Afghanistan travel advice

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Risk level

Afghanistan - AVOID ALL TRAVEL

Avoid all travel to Afghanistan due to the security situation, terrorist attacks, ongoing armed conflict, the risk of kidnapping, arbitrary arrest and detention, and the high crime rate.

The security situation remains highly volatile and dangerous. If you are in Afghanistan, you should shelter in a safe place and exercise caution if you need to move to a more secure location. Keep in mind that you are responsible for your own safety and that of your family.

The Embassy of Canada in Afghanistan has suspended its operations. The Government of Canada’s ability to provide consular assistance and other support in this country is extremely limited. Canadians in need of consular assistance should contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

We strongly recommend that Canadians sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive important information.

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Safety and security

Security situation

Several terrorist groups remain active in Afghanistan. The intensity and frequency of the attacks have significantly increased since August 2021, resulting in numerous casualties.

Foreigners and individuals associated to Western countries are targets for kidnappings and violence by terrorist groups.

The security situation is highly volatile and additional violent attacks could occur at any time across the country. Criminals are also taking advantage of the unstable security situation to commit violent attacks.

Travelling throughout the country is extremely dangerous, including in Kabul. There are checkpoints on all roads and throughout cities. Women are not allowed to travel by themselves and often face difficulties at checkpoints. Some borders are closed or may close without notice. Border crossing is risky due to criminal groups and smugglers.

Keep in mind that you are responsible for your own safety and that of your family.

If you are in Afghanistan:

  • exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings
  • use your judgement to decide the best time and the safest means of exit if you need to move to a safer location
  • monitor international media to stay informed about the latest developments and decrees

The Embassy of Canada in Afghanistan has suspended its operations. The Government of Canada’s ability to provide consular assistance in this country is extremely limited. If you have successfully made your way out of the country and require consular assistance, contact the nearest Canadian office.

Since August 2021, the authorities have issued a series of decrees to regulate acceptable behaviors according to their strict interpretation of Islam.

Freedoms, including of expression and assembly, have been significantly reduced. All forms of dissent and criticism of the authorities, including by journalists and activists from civil society, may result in arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention.

Protestors against the restrictions imposed by the authorities risk arrests, detentions, physical violence and abuse and being charged with ‘’moral corruption’’.  Security forces use several violent methods of dispersing protests, including water cannons, tear gas, and firing live bullets.

Security forces strongly repress demonstrations and frequently arrest participants. They are often detained and face psychological and physical abuse.

Terrorism and criminal violence

Attacks in Kabul occur often. There’s an extremely high and continuous threat of terrorism and criminal violence. Terrorists and criminals carry out attacks throughout the country, including all major cities. These attacks are not restricted to particular areas of those cities, they can occur in reputable public areas frequented by foreigners, particularly at the Serena Hotel. No location in Afghanistan can be considered safe or exempt from the threat of attack.

Extremist organizations continue to plan attacks against a variety of targets in Afghanistan. There is a heightened risk of attacks targeting:

  • foreigners
  • western interests
  • human rights defenders
  • journalists and media workers
  • judges and prosecutors
  • religious scholars
  • healthcare workers
  • political analysts
  • police officers
  • civil servants
  • other civilians

Attacks are completely unpredictable. Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • security and defence personnel
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels, medical facilities and other sites frequented by foreigners

In addition to targeted attacks, terrorist groups periodically fire multiple unguided rockets into central Kabul. These rockets are generally aimed at the airport, the Serena Hotel, embassies, and government or military facilities but can land anywhere in the central area of the city.

If you are in Afghanistan:

  • always be aware of your surroundings when in public places
  • exercise extreme caution at all times
  • be particularly vigilant during and prior to days of national significance

Types of violent attacks

Tactics used by criminals include body- and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and firing rockets. Armed assaults and ambushes are also common.

Other types of violent attack also occur, including armed robbery, carjacking and sexual and gender-based violence and harassment. Weapons are readily available throughout the country and the number of civilian causalities is high.

