Tajikistan travel advice

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Risk level

Tajikistan - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Tajikistan due to crime.

Borders with Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the areas within 30 km of the borders with Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan because of security concerns.

 

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Safety and security

Border areas

Some border crossings with neighbouring countries are not properly identified, especially in the Fergana Valley, where the Tajik border meets eastern Uzbekistan and southern Kyrgyzstan.

Borders may close without notice.

Afghanistan

The land border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan has been closed since the Taliban takeover in 2021.

Kyrgyzstan

Tensions and occasional clashes due to territorial disputes have occurred on the border between the Sughd region of Tajikistan and the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan, including near the Vorukh enclave. Conflicts have resulted in numerous casualties, including civilians.

In September 2022, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan signed a ceasefire agreement, but the situation remains unpredictable and could deteriorate without notice.

The passage of persons, goods and vehicles to and from Kyrgyzstan is restricted at certain border checkpoints located on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border until further notice.

Uzbekistan

In 2020, Uzbekistan announced the completion of a demining operation along its border with Tajikistan.

Although no incidents have been reported since, landmines still pose a threat to your safety.

Landmines

Marked and unmarked minefields may be present in areas bordering the following countries, especially in uncontrolled areas:

  • Afghanistan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Uzbekistan

If you are traveling in any of these areas despite the advisory in effect:

  • stay on main roads and paved surfaces
  • avoid roadside ditches, shoulders and unmarked trails
  • cross only at official border crossings
  • strictly observe warning signs indicating the possible presence of landmines

Crime

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and mugging, occurs. Criminals target foreigners.

Officials at the Dushanbe International Airport have claimed travel documents to be invalid in order to extort payments from travellers.

  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Don’t show signs of affluence or carry large sums of money
  • Exercise caution, particularly in tourist areas, commercial and public establishments frequented by foreigners (e.g. markets, hotels, clubs, restaurants, bars, schools and places of worship) and at outdoor recreation events
  • Ensure that your passport and visa are in order when travelling to and from the airport
  • Report any case of harassment or intimidation to the Embassy of Canada to Kazakhstan, in Nur-Sultan

Violent crime

Violent crime occur.

Attacks have occurred near Dangara in southern Tajikistan, resulting in casualties.

Be vigilant if hiking or cycling in the countryside, especially in areas near the border with Afghanistan.

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Travel in groups and in daylight.

Advice for women travellers

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism. Even though terrorist groups are known to operate in the country, attacks are infrequent and mostly target Government of Tajikistan installations, including law enforcement and military facilities.

Terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Targets could include:

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

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They 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

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Outages

Energy, water and food shortages as well as power outages are common throughout Tajikistan, especially in winter and spring.

Maintain a stock of emergency items at your hotel/residence. If you intend to remain in Tajikistan for extended periods, prepare and review personal emergency plans with your family.

Trekking

If you intend on trekking:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
  • register your trip with the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defence (CESCD)
  • book your travel through an accredited travel agency, who will register you with the CESCD

Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defence - Government of Tajikistan (in Tajik and Russian)

Tourist facilities

Tourist facilities are very limited. Wireless service is unreliable in less populated areas.

Public transportation

Rail service is unreliable and underdeveloped.

Road safety

Roads outside of large towns are poorly maintained and often inaccessible to vehicles that are not equipped with 4-wheel-drive.

A new tunnel links Dushanbe and Khujand, but this road is particularly dangerous in the winter due to icy conditions.

In the spring, avalanches and landslides may block roads, and travellers may be trapped for long periods waiting for emergency services, which are slow to respond in remote areas. There are no roadside assistance companies. Many roads in the interior of the country are only open during the summer.

Gas stations are rare outside of towns. If you drive to or through remote areas, ensure that you are well equipped: bring supplies that could last you for several days and a satellite phone.

Driving practices differ greatly from those in Canada and local vehicles are poorly maintained.

There are many checkpoints, and security forces may fire at vehicles that don’t stop. Exercise caution when travelling east of Dushanbe, as armed groups have established checkpoints and targeted foreigners.

Air travel

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

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Air travel is limited. In winter, poor weather conditions commonly cause sudden flight delays and cancellations. Reservations on regional airlines are not always honoured, and overcrowding on flights is common. Flights may be cancelled or significantly delayed on short notice.

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Entry and exit requirements

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 the Tajik authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

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 following the issuance of the visa, and for 60 days beyond the date of entry into Tajikistan.

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

Visas

Tourist visa: not required for stays of up to 30 days
Business visa: not required for stays of up to 30 days
Student visa: required

If you’re staying for more than 10 days, you must register with the local authorities.

If you intend on staying for more than 30 days, you must apply for a visitor visa online, valid for 60 days.

Visa Electronic Application Center - Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Restricted areas

You must obtain a permit from Tajik authorities to visit the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. You may require a permit for other high risk and closed areas.

Health entry requirements

You must be tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) if you are planning to reside in Tajikistan for more than three months.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

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

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Health

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.

Risk

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

Country Entry Requirement*

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

Recommendation

  • 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

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.

Influenza

 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.

COVID-19

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.

Rabies

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). 

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. 

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

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.

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.

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

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. Frequent shortages of energy and water can interrupt or impede the provision of medical services. There is also a severe shortage of basic medical supplies.

You will likely need medical evacuation in case of serious illness or injury.

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.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. The Tajik government is stepping up its raids to counter narcotics trafficking.

Although rarely enforced, smoking while walking on the street is illegal and punishable by a fine.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Driving

You must carry an international driving permit.

International Driving Permit

Identification

Carry a copy of your passport at all times. Individuals are frequently required by the police to produce identification.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

The laws of Tajikistan don’t prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely socially accepted.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Tajikistan.

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

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Tajikistan.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Tajikistan, 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 Tajikistan.

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

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Tajikistan 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

Although Tajikistan is a secular country, Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to, particularly in conservative rural areas. Dress conservatively, behave discreetly and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.

Money

The currency is the Tajik Somoni. The economy is primarily cash-based. U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Few international banking services are available, although an increasing number of ATMs can now be found in Dushanbe. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels, some restaurants and most banks.

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Natural disasters and climate

Tajikistan is located in an active seismic zone.

In higher-altitude areas, there is a significant danger of floods, avalanches and landslides, especially in the spring.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Tajikistan. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada to Kazakhstan, in Nur-Sultan.

Astana - Embassy of Canada
Street Address13/1 Kabanbay Batyr avenue, Astana, Kazakhstan, Z05H0A5Telephone+7 (7172) 47 55 77 / 78 / 79 / 80Fax7 (7172) 475 587Emailastna-consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-KazakhstanFacebookEmbassy of Canada to KazakhstanTwitterCanada in KazakhstanOther social mediaKazakhstan Canada
Consular district

Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Kazakhstan, in Nur-Sultan, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

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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