Information on Afghan Visas for American Citizens

Please note that the U.S. Embassy Consular Section does not assist U.S. citizens in acquiring Afghan visas. The information below is provided as a courtesy only, and it is subject to change without notice.

If you are located in Afghanistan, please contact the Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul at 0700-104-336 or 0701-104-332. If you are located outside of Afghanistan, you should contact the nearest Afghan diplomatic mission. (Contractors working within Afghanistan are also advised to seek assistance from their company’s Human Resources office.) Please note that Afghan visas are not available upon arrival at Afghan airports or land borders; travelers should expect inconsistency in the Afghan entry/exit control process.

Please visit the website of the Afghan Embassy in Washington, DC, for additional information on applying for Afghan visas in the United States: http://www.embassyofafghanistan.org/

Diplomatic Visa – Only issued by the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), as per reciprocity, typically valid for one year, but sometimes only valid for six months or less. Applicant must hold a diplomatic passport.

Official Visa – Only issued by the Afghan MFA, valid for six months, but sometimes issued for the duration of stay if this is expected to be less than one year. Applicant must hold an official passport.

Multiple Entry Visa – A multiple entry visa is most commonly issued to foreigners who come to Afghanistan to work with organizations or corporations registered with the government of Afghanistan or with ISAF. A six month multiple entry visa allows them to work. Applications can be made at an Afghan Embassy or Consulate overseas; the visa must be received before travel.

Tourist Visa – A tourist visa is issued to foreigners who are coming to Afghanistan only for personal reasons or tourism. If applying overseas, foreigners must provide a statement describing the purpose of their travel. If applying after being issued an entry visa upon arrival in Afghanistan, a letter from Ministry of Tourism or the Ministry of Information and Culture is required. Tourist visas are usually single-entry, valid for three months, with a one month authorized stay, and cannot be renewed while in Afghanistan.

Duration Of Stay – Afghan visas will typically be valid for one period of time, but allow a shorter duration of stay. This duration of stay begins upon the first arrival in Afghanistan. For example, if you are issued a six month multiple entry visa with a three month duration of stay, the three month period begins upon your first arrival in the country and expires three months later, even if you stay only three weeks. If you plan to leave and return after more than three months, you will need a new visa. You should apply to extend or renew your visa at the General Passport Office in Kabul, prior to the expiration of your duration of stay.

Entry Permit – U.S. citizens born in Afghanistan (i.e., dual citizens) who do not have an Afghan passport, should not apply for a visa in their U.S. passport. Instead, they should submit an application for an entry permit. This application can be found on the website of the Afghan Embassy in Washington (http://www.embassyofafghanistan.org).

Visa Expiration – If a visa expires, then the bearer must pay a fine of $2 per day for the first month and $5 per day for the second month, for a maximum fine of $210. After two months, the bearer of an expired visa must pay the applicable fine and is subject to deportation.

Note for Dual U.S./Pakistani Citizens – U.S. citizens who are also Pakistani citizens should be aware that if traveling to Afghanistan on a Pakistani passport, the citizen may be limited to three trips in and out of Afghanistan even if holding a six month, multiple entry visa. On an U.S. passport, there is no limitation to the number of entries or exits. This restriction is due to a similar limitation imposed by Pakistani officials on Afghan nationals.

Entry Visa – If a traveler arrives in Kabul without a valid visa, his/her passport will be confiscated and he/she will need to pay a $100 fine. Please follow the process outlined below to obtain an entry visa:

  1. You or your employer should write a letter explaining your situation and why you arrived in Afghanistan without a visa. You will need to take the letter to the Consular Section at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
  2. The MFA will draft a letter to the Foreign Relations Department of the Ministry of Interior (MOI). The MOI will draft a letter to the General Police Office, which is located inside the MOI. The General Police Office will provide you with a letter addressed to the Border Police Office at the Kabul International Airport. Please note that it may take two weeks or more to complete this process.
  3. You bring this letter to the Border Police Office at the airport along with two photos. They will ask you to fill out forms and pay the $100 fine, and then issue an entry visa valid for 15 days. If you decide to stay longer than 15 days you must apply for a multiple entry or tourist visa at the General Passport Office, Foreigners’ Visa Section.

Exit Visas – Those who arrived in Afghanistan without a visa via military air but intend to leave by land or by commercial air, or those who arrived with a valid visa but allowed it to expire, will require an exit visa in order to leave the country. Exit visas are valid for six days. The fee depends on the length of time since the visa expired ($2 per day for the first month, $5 per day for the second month). Please follow the steps below to obtain an exit visa:

  1. Your employer should write a letter explaining your situation and why you came to Afghanistan without a visa (or allowed it to expire). You will need to take the letter to the Consular Section at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
  2. The MFA will draft a letter to the General Passport Office, Foreigners’ Visa Section. You will need to take this letter personally to the General Passport Office.
  3. When at the Passport Office, Foreigners’ Visa Section, you should show your military ID if you have one and explain why you are in the country without a visa. If you do not have a military ID, you should expect to pay a fine of $100 plus $2 per day for each day under a month you have been in the country without a visa or with an expired visa; if you have been without a visa for more than a month, then you must pay $5 per day for each day since you entered the country. If you have a valid military ID, the Foreigners’ Visa Section may choose to waive part of or the entire fine.
  4. The Foreigners’ Visa Section will give you a fine letter. You need to pay this fine at the D’ Afghanistan Bank (the Afghanistan Central Bank). The bank will then give you a receipt that you must bring back to the Foreigners’ Visa Section of the Passport Office.  The Foreigners’ Visa Section will issue you an exit visa within one or two business days of receiving your receipt.

For further information, please contact the consular section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul at 0700-104-336 or 0701-104-332.