  • Avoid showing signs of affluence or carrying large sums of money
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times


Kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative practice. There’s an extreme risk of kidnapping of foreign nationals. Criminals have kidnapped and sometimes killed Westerners, including tourists, journalists, teachers, doctors and non-government organization workers. Journalists may be lured with offers of interviews, when the real purpose is to kidnap them.

Several organizations, including terrorist groups and criminal gangs, are responsible for these kidnappings. These groups will target anyone perceived to have money for kidnapping or extortion purposes. Kidnap-for-ransom groups may also sell their captives to terrorist groups, with victims potentially facing years in captivity.


Demonstrations, including anti-Western demonstrations and civil unrest, may occur throughout Afghanistan. Some demonstrations have become violent and have suffered terrorist attacks, causing death and injury. Demonstrations can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)


Millions of landmines pose a severe threat throughout the countryside. No area is safe.

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country. Drivers often drive at excessive speeds. Drivers are aggressive and reckless. Drivers do not respect traffic laws, and Afghan police do not enforce them.

Accidents causing fatalities are common.

Overland travel

Overland travel is extremely dangerous, including in Kabul. Banditry by armed groups is common. Terrorist and criminal groups may set up fake checkpoints and road-blocks with the intent of robbery, kidnapping or other violent attacks. Military and police forces are inadequate.

  • Avoid undertaking overland travel unless you’re accompanied by armed security guards
  • Plan any road travel very carefully
  • Always travel in groups

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Women’s safety

Women are at a particularly higher risk of harassment and abuse, including from the authorities. They must strictly abide by specific rules and behaviors, including:

  • travelling and going to public places with a male guardian (mahram), such as a brother, father or husband
  • covering from head-to-toe

Women will likely face challenges when trying to interact with authorities.

Women are expressly prohibited from many places including:

  • public parks
  • amusement parks
  • public baths
  • Band-e-Amir National Park

Some regions enforce restrictions imposed on women and girls more strictly than others. Kandahar province enforces the decrees particularly strictly.

Afghan authorities have detained women who have reported a sexual assault. Women must prove that the sex was not consensual to avoid criminal charges under extramarital sex statutes. Legal and medical services are not widely available for women in the event of sexual assault.

Advice for women travellers

Forced marriages

Forced marriage affecting foreigners occur. It sometimes occurs without the affected person’s prior knowledge or consent.

General information and advice about forced marriage

Advice for women travellers

General safety information

Be aware that:

  • basic infrastructure services such as electricity and telephones are minimal, even in urban areas
  • food and water shortages are common
  • foreigners should avoid travelling at night
  • there is no safe area with adequate police coverage

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Entry and exit requirements

The Government of Afghanistan collapsed in August 2021. All travel to and out of the country is severely restricted. Borders are closed or may close suddenly.

Regular entry and exit requirements may not apply at this time. They could also change without notice.

The situation is volatile and evolves quickly. Avoid travelling to Afghanistan.

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from Afghan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.


Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Afghanistan.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links


You must obtain a visa to visit Afghanistan.

Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required

If your emergency contingency plan involves a possible evacuation to a third country by air or road, be sure to maintain a valid visa for that country.

Regional travel

Afghan authorities may deny you entry if your passport contains an Israeli visa or border stamp.

They may also deny you entry if your passport contains an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel, which would indicate that you’ve travelled to Israel.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

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Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.


  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.


Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.


Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.


 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.


Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Travellers going to countries in South Asia should speak to a health care professional about getting vaccinated.


Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.
There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. 
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 
• Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin. 
• Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
• Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area. 
• Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 
If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 


In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Polio – WHO Temporary Recommendations

Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Wild poliovirus (WPV1) and/or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV1 or cVDPV3)) is/are present in this destination.

This destination is subject to Temporary Recommendations under the World Health Organization’s polio Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).  

Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.


  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
  • Make sure that the polio vaccinations are documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is the only document accepted as proof of vaccination. It is provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres.
  • Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.

Proof of vaccination:

  • Travellers who are visiting for longer than 4 weeks may be required to receive a dose of polio vaccine 1 to 12 months before they leave this destination. This may be required even if you have previously received all the recommended polio vaccine doses as part of the routine vaccine schedule in Canada.
  • Make sure that the polio vaccination is documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 



Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.


Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.


There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin.  In some cases, it can be fatal.  It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick.  Risk is generally low for most travellers.  Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock.  There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

  • In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Cutaneous and mucosal Leishmaniasis

Cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly.

Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  


Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

Medical services and facilities

Health care is inadequate. It may be completely unavailable.

If available, health-care facilities are not appropriately sanitized. Patients requiring medical treatment for incisions or wounds run a significant risk of infection.

Prescription medications are not available. Bring a sufficient supply of medications for the duration of your stay.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury. However, it's rarely possible due to a lack of companies willing to service Afghanistan.

In any case, make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety


Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

The work week is from Saturday to Wednesday.

Public displays of physical affection between men and women are considered offensive.

Illegal or restricted activities

Extramarital relations

Extramarital relations, including sexual relations are illegal. Punishment for convicted offenders is severe.

Restrictions applicable to women

The Afghan authorities strictly enforce their interpretation of Islam and prohibit women from:

  • travelling and going to public places, such as parks and restaurants, without a guardian (mahram)
  • accessing higher education
  • working outside their home
  • working for non-governmental organizations and the UN

Women who don’t cover from head-to-toe are likely to be arrested and face jail sentences.

Religious proselytism

Religious proselytism is illegal in Afghanistan. This includes preaching, possessing, or distributing religious literature or material. If you convert or try to convert someone from Islam to another religion, you could face harsh punishment, including the death sentence. There are reports of individuals practicing a religion other than Islam being arbitrarily arrested, detained and victims of physical violence and abuse.


You could be accused of blasphemy if you engage in religious activities that contradict or challenge the Afghan authorities’ interpretation of Islamic teachings and values. Such acts are punishable by lengthy jail sentences and even the death sentence.


It’s illegal to photograph government buildings, military installations and palaces. Seek permission from locals before taking their photograph.

2SLGBTQI+ persons

Afghan law explicitly prohibits same-sex sexual relations. This prohibition is being upheld by the Afghan authorities. Moreover, homosexuality isn’t socially tolerated.

2SLGBTQI+persons could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. They could face physical attacks and arrest under several charges, including sodomy and illegal extramarital sexual relations.

2SLGBTQI+ persons should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Afghanistan.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Afghanistan.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Afghanistan, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Afghanistan.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Afghanistan by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Afghanistan to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links

Dress and behaviour

Afghan customs, laws and regulations closely adhere to Islamic practices and beliefs.

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

  • dress conservatively
  • behave discreetly
  • respect religious and social traditions


In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, refrain from:

  • drinking
  • eating
  • smoking


You must carry an international driving permit.

International Driving Permit


The currency is the afghani (AFN).

The economy operates on a cash-only basis. Credit cards are not widely accepted. U.S. dollars are accepted but should be recent issue and in good condition.

Automated banking machines are beginning to appear in Kabul, but they are unreliable.

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Natural disasters and climate

Severe flooding in northern Afghanistan

On May 10, 2024, heavy rainfall caused severe flooding in the northern part of the country, especially in the following provinces:

  • Baghlan
  • Ghor
  • Herat
  • Badakhshan

There are reports of significant damage to buildings and infrastructure and several casualties.

The de facto authorities declared a state of emergency in the affected areas.

The following essential services are severely disrupted:

  • transportation
  • power distribution
  • water and food supply
  • telecommunications networks
  • emergency services
  • medical care

If you are in or near the affected areas:

  • exercise caution
  • monitor local news and weather reports
  • follow the instructions of emergency responders, including evacuation orders

Afghanistan is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes may cause landslides in affected areas. Strong aftershocks are possible up to one week after the initial quake.

Avalanches, floods and landslides occur. These could result in a high number of casualties and serious property damage.

Avoid the affected areas, keep informed of regional weather forecasts and follow the instructions of local authorities.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 119 or 100
  • medical assistance: 102
  • firefighters: 112

Consular assistance

The Embassy of Canada to Afghanistan, in Kabul, has temporarily suspended its operations.

For emergency consular assistance, contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre:

Canadians should also register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service. 


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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