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Tajikistan - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Tajikistan due to crime.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Borders with Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan (see Advisory)
The security situation along the border with Afghanistan remains unstable, as this area is used as a transit point for drugs and other forms of illegal trafficking.
Marked and unmarked minefields are present in areas bordering Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan. Exercise extreme caution when travelling to these areas.
While the security situation in Tajikistan is generally stable, there has been an increase in criminal activity.
On September 4, 2015, armed clashes between security forces and gunmen near Dushanbe International Airport and in the town of Vahdat resulted in multiple deaths.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and mugging, occurs; criminals target foreigners. Do not 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. hotels, clubs, restaurants, bars, schools and places of worship) and at outdoor recreation events. You should be particularly vigilant in crowded public places such as markets.
Ensure that your passport and visa are in order when travelling to and from Dushanbe International Airport. Officials have claimed travel documents to be invalid in order to extort payments from travellers. Report any harassment or intimidation to the Embassy of Canada to Kazakhstan in Astana (see Assistance).
Women travelling alone may be subject to harassment. Travel in groups and in daylight. See Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information specifically for Canadian women.
Demonstrations motivated by Tajikistan’s difficult economic situation may occur. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Exercise caution in the Rasht (or Karategin) Valley and its Tavildara District, as tensions may still exist following the 2010 clashes between Tajik security forces and militant groups.
Some border crossings are not properly marked, especially in the Fergana Valley, where the Tajik border meets eastern Uzbekistan and southern Kyrgyz Republic.
Neighbouring countries may close their borders without notice.
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 do not stop. Exercise caution when travelling east of Dushanbe, as armed groups have established checkpoints and target foreigners.
Rail service is unreliable and underdeveloped.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
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.
General safety information
Carry a photocopy of your visa and passport with you at all times. Keep your original documents in safekeeping facilities. Leave a photocopy of your travel documents with a relative or friend at home.
Tourist facilities are very limited.
Energy, water and food shortages are common throughout Tajikistan, especially in winter and spring.
Electrical blackouts and brownouts occur frequently.
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.
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 foreign diplomatic missions and consulates 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 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.
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 diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must possess a visa to visit Tajikistan.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
There are different application requirements for each type of visa. Consult the Embassy of Tajikistan to the United States for more information.
You may obtain a visa from the Tajikistan Visa Electronic Application Center. You may also obtain a single-entry visa, valid for a 45-day visit within 90 days of issuance, from the Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Tajikistan e-Visa Application.
You must obtain a permit from Tajik authorities to visit the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast.
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.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- Polio : vaccine advice - June 29, 2018
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
There is a risk of polio in this country.
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
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.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- 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 pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that typically causes fever, bleeding under the skin, and pain. Risk is generally low for most travellers. It is spread to humans though contact with infected animal blood or bodily fluids, or from a tick bite. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
- There is a limited risk of malaria in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in Central Asia, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
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 provider.
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
Medical facilities in Tajikistan are scarce and substandard. 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, including disposable needles, anesthetics and antibiotics.
Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation, in case of illness or injury.
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.
Laws and culture
Laws & 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.
An International Driving Permit is required.
Penalties for drinking and driving are strict.
Although rarely enforced, smoking while walking on the street is illegal and punishable by a fine.
Possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs may result in jail sentences and heavy fines. The Tajik government is stepping up its raids to counter narcotics trafficking.
Carry a copy of your passport at all times. Individuals are frequently required by the police to produce identification.
Although the laws of Tajikistan do not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex, homosexuality is not socially tolerated. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Tajikistan. See Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit Canadians abroad for more information.
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.
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.
The economy is primarily cash-based. The currency is the Tajik somoni. Canadian currency and traveller’s cheques are not accepted; U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Few international banking services are available, although an increasing number of automated banking machines can now be found in Dushanbe. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels, some restaurants and most banks.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & 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.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Tajikistan. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the the Embassy of Canada in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Astana - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Astana, Kazakhstan, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
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, express 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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