Reciprocity By Country Search
Afghanistan Reciprocity Schedule
A-1 None Multiple 12 Months A-2 None Multiple 12 Months A-3 1 None Multiple 3 Months B-1 None Multiple 12 Months B-2 None Multiple 12 Months B-1/B-2 None Multiple 12 Months C-1 None One 3 Months C-1/D N/A N/A N/A C-2 None One 3 Months C-3 None One 3 Months CW-1 11 None One 3 Months CW-2 11 None One 3 Months D None Multiple 24 Months E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A E-2C 12 None One 3 Months F-1 None Multiple 12 Months F-2 None Multiple 12 Months G-1 None Multiple 12 Months G-2 None Multiple 12 Months G-3 None Multiple 12 Months G-4 None Multiple 12 Months G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months H-1B None One 3 Months 3 H-1C None One 3 Months 3 H-2A None One 3 Months 3 H-2B None One 3 Months 3 H-2R None One 3 Months 3 H-3 None One 3 Months 3 H-4 None One 3 Months 3 I None One 3 Months J-1 4 None Multiple 12 Months J-2 4 None Multiple 12 Months K-1 None One 6 Months K-2 None One 6 Months K-3 None One 6 Months K-4 None One 6 Months L-1 None One 3 Months L-2 None One 3 Months M-1 None Multiple 12 Months M-2 None Multiple 12 Months N-8 None Multiple 12 Months N-9 None Multiple 12 Months NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A O-1 None One 3 Months 3 O-2 None One 3 Months 3 O-3 None One 3 Months 3 P-1 None One 3 Months 3 P-2 None One 3 Months 3 P-3 None One 3 Months 3 P-4 None One 3 Months 3 Q-1 6 None One 3 Months 3 R-1 None One 3 Months R-2 None One 3 Months S-5 7 None One 1 Month S-6 7 None One 1 Month S-7 7 None One 1 Month T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A T-2 None One 6 Months T-3 None One 6 Months T-4 None One 6 Months T-5 None One 6 Months T-6 None One 6 Months TD 5 N/A N/A N/A U-1 None Multiple 48 Months U-2 None Multiple 48 Months U-3 None Multiple 48 Months U-4 None Multiple 48 Months U-5 None Multiple 48 Months V-1 None One 3 Months V-2 None One 3 Months 8 V-3 None One 3 Months 8
Visa Category Footnotes
The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:
- G-1 through G-4
- NATO 1 through NATO 6
An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.
Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.
The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.
Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.
There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.
Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.
In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).
However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.
Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.
Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.
Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.
Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.
No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.
V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.
Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:
- T-2 (spouse)
- T-3 (child)
- T-4 (parent)
The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.
The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.
Protracted wartime conditions and the intermittent absence of an established central authority have made document availability and reliability very uncertain. Because of this, most documents are produced at the request of the applicant. The applicant usually produces his own witnesses to attest to the information the applicant wishes to be memorialized in an official document. Based on statements by the applicant and their witnesses, the document is issued.
Birth, Death, Burial Certificates
Availability and veracity varies widely. Some hospitals in major cities have recently started to provide birth records. Each hospital will issue a different type of birth certificate. If a birth certificate is not obtained immediately after a child's birth, it is difficult to acquire later. It is not unusual for the child's mother not to be listed on birth records or the tazkera; usually only the father is listed. The process of issuing birth certificates has not yet been standardized across Afghanistan.
The national identity card, or tazkera, should be accepted in place of a birth certificate as described below under Identity Card.
Death certificates are provided by the Ministry of Interior’s Public Registration Office, Hospitals/Ministry of Public Health, or Afghan courts.
Marriage, Divorce Certificates
Marriage certificates are now widely available from the family courts, where applicants register their marriages with the authorities. Prior to 1966, marriages were seldom recorded, and even now are often only recorded when proof of marriage is required for such purposes as immigration. One common form of marriage certificate is the green booklet ("Nekah"), which can generally only be obtained after the marriage is registered and before the couple has children. Once the couple produces offspring, a "Waseeka," printed on white paper will be provided, which includes basic biographical data about their children. Old versions of the Nekah may be white or yellow booklets. Outside of major cities, a married woman might not be permitted to register her own marriage, might lack information about marriage certificates, or be unable to identify the witnesses.
NOTE: During the war years, many Afghan marriages took place in Pakistan, specifically Peshawar.
Divorce certificates are also widely available from the family courts. Divorces that are sanctioned by courts are recorded, but the availability of older records is uncertain. Divorce certificates are provided by the Family Court in Kabul or the Civil Divisions of Primary Courts in provinces where there are no family courts.
As of 2016, Balkh, Nangarhar, Herat, and Kunduz also have special family courts.
Like marriage certificates, individuals frequently only obtain an official divorce certificate when required for such purposes as immigration. Divorce in Afghanistan is rare, and according to the most recently available statistics, only one percent of the Afghan population seeks divorce.
The "tazkera" is the most common national identity document and is produced by the Ministry of Interior (MOI). Applicants in Afghanistan apply for it at an MOI office, such as the central or district police headquarters. (Applicants outside of Afghanistan should contact their nearest Afghan Embassy or Consulate.) The original tazkera must be authenticated by the MOI in order to obtain a certified translation of the tazkera. When presented, the tazkera should bear stamps indicating it was issued by the MOI. An English translation of a tazkera should be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
Afghans usually apply for a tazkera when a child reaches school age, but it can also be obtained and/or modified throughout adulthood. The document traces its holder’s roots through the father to a physical place of origin or place of longtime residence. Information on the tazkera includes the holder’s name, date and place of birth, basic physical description, and photo. The tazkera lists the holder’s age in the year it was issued, but the holder’s age is usually estimated by the issuing official as birth records are seldom accurate. The place of birth is customarily the father’s place of origin, not the actual place of birth. Thus, an applicant may be born in Pakistan, but show an Afghan place of birth. For the same reason, the place of birth field on an Afghan passport might not always indicate the holder’s physical place of birth, but rather the family’s traditional residence. The tazkera also lists the holder’s military service, religion, marital status, and profession/employment type. (If the holder is unemployed, this field may be left blank or may state “unemployed.”) The tazkera is hand-written, and there have been multiple variants of the document since 1976 as issued by subsequent governments.
Afghans are given a form and instructed to have identity confirmed by the Population and Registration office in their home town or district. All Afghans, at some point in time, should have their identity recorded in hand-written ledgers maintained by local Population and Registration offices. Family information is recorded on specific pages, books, and volumes of the ledgers. When an individual needs to have his or her identity recorded or confirmed, he or she goes to the Population and Registration office and must provide two things: (1) a family member’s tazkera to locate family information in the ledgers and (2) two government officials who can corroborate the applicant’s identity. If a person is unable to meet those requirements, then village elders, family members, or religious officials can serve as substitute witnesses if needed. Since many births are not immediately registered and decades of war have destroyed many of the local registers, witnesses are vital to having one’s identity verified. After identity is confirmed or recorded by the Population and Registration office, applicants can resume applying for the tazkera with the MOI.
Police, Court, Prison Records
Unