Rules of entry and stay
According to the current legislation of Afghanistan, citizens of all countries need a visa to enter.
- Duly completed and signed visa application form
- Note: The Afghanistan visa application form must be filled out in capital letters. All questions must be answered. No question should be left unanswered. If the question is not applicable, you should enter "N/A" as the answer. The visa application form must be notarized, especially around the signature/area
- One photo of standard passport size
- Valid passport
- Note: You should send the original passport - a copy is not accepted. The validity of the signed passport must exceed 6 months to apply for a visa. A visa will not be issued with a validity period of less than 6 months. Must contain a sufficient number of blank pages of the visa. Visas are stamped on the blank "Visa" pages of your passport. The pages with changes (clearly marked as such) on the back of the applicant's passport are not accepted for visa issuance. If the applicant's passport does not meet these requirements, you must update your passport or obtain a new one before applying for a visa
- An itinerary from a registered travel agency in Afghanistan, including information about flights, accommodation addresses and places to be visited;
- Letter of invitation
- Letter of approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The host country must request a letter of approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A copy of this approval must be submitted with the visa application
- A personal statement explaining the purpose of the visit and confirming the risks associated with traveling to Afghanistan
- Proof of residence/address (e.g., a copy of your photo ID with photo and address, a copy of your current driver's license, a copy of your utility bill, provided it shows your name and address. For minors (under the age of 18), both parents must provide proof of residence/address
- A copy of the minor's birth certificate
- A copy of both parents' driver's licenses and passports
- The application form must be signed by both parents or legal guardian
- One of the parents must be an Afghan citizen
- A copy of the child's passport
- Birth certificate of the child with the names of both parents
- A copy of the parent's passport
- A copy of the mother's passport
- An application completed, dated and signed by both parents;
- Download, print and fill out the application form
- Prepare all the necessary documents
- Book an appointment (usually this can be done online, but it will depend on the embassy to which you apply)
- Attend an interview at the embassy
- Get a visa with a stamp in your passport
- Download, print and fill out the application form
- Prepare all necessary documents, including a pre-paid return envelope with your address
- Send everything to the embassy
- Wait until you receive your passport in the mail with a visa inside
- expenses for emergency medical care
- emergency medical evacuation/repatriation
- political and natural disasters
- kidnapping, robbery, piracy and unlawful detention;
- personal accident
- assessment of post-traumatic stress disorder/counseling after a covered hostile event
If the applicant is passing through Afghanistan on his/her way to another country, a visa will be required along with a letter of intent. This letter must indicate the duration of stay and the place of visit if the applicant leaves the airport. This visa is valid for up to 3 days.
Entry with pets
Cats and dogs that meet the following requirements are not quarantined in Afghanistan. All requirements also apply to service animals and emotional support animals:
1. Microchip for a pet: Afghanistan does not require a pet to be identified with a pet microchip. Still, it is recommended that you microchip your pet and register your contact information before traveling to identify it in case your pet gets lost. If the pet does not have a registered microchip, you should ensure that the animals wear identification tags with the owner's contact information.
2. Vaccination: the animal must be vaccinated against rabies from 21 days to one year before entering the country. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus. Cats must be vaccinated against viral rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia and feline leukemia.
3. Rabies titer test: a rabies titer test is not required to enter Afghanistan from any country.
4. Health Certificate: A USDA (or CFIA) accredited veterinarian must complete a veterinary certificate for Afghanistan for USDA or CFIA validation if the animal is traveling from the United States or Canada. If the tourist is not traveling from any of these countries, the government authority responsible for the import and export of pets must approve the forms. The certificate must be filled out 10 days before the trip.
5. Import permit. An import permit is not required when entering Afghanistan with a personal pet.
6. Treatment from ticks: treatment for ticks is not mandatory before entering Afghanistan but is recommended due to the prevalence of these diseases in the country.
7. Entering Afghanistan by air: pets must enter Afghanistan as air cargo through Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. To transport an animal, you will need an IATA-compliant animal crate. Veterinary staff should be notified to examine the animal after boarding. Dogs and cats must show no signs of disease that can be transmitted to humans when inspected at the airport of entry. If the dog or cat is in poor health, an additional examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at the owner's expense.
8. Prohibited breeds: Afghanistan does not publish a list of prohibited breeds.
Information for motorists
- The minimum driving age is 18 years. The minimum rental age is 21 years.
- Anyone driving a vehicle on public streets or highways in Afghanistan must carry a valid, unexpired driver's license.
- If a foreigner has never held a driver's license in any state or country, they must pass a knowledge and vision test, apply for a learner's permit, and pass a road test.
- Driving in Afghanistan requires a document called a road permit or Afghan vehicle entry permit. This document can be issued by the consulate or embassy where the foreigner makes his Afghan visa. A travel ticket to Afghanistan costs 100 USD.
- Along with the money (to be paid in a local bank), a form should be filled out and a written statement of what the applicant will be doing in the country (indicate the purpose of coming to Afghanistan).
It is forbidden:
- Obscene literature
- Alcohol over 2 liters, exceptions for personal consumption for commercial air passengers
- Recorded VCR tapes and other films
- Parlor video games or parts thereof
- Goods in commercial quantities
- A permit is also required for antiques, carpets, furs and photographic film.
- Dogs and other animals imported into the country will require a rabies vaccination certificate before being granted entry.
- Up to 50,000 AFA in local currency can be taken out of the country. Foreign currency must be equal to the amount imported and declared. For amounts over AFA 1,000,000, an "Ansari Application Form" is required.
More detailed information can be found at the link: https://www.kabul-int-airport.com/en/customs_kabul_airport.php
Practical tips from experienced tourists
How to get a visa to Taliban Afghanistan?
Before the Taliban came to power in 2021, you could get an Afghan visa at almost any embassy around the world, but now the situation has changed as there are only a few embassies and consulates that can issue you a valid visa that is also recognized by the Taliban:
- Islamabad (Pakistan)
- Peshawar (Pakistan)
- Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
- Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
- Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
- Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
Travel permits for Afghanistan
To travel in Afghanistan, you will need a special permit from the Taliban.
If you're traveling on an organized tour, you don't have to worry about anything as your local representative will take care of it, but independent travelers will have to get it on their own, which in our experience is not so easy to do.
Your travel permit must specify all the provinces of Afghanistan that you will visit.
However, it should only list the provinces you plan to stay in, not those you are just passing through.
For example, if you want to visit Bamiyan from Kabul, you will inevitably pass through Wardak province, but you don't necessarily need a permit to do so because you will just be passing through.
For each province you visit, you will have to pay 1000 AFN, which is about 12 USD.
This permit is absolutely necessary, and many Taliban will demand it at checkpoints.
Budget, money and spending in Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, the currency is called the Afghanistan (AFN) and is approximate:
1 = 80 AFN
Paying by card in Afghanistan
You can withdraw money from an ATM, but you won't be able to pay with a card anywhere in Afghanistan, so have cash with you for the trip.
How much does a trip to Afghanistan cost?
Everyday life in Afghanistan is cheap, but domestic flights and accommodation add up to a lot.
How much does food and drink cost in Afghanistan?
- Breakfast at a local restaurant (usually consists of eggs, bread and tea) - 100 AFS
- Lunch at a local restaurant (usually palau rice, kebab, etc.) - 200-300 AFS
- Food in a mid-range restaurant - 400-600 AFS
How much does transportation cost in Afghanistan?
- Domestic one-way flight - 60-120 USD
- Taxis within the city - 50 AFN for short trips. Up to 200-250 AFN for longer trips.
- Taxi for half a day in Kabul - I once hired a driver in Kabul for the morning to take me to a few different places I had in mind. He charged me 20 US dollars for that.
Taxi from the airport to the city center - 500 AFN in Kabul, 300-400 AFN in Herat or Mazar-e-Sharif.
- One way taxi to Bamiyan - 75 USD
- Round trip taxi to Panjshir - 50 USD
- Local bus within the city - 5 AFN
Is there Wi-Fi in Afghanistan?
In big cities, Wi-Fi is unreliable, but if you need it for work, it's not enough.
How to get a SIM card in Afghanistan?
To buy a SIM card, you'll have to go to one of the official branches, which are usually open from 8 am to 4 pm.
There are many mobile companies operating in Afghanistan, including Afghan Telecom, Afghan Wirless, Etisalat, MTN, Roshan and Salaam.
VPN for traveling in Afghanistan
You should always use a VPN when traveling, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.
Your connection will be much more secure. In addition, you will be able to access content that is usually censored in Afghanistan.
I recommend ExpressVPN - it's extremely easy to use, fast, and cheap.
Written by Joan Torres
June 28, 2023
Embassies of Afghanistan in different countries can be found here: https://www.embassy-worldwide.com/country/afghanistan/
Entering Afghanistan as South African Citizen
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.