How to get an Afghanistan visa
UK, US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia nationals need a visa to enter Afghanistan. The only citizens that can enter the country without a visa are those who have parents born in or from Afghanistan, and diplomatic passport holders. The rest have to comply with Afghanistan’s visa requirements.
To get an Afghanistan tourist visa, you will need to complete an application form provided by your local Afghanistan embassy. Your passport must also be valid for six months after the expiry of your visa, and you will need to provide your passport photo.
Depending on your embassy – and the latest safety concerns – you may be asked for a letter of invitation. These can be acquired from any hotel in Afghanistan; it doesn’t have to be from a local tour operator.
Once you’ve finished your application, your tourist visa will be valid for 30 days. This starts from the day that you enter the country.
Wakhan Corridor Visa advice
We will enter Afghanistan into the Wakhan District of Badakshan Province at Ishkashim / Eskashim. These are the names of the towns on both the Afghan and Tajik sides of the border.
Before entering this part of Afghanistan, you need to collect your visa from the consulate in Khorog. It’s also a good idea to bring two copies of your passport photo in case they are requested.
The amount of time that it will take the Khorog consulate to turn around your Afghanistan visa application is unpredictable. The standard ‘turn-around’ is two days, but in reality this is often shorter. To be on the safe side we always build flexibility into our itineraries to account for any delays.
Before you head south to the Tajik-Afghan border, you need to make sure to print off six copies of your passport photos, permits and visas. This is best done at the Khorog consulate; otherwise you might be left stuck with the only printer at Ishkashim that’s run out of ink.
How much does an Afghanistan visa cost?
At the Khorog consulate, an Afghanistan visa that will get you into the Wakhan Corridor will cost you between $150-$220. This can vary depending on your nationality, and needs to be paid in clean, uncrumpled bills.
Other Wakhan Corridor Entry Costs
Once you’ve arrived in Afghan Ishkashim, you will need to pay the Wakhan Conservation Area entry fee. This can cost between $20 and $60. Also, if you haven’t done your photocopying in advance, you will need to allow around $25 for photocopying documents in Afghan Ishkashim.
Driving a car into Afghanistan also bring its own set of costs. For a car permit, you will need to pay $100 at Khorog consulate and a further $80-100 at the border crossing. The latter fee covers foreign vehicle registration and road permits for the Afghan Wakhan.
All of this can be done without a guide, but having one with you makes the ordeal much smoother. For $60, plus food and accommodation, a guide can help you to navigate Afghanistan’s visa policies.
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