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Tajikistan - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Tajikistan. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to crime.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Areas bordering 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 a high level of caution when travelling to these areas.
Although there has not been a terrorist incident in Tajikistan since 2010, you should exercise a high degree of caution, regularly review your security practices and remain aware of the security situation in the country.
While the security situation in Tajikistan, including in Dushanbe, is generally stable, there has been a rise in criminal activities.
On September 4, 2015, armed clashes between security forces and gunmen resulted in multiple deaths close to Dushanbe International Airport and in the town of Vahdat.
The pickpocketing and mugging of foreigners occur. 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.
There have been a number of reports of harassment of women. Travel in groups and in daylight. Please consult Her Own Way: A Woman’s Guide to Safe and Successful Travel for more information.
Demonstrations concerning Tajikistan’s difficult economic situation may occur. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice 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, especially in the Fergana Valley, which extends across eastern Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan, are not well defined and are very porous.
Neighbouring countries may close their borders unilaterally.
Rail service is unreliable and underdeveloped.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
Air travel is limited. In winter, poor weather conditions commonly cause sudden flight delays and cancellations. Reservations on regional airlines are not always honoured.
General safety information
There are numerous 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.
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.
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.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Tajik authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of Tajikistan for up-to-date information.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Tajikistan, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must be in possession of 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 for more information.
Although visas can be obtained on arrival at Dushanbe Airport, to avoid lengthy delays upon entering the country or the possibility of being refused entry, you should obtain one from the Embassy of Tajikistan well before leaving Canada.
You must obtain a permit from the Tajik authorities to visit the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast.
If you are travelling to Afghanistan and wish to return to Tajikistan, ensure that you have the appropriate documents, including visas, valid passport and vehicle certification, before leaving Tajikistan, and inform the Embassy of Canada in Astana, Kazakhstan.
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.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
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 for children, 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 risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
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 below Western standards. 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.
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 are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
An International Driving Permit is required.
Penalties for drinking and driving are strict.
Homosexual activity is legal but is not widely accepted by Tajik society.
Possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs may result in jail sentences and heavy fines. The government is stepping up its raids to counter narcotics trafficking.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Tajikistan. If local authorities consider you a Tajik citizen, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services, thereby preventing Canadian consular officials from providing you with those services. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Tajik passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
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. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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