Road Conditions and Safety: Travel is difficult and unreliable. Neighboring countries sometimes unilaterally close borders, many border crossing points are not open to foreigners, and some borders are poorly delineated and even mined. Armed police or military checkpoints can make road travel outside Dushanbe more difficult.
- Some of the most common dangers encountered in Tajikistan are related to poor road infrastructure and natural events such as rock slides and avalanches, particularly in winter. Exercise caution on rural or mountainous roads, especially in underpopulated areas.
- Drivers with non-Tajik government-issued plates may run into problems crossing the Tajik-Uzbek border and can also expect to be stopped by police often in Dushanbe.
- Only travel by car during the day and on routes you know. Travel in the mountainous region along the Afghan border can be dangerous, even during daylight hours.
- Car accidents and erratic driving are common. Pedestrians tend to ?jaywalk? or walk along highways without paying attention to traffic.
- Public transportation in the city is often overcrowded and not always safe. Bus service between major cities is unreliable.
- The State Traffic Inspectorate (GAI, or in Tajiki, BDA) maintains checkpoints in cities and along highways. The GAI frequently stops vehicles to inspect vehicles and driver documents. The government will not register vehicles with darkly tinted windows.
- Traffic police are notorious for randomly pulling over cars and exacting bribes. In Dushanbe, luxury cars and those with government license plates routinely speed past police, sometimes on the wrong side of the road and through stoplights, while other cars are flagged down for ?document checks.?
Winter Road Travel: Please exercise caution and limit winter travel to Tajikistan?s mountain regions. Avalanches are common. Don?t attempt to travel over closed mountain passes. Roads are often not well maintained. Please see the Ministry of Tajikistan’s website for the most up-to-date information.
Land Mines: Land mines and cluster munitions are a hazard along the Afghan-Tajik and Uzbek-Tajik borders, as well as in the Vakhsh and Rasht valleys. Heed land mine warning signs. Do not venture off the road into areas marked off with red and white plastic tape. Never touch anything resembling unexploded munitions.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tajikistan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Tajikistan?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
There have been outbreaks of the following diseases:
- Water-borne diseases (such as Giardia)
- Hemorrhagic Fever
- Hepatitis A, B & C (frequently transmitted through medical and dental procedures)
- Malaria ? in the southern region at Afghan border
- Tuberculosis (including multidrug-resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR-TB) varieties)
- Typhoid ? in Dushanbe and the southern provinces of Khatlon
- Chicken Pox
Drink bottled or thoroughly boiled water while in Tajikistan. Avoid contact with street dogs in urban areas.
Pollution levels in Tajikistan are reported online at AirNow.gov. Exercise caution and adjust your outdoor activities on days when pollution levels are elevated.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides medical coverage in Tajikistan. Care providers in Tajikistan are not able to accept credit cards; therefore, providers only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation due to inability of local medical providers to address many urgent-care situations.
Prescriptions: If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Tajikistan?s website to ensure that the medication is legal in Tajikistan. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor?s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
- Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs are severe. Expect long jail sentences and heavy fines if you are convicted.
- Tajikistan maintains zero tolerance for alcohol-related incidents.
- It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. Ask before taking photographs of anything of possible military or security interest.
- Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport, Tajik visa, and visa registration, since local police frequently conduct document inspections. Check your visa and registration validity dates regularly, and renew them before they expire.
Currency and Banking: Tajikistan is a cash-only economy. Credit cards are rarely accepted, and traveler?s checks are not used.
International banking services are limited. Some ATM machines are available and dispense local currency. Tajikistan?s national currency is the Somoni, which is convertible to USD.
Earthquakes: Tajikistan is an earthquake-prone country. Visitors to Tajikistan should evaluate their own emergency preparedness and plan accordingly. For information on natural disaster preparedness, see U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report ? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events, although Tajik society is generally hostile to LGBTI interests. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Buildings, public transportation, communication, and road crossings are inaccessible.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Safety and Security
Potential for Terrorist Activity: Terrorist organizations, including ISIS, have a limited presence in the region, mostly by attracting sympathizers and followers through online platforms and social media. Terrorists have planned and carried out attacks against government entities, such as law enforcement and security services.
On November 6, 2019, militants attacked a border post on the Tajikistan-Uzbekistan border. On July 29, 2018, U.S. citizens were targeted in a terrorist attack in Danghara while bicycling in the central region of the country. ISIS has claimed responsibility for both attacks.
Travel in the mountainous region along the Afghan border can be dangerous due to the proximity of militant groups across the border. Be vigilant when camping, biking, or sheltering in the open after dark, especially when close to Tajikistan?s borders with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic.
Tajik authorities maintain a high level of security to thwart terrorist attacks. This could lead terrorists to seek softer targets including facilities where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate such as residential areas; clubs and restaurants; places of worship; schools; hotels; outdoor recreational events, including popular hiking areas; and resorts. U.S. citizens should avoid predictable patterns of movement and revealing their personal information and location on social media. If using social media, ensure your privacy settings are appropriately set.
U.S. Embassy Dushanbe continues to employ heightened security precautions. U.S. citizens should report any unusual activity to local authorities and then inform the Embassy.
Restricted zone of Gorno-Badakhshan: Do not enter the Gorno-Badakhshan (GBAO) region without official permission. Persons violating the law may be detained by Tajik law enforcement. To enter this restricted zone, request a special permit from Tajik embassies/consulates or from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or the Department of Visas and Registration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (OVIR) registration department if applying within Tajikistan. Submit authorization requests at least two weeks in advance of your trip. If granted, authorities will annotate your passport with the names of the settlements and cities you are authorized to visit.
There is now an easier option to include travel to GBAO in your travels. In September 2015, Tajikistan introduced an e-visa for tourism, available online, which is valid for a single entry into Tajikistan and valid for 45 days. For an additional price, this e-visa option allows you to apply for official permission to visit GBAO at the same time. Please visit the Republic of Tajikistan’s e-Visa Application webpage for information on electronic visas to Tajikistan and instructions for a GBAO permit.
Crime: Criminal activity in Dushanbe is moderate. Incidents are not usually violent, but muggings, armed robberies, and pick-pocketing do occur. Police do not provide adequate or immediate assistance and often will not open minor or routine cases.
Other criminal activity, such as narcotics trafficking, can result in violence.
Travel in pairs, especially at night. Sexual harassment of unaccompanied women is very common. Carry a copy of your passport (separate from your wallet) with you at all times.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of crime, including sexual assault and domestic violence, should contact the police or head to the nearest hospital to seek medical attention and report the crime. Please also contact the U.S. Embassy at (992)-37-229-2000.
The local equivalent to the 911 emergency line in Tajikistan is 01 for fire, 02 for police, and 03 for ambulance service, and in Dushanbe, dial 235-4545 for the State Traffic Inspectorate (GAI) police for traffic accidents.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Replace a lost or stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care facilities.
- Put you in contact with appropriate police authorities.
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent.
- Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms.
- Provide a list of local attorneys.
- Provide information on victim?s compensation programs in the U.S.
Tourism: No formal tourism industry infrastructure is in place in most locations. Tourists are considered to be participating in activities at their own risk. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is for the most part not available in-country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase traveler?s insurance for on-the-ground medical coverage as well as medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Demonstrations and Protests: Both are rare in Tajikistan; however, due to security reasons, U.S. citizens are advised not to participate.
Entry exit Requirementsh
See the Embassy of Tajikistan?s website for visa information.
Requirements for Entry:
- Passport valid for at least three months with at least two blank pages for a visa and entry stamp
- Visa support letter if you are traveling on a non-tourist visa.
Tourist visas: Tajikistan offers a simplified online e-visa system for tourists planning a short single trip to the country, allowing travelers to apply online without needing to visit a Tajik embassy or consulate. The e-visa, issued for a period of 90 days, is only valid for a single entry into the country and stay up to 45 days. Travel with an e-visa allows entry at the Dushanbe International Airport and land borders. Registration with the Department of Visas and Registration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (OVIR) is not required.
Tourist e-visas do not allow changing travel dates, extensions of stay, or multiple entries into the country. If you plan to visit neighboring countries during your stay, you will need to reapply for another single-entry e-visa during your travels. Please note: applying for an additional visa may delay travel since processing of these visas may vary from 3-10 days.
Tajikistan also provides a tourist visa (T-visa) available upon arrival at the Tajik Consular Unit inside the Dushanbe International Airport. This visa is only available at the airport and not at land-border crossings. T-visas are typically single-entry, non-extendable, and valid for a period of 20-30 days. You may request a multiple-entry visa but justification and additional information about travel plans should be included with the application.
Refer to the Embassy of Tajikistan?s website for further visa information.
Non-tourist visas: Applications for other non-tourist purposes of travel, including visiting family or friends (XC1-visa), to conduct business (K-visa), or to attend an educational facility (O-visa), can be submitted online to the Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Supporting documents, including a Tajik visa support letter, are required. Visa validities and fees vary depending on purpose of travel. A personal appearance at a Tajik embassy or consulate may be required depending on the visa category.
Tajik visa support letters are required for all non-tourist visas. To obtain a visa support letter, the inviting organization submits a request to the MFA. When invited by a private Tajik resident (e.g., a friend or relative), the inviting party requests a notification letter from the Department of Visas and Registration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (OVIR). Any required supporting documents and the visa support letter should be submitted to the MFA Consular Department in Tajikistan by the inviting party.
Some non-tourist visa categories allow for the visa to be issued upon arrival, eliminating the need to appear in person at a Tajik embassy or consulate. This upon-arrival request must be selected at the time the application is submitted online and an additional fee will be required.
Tajik visa registration stamps are required for stays over two days. Register your visa within three days of entering the country. Journalists, official travelers, and employees of international organizations register with the MFA. All other travelers register with OVIR. Failure to register your visa can result in fines and delay your departure.
Refer to the Embassy of Tajikistan?s website for further visa information.
You can apply for visas at Tajik embassies or consulates if you are coming from:
- Russian Federation
- United Arab Emirates
Exiting Tajikistan: Be sure to leave Tajikistan before your visa expires or you may be required to pay a fine as well as pay for an exit visa.
Departure options from Tajikistan are limited. To maximize departure options, get extended visas for travel to countries with reliable connections to Tajikistan, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, and Russia.
Transit Visas to Russia: When traveling from Tajikistan through Russia to a third country ? including plane changes ? you must have a transit visa for Russia. You cannot get a Russian visa at the airport. If you arrive in Russia without the appropriate visa, authorities may restrict you from future travel to Russia. Refer to information on Travel.State.Gov for visa requirements for Russia.
Dual Nationality: Tajikistan does not recognize dual citizenship with the United States. If you are a U.S.-Tajik dual citizen traveling on your U.S. passport, be sure to have a valid Tajik visa in your U.S. passport. Otherwise, you may encounter problems with immigration authorities upon your departure from Tajikistan.
U.S.-Tajik dual citizens, including U.S. citizen minor children, who are planning to remain in Tajikistan for an extended period of time, are also required to have a valid Tajik visa. Please note: fines for not maintaining a valid visa accumulate quickly and can be very expensive. U.S.-Tajik dual citizens will be required to pay any outstanding fines before exiting the country.
HIV/AIDS Information: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors and foreign residents of Tajikistan. If you are applying to be in Tajikistan for more than 90 days, you must present a medical certificate with your application confirming that you are HIV-free. Due to frequent policy changes, verify this information with the Embassy of Tajikistan before traveling.
Contact information for the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan:
1005 New Hampshire Avenue
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-223-2666 (Consular Issues)
E-mail: email@example.com (Consular Issues)
See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Tajikistan for information on U.S.-Tajikistan relations.