Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Please note: The Embassy of Afghanistan will be closed from December 25th through January 3rd, 2010. They will reopen on January 4th, 2011. Please plan your visa processing accordingly.
Before visiting Afghanistan, you may need to get the following vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you might be at risk for at your destination: (Note: Your doctor or health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities.)
To have the most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect and to start taking medicine to prevent malaria, if you need it.
Even if you have less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
CDC recommends that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. Find a travel medicine clinic near you. If you have a medical condition, you should also share your travel plans with any doctors you are currently seeing for other medical reasons.
If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know so that you can receive the appropriate vaccinations and information for all of your destinations. Long-term travelers, such as those who plan to work or study abroad, may also need additional vaccinations as required by their employer or school.
Although yellow fever is not a disease risk in Afghanistan, the government requires travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is present to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. If you will be traveling to one of these countries where yellow fever is present before arriving in Afghanistan, this requirement must be taken into consideration.
Be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date. Check the links below to see which vaccinations adults and children should get.
Routine vaccines, as they are often called, such as for influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) are given at all stages of life; see the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule and routine adult immunization schedule.
Routine vaccines are recommended even if you do not travel. Although childhood diseases, such as measles, rarely occur in the United States, they are still common in many parts of the world. A traveler who is not vaccinated would be at risk for infection.
Apply for your Afghanistan Visa now.
Registration with U.S. Embassies
Registration at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate (in the country you are visiting) makes your presence and whereabouts known, in case it is necessary for a consular officer to contact you in an emergency. During a disaster overseas, American consular officers can assist in evacuation were that to become necessary. But they cannot assist you if they do not know where you are.
Registration is particularly important for those who plan to stay in a country longer than one month, or who will travel to:
*A country that is experiencing civil unrest, has an unstable political climate, or is undergoing a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or a hurricane.
*A country where there are no U.S. officials. In such cases, you should register at the U.S. embassy or consulate in an adjacent country, leave an itinerary with the Consular Section, ask about conditions in the country that you will visit and ask about the third country that may represent U.S. interests there.
If you are traveling with an escorted tour to areas experiencing political uncertainty or other problems, find out if your tour operator is registering your trip through the State Department's travel registration website. If it is not, or if you are traveling on your own, you can still register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department's travel registration website.
In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare or whereabouts may not be released to inquirers without your expressed written authorizations. Registration through the website is not considered proof of citizenship. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers or copies of your passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in the United States.
Click here to register: Travel Registration
** Please note that online travel registration is intended for U.S. citizens to register with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate when traveling abroad. If you are not a U.S. citizen and would like to submit your information online to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to receive travel authorization under the Visa Waiver Program for visits to the U.S.A., please visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html . **
If you would like to contact an embassy or consulate directly please click here.
February 06, 2008
This Travel Warning provides updated information on the security situation in Afghanistan. The security threat to all American citizens in Afghanistan remains critical. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Afghanistan issued April 4, 2007.
The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan. No part of Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence, and the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts, either targeted or random, against American and other western nationals at any time. Remnants of the former Taliban regime and the terrorist al-Qa'ida network, and other groups hostile to NATO-led military operations continue, with the heavy involvement of U.S. forces. There is an on-going threat to kidnap and assassinate U.S. citizens and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) workers throughout the country. Afghan authorities have a limited ability to maintain order and ensure the security of citizens and visitors. Travel in all areas of Afghanistan, including the capital, Kabul, is unsafe due to military operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry among political and tribal groups, and the possibility of terrorist attacks, including attacks using vehicular or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The security environment remains volatile and unpredictable.
Terrorist attacks on international organizations, international aid workers, and foreign interests continue. Kabul in particular has seen a rise in militant attacks, including rocket attacks, vehicle borne IEDs, and suicide bombings. The number of attacks in the south and southwestern areas of the country continues to be high as a result of insurgent and drug-related activity, but no part of the country is immune from attacks. The country's most lethal suicide attack occurred in Baghlan Province in November 2007, killing more than 70 people.
More than 70 attacks were reported in Kabul between April and December 2007. These included repeated incidents at or near Kabul International Airport, suicide bombings, persistent rocket attacks on vehicle convoys, and IEDs on many of the major roadways. These incidents resulted in many deaths and injuries of U.S. and coalition personnel and local civilians.
Incidents have occurred with some frequency on the Kabul-Jalalabad Road (commonly called Jalalabad Road) since June 2006. The road's use is highly restricted for Embassy employees and, if the security situation warrants, sometimes is curtailed completely.
Foreigners throughout the country continued to be targeted for violent attacks and kidnappings, whether motivated by terrorism or criminality. An American NGO worker and her driver were kidnapped on January 26 in Kandahar. On January 14, gunmen attacked the Serena Hotel and killed at least eight people, including an American contractor and a Norwegian journalist. An employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture was killed in an attack in Ghazni province in October 2007. A Bangladeshi aid worker was abducted in Logar Province, located south of Kabul, and held for three months from September to December 2007. An Afghan-American businessman was kidnapped in Kabul in September. Several German citizens were also kidnapped in Afghanistan last year, including a German woman kidnapped in Kabul while eating at a restaurant in September. In July 2007, twenty-three South Korean aid workers were kidnapped in Ghazni, two of whom were later killed.
Riots and incidents of civil disturbance can and do occur, often without warning. American citizens should avoid rallies and demonstrations; even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
Carjackings, robberies, and violent crime remain a problem. American citizens involved in property disputes -- a common legal problem -- have reported that their adversaries in the disputes have threatened their lives. Americans who find themselves in such situations cannot assume that either local law enforcement or the U.S. Embassy will be able to assist them.
Official Americans assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul are not permitted to have family members reside in Afghanistan. In addition, unofficial travel to Afghanistan by U.S. Government employees and their family members requires prior approval by the Department of State. From time to time depending on current security conditions, the U.S. Embassy places areas frequented by foreigners off limits to its personnel. Potential target areas include key national or international government establishments, international organizations and other locations with expatriate personnel, and public areas popular with the expatriate community. Private U.S. citizens are strongly urged to heed these restrictions as well and may obtain the latest information by consulting the embassy website below. Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, bombings, assassinations, carjackings, rocket attacks, assaults or kidnappings. Possible threats include conventional weapons such as explosive devices or non-conventional weapons, including chemical or biological agents.
The United States Embassy's ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is limited, particularly for those persons outside the capital. Afghan authorities also can provide only limited assistance to U.S. citizens facing difficulties. U.S. citizens who choose to visit or remain in Afghanistan despite this Travel Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal safety, security and health needs and are expected to assume primary responsibility for their own well-being. They are also encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Afghanistan. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy. Registering makes it easier for the Embassy to contact Americans in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Great Masood Road between Radio Afghanistan and the Ministry of Public Health (the road is also known as Bebe Mahro (Airport Road), Kabul. The phone number is +93-70-108-001 or +93-70-108-002; the Consular Section can be reached for after-hours emergencies at +93-70-201-908. The Embassy website is http://afghanistan.usembassy.gov.
Updated information on travel and security in Afghanistan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Afghanistan and the current Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.