COVID-19 Travel
May 28, 2021

COVID-19 Travel Guidance for U.S. Citizens

COVID-19 Alert
October 8, 2021

Update on U.S. Passport Operations

Intercountry Adoption

English

Country Information

Afghanistan

Afghanistan
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Do not travel to Afghanistan due to civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and COVID-19.

Do not travel to Afghanistan due to civil unrestarmed conflictcrimeterrorismkidnapping, and COVID-19.  

Travel to all areas of Afghanistan is unsafe. The Department of State assesses the risk of kidnapping or violence against U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is high.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended operations on August 31, 2021. While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar.

Individuals seeking information on current consular support should review the Embassy website for instructions. Consular services remain available outside Afghanistan. To locate the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate click here. The Department of State will continue to provide information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), Embassy Kabul’s web page, Travel.State.Gov, and Facebook, and Twitter.

The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens still in Afghanistan should:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates and ensure you can be located in an emergency.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and local security developments at all times.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans.
  • Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Monitor local media.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice of Afghanistan due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country.

Resources for U.S. citizens in Afghanistan:

For information on Special Immigrant Visas.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to Embassy operations.

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Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No

Hague Convention Information

Afghanistan is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). However, under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the requirement that adoption service providers be accredited or approved, and therefore meet the accreditation standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also applies in non-Convention (“orphan”) cases under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider act as the primary provider in every Convention or non-Convention intercountry adoption case, and that adoption service providers providing any adoption services, as defined at 22 CFR Part 96.2, on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. See additional guidance for limited situations when a primary provider may not be required. Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I 600. However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website on the impact of the UAA on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the home study requirements listed at 8 CFR 204.311, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending the child return home when possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

Please visit the Department of State’s country page for more information on travelling to Afghanistan.

The Department of State occasionally receives inquiries from U.S. citizens concerned about the plight of children in Afghanistan and the possibility of adopting them. We share this concern for children in conflict areas and understand that some U.S. citizens want to respond by offering to open their homes and adopt these children in need.

It can be extremely difficult in such circumstances to determine whether children who appear to be orphans truly are eligible for adoption. Children may be temporarily separated from their parents or other family members during a conflict or natural disaster, and their parents or relatives may be looking for them. It is not uncommon in a hostile situation for parents to send their children out of the area, or for families to become separated during an evacuation or natural disaster. Even when it can be demonstrated that children are indeed orphaned or abandoned, they often will be cared for by other relatives.

During times of crisis, it can also be exceptionally difficult to fulfill the legal requirements for adoption of both the United States and the child's country of origin. This is especially true when civil authority breaks down. It can also be very difficult to gather documents necessary to fulfill the legal requirements of U.S. immigration law. Prospective adoptive parents may wish to consult with experienced immigration attorneys and to take extra caution when considering adopting or caring for a child under these circumstances.

There are still ways in which U.S. citizens can help the children of Afghanistan, such as by making a contribution to an established non-governmental organization that is well placed to respond to Afghanistan’s most urgent needs, including those related to the children of Afghanistan.

Contact Information

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
SA-17
Washington, DC 20520
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: Adoption@state.gov
Internet: http://adoption.state.gov

 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

For questions about filing a Form I-600A application or a Form I-600 petition: 
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC) 
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1- 913-275-5480 (local);
Fax:1- 913-214-5808
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833) 
Internet: uscis.gov

Last Updated: September 1, 2021

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Kabul
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Telephone
833-741-2777 or 606-260-4379
Emergency
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Fax
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Afghanistan Map