Afghanistan — Visas and Vaccinations
Travelers of any nationality need visas to enter Afghanistan and they are not hard to obtain provided that you have proper documentation. They must be acquired in advance, as they are not issued upon arrival at the land borders or at the airport. A tourist visa may be obtained from the Afghan consulate or embassy in your home country that is valid for 30 days, but may be extended by the Ministry of Interior upon approval from the Afghan Tourism Organization.
Regardless of the type of visa being applied for, the following documents are required:
- Filled out Afghanistan visa application form
- Passport (valid for at least 6 months after your stay)
- Tickets and supporting documents to serve as proof of your return/onward travel
- Passport-size photo
- Letter from employer/sponsor that states the duration and purpose of the trip, as well as financial guarantee
- Visa fee
- Self-addressed return envelope with postage
Health and Safety
Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B and E are advised and medical insurance, particularly one with provisions for emergency evacuation is essential for travel to Afghanistan. Some diseases to watch out for include trachoma and typhus, along with waterborne ailments like giardiasis. During warmer seasons, beware of diarrhea and gastrointestinal infections.
Be sure to find a safe source of drinking water and avoid unpasteurized milk. Tin or powdered milk is recommended, and dairy products that are likely to have been prepared from unpasteurized/unboiled milk should be avoided.
Thorough preparations should be made before any travel to Afghanistan. Itineraries, logistics and insurance must be finalized down to the last detail to avoid threats. Practice extreme caution every time you go out, whether walking the streets of Kabul or dodging land mines on open trails. Keep close tabs on the news and safety threats to avoid being caught in a political gathering or demonstration.