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Tajikistan

Tajikistan
Republic of Tajikistan
Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Tajikistan due to terrorism.   

On July 29, 2018, two U.S. citizens were killed in a terrorist attack in Danghara province.

Terrorists have targeted bicyclists and may target other places, such as residential areas, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, and other venues, although Government of Tajikistan facilities remain the most likely target. Facilities catering to westerners in Tajikistan present a heightened risk. Avoid large crowds and public transportation to the extent possible. Tourists should avoid activities that develop predictable patterns of movement.  If documenting your travel on social media, please ensure your privacy settings are appropriately set.

Read the Safety and Security section on the Country Information page

If you decide to travel to Tajikistan:

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Avoid demonstrations and protests.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Tajikistan.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
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Embassy Messages
Alerts
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page per entry stamp 

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

 

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

$3,000 USD

 

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Dushanbe

109A, Ismoili Somoni Avenue
Dushanbe, Tajikistan 734019
Telephone: 992-37-229-2000 or 992-37-229-2300 (consular direct line)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 992-98-580-1032
Fax: 992-37-229-2050 

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Tajikistan for information on U.S.-Tajikistan relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

See the Embassy of Tajikistan’s website for visa information. 

Requirements for Entry

  • Passport valid for at least six months

  • Visa

  • Tajik registration stamp for travelers on a non-tourist visa staying longer than two days. Travelers on a tourist visa staying less than 30 days do not need a registration stamp.

  • Visa support letter if you are traveling on a non-tourist visa.

Tourist visas 

Tourist visas are issued for up to 45 days, with no extensions or replacements allowed. Request a visa that allows for changing travel dates. 

Be sure to leave Tajikistan before your visa expires. 

Obtain a multiple-entry tourist visa if you plan to visit neighboring countries during your stay. 

Tourist visas can be obtained online or at the Dushanbe International Airport upon arrival. Multiple-entry visas for visits lasting longer than 45 days cannot be obtained online. 

You can also apply for visas at Tajik embassies or consulates if you are coming from: 

  • U.S.A.

  • Afghanistan

  • Austria

  • Belarus

  • Belgium

  • China

  • Egypt

  • Germany

  • India

  • Iran

  • Kazakhstan

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Pakistan

  • Russian Federation

  • Turkey

  • Turkmenistan

  • United Arab Emirates

  • U.K.

  • Uzbekistan 

See the Government of Tajikistan website for further visa information. 

Non-tourist Visas: 

Tajik visa support letters are required for all non-tourist visas. Issued by the Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the letter confirms a visa may be issued upon your arrival at the Dushanbe airport. This “upon arrival” visa service does not apply to any other Tajik airports or land borders. 

To obtain a visa support letter, the inviting organization submits a request to the MFA at least two weeks before your travel date. When you are invited by a private Tajik resident (e.g., a friend or relative), that person requests a notification letter from the Department of Visas and Registration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (OVIR). 

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. 

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. See the U.S. Embassy Moscow website for further information. 

Dual Nationality: Tajikistan does not recognize dual citizenship with the United States. If you are a U.S.-Tajik dual citizen traveling on your own 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. 

HIV/AIDS Information: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors and foreign residents of Tajikistan. If you are in Tajikistan for more than 90 days, you must present a medical certificate confirming that you are HIV-free or take an HIV test in Tajikistan. If possible, verify this information with the Embassy of Tajikistan before traveling. 

Additional Information: Find information on dual nationality, the prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on Travel.State.gov.  

Contact information for the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan

            1005 New Hampshire Avenue 

            Washington, DC 20037

            Phone: 202-223-6090

            Fax: 202-223-6091

            E-mail: tjusconsulate@verizon.net (Consular section)

Safety and Security

Potential for Terrorist Activity:  While terrorist organizations are known to have a presence in the region, terrorist attacks have been infrequent in recent years and mostly focused on local government targets, such as law enforcement and security services. U.S. citizens, however, were targeted in a terrorist attack on July 29, 2018 and could be targeted in future attacks. Other violent acts are generally associated with criminal activity including narcotics trafficking. 

The July 29 attack occurred in the country’s interior, and 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. 

Terrorists have targeted bicyclists and may target other places, such as residential areas, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events, and other venues, although Government of Tajikistan facilities remain the most likely target. Facilities catering to westerners in Tajikistan present a heightened risk. Avoid large crowds and public transportation to the extent possible. Tourists should avoid activities that develop predictable patterns of movement. If documenting your travel on social media, please ensure your privacy settings are appropriately set. Demonstrations are rare.

Restricted zone of Gorno-Badakhshan: Do not enter the Gorno-Badakhshan 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 MFA or the “OVIR” registration department if 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. An easier option is now available also. In September 2015, Tajikistan introduced a new way of getting a tourist visa online valid for one entry and 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 usually not 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. 

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. 

See the Department of State and the FBI webpages for information on scams. 

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should contact police or head to the nearest hospital to report the crime. Please also contact the U.S. Embassy at (992)-37-229-2000. 

The local equivalents to the “911” emergency line are: 

            01 for fire

            02 for police

            03 for ambulance service

            235-4545 for the State Traffic Inspectorate (GAI) duty officer for traffic control 

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care

  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police

  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent

  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms

  • provide a list of local attorneys

  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.

  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution

  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

  • replace a stolen or lost passport. 

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. 

For further information: 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website. 

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. 

Earthquakes: Tajikistan is an earthquake-prone country. For information on natural disaster preparedness, see U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details: 

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. 

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers

Health

Medical care is limited and significantly below U.S. standards, with severe shortages of basic medical supplies, including disposable needles, anesthetics, prescriptions drugs, and antibiotics. 

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

  • Rabies

  • Chicken Pox 

Drink bottled or thoroughly boiled water while in Tajikistan. Avoid contact with street dogs in urban areas. 

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 coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas 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. 

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:

Travel and Transportation

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 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 theVakhsh 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.

Last Updated: March 6, 2018
Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Dushanbe
109A, Ismoili Somoni Avenue
Dushanbe, Tajikistan 734019
Telephone
992-37-229-2000
992-37-229-2300(consular direct line)
Emergency
992-98-580-1032
Fax
992-37-229-2050
Tajikistan Map