A quick guide on how to get an Afghanistan visa in Islamabad, Pakistan by Sebastiaan.
Getting a visa for Afghanistan is becoming increasingly difficult. Luckily, it’s still pretty straightforward in Pakistan. The country is one of the easiest places to get a visa for Afghanistan these days. Below you can find a report on applying for an Afghanistan tourist visa in Islamabad in 2018.
If you’re heading to Afghanistan, make sure to check out Lost With Purpose’s comprehensive Afghanistan travel guide.
Getting to the Afghanistan embassy
The Embassy of Afghanistan is located on Fazl-ul-Haq Road, in sector G6 of Islamabad. The embassy is close to the Pakistan Secretariat; you can find it on Google Maps.
The easiest way to get to the embassy from where you’re staying is to use your own transport, or call a ride using the Uber or Careem apps.
The embassy is hard to miss since there will probably be a line outside. You are not allowed to enter the actual embassy ground; everything is done at a container in front of the embassy building. There are parking spaces available if you come with your own car or bike.
The timing for visa applications is 09:00 to 12:00 on weekdays.
Visa pick up time starts at 15:00, but it’s sometimes possible to pick up your visa early. I picked up mine at 11:00, but the embassy staff did need a bit of convincing to go and check if my visa was ready at that time.
Note: Most standard travel insurances don’t cover Afghanistan due to its status as a conflict zone. I recommend getting travel insurance through First Allied Travel Insurance, which specializes in conflict zones.
Applying for an Afghanistan visa in Islamabad, Pakistan
To apply for an Afghanistan tourist visa, you need the following:
- A photocopy of your passport
- A passport size photo
- A filled in application form, which can be obtained from the embassy
I was also asked for a letter of no objection (NOC) from my home embassy. However, I firmly told the embassy staff that the Dutch embassy doesn’t provide NOCs. and after some deliberation, they waived the need for an NOC. If they’re likely to know whether or not your country offers NOCs, you might want to contact your country’s embassy to ask about the process of getting an NOC. However, since many governments do not advise travel to Afghanistan, avoiding this process is always preferable.
The whole visa application process is pretty straightforward. Go to the relevant container window, get the application form, and fill it out. The embassy staff might ask you a few questions about your job and why you want to visit Afghanistan, but they are polite overall. Unless you’re a journalist or something equally risky, they don’t really seem to care what you do.
Normal processing time for a tourist visa is five working days, and an express visa will be done on the same day.
The price for a regular tourist visa are as follows:
- $80 for EU citizens
- $130 for UK citizens
- $170 for US citizens
Express service is $50 extra, regardless of nationality. All payments must be made in US dollars. No other currency is accepted. Payment is made at the embassy.
And there you have it: a quick guide on how to apply for an Afghanistan visa in Islamabad, Pakistan. Let me know in the comments if anything changes.