application are approved by the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A formal application form should be filled out and submitted to the said ministries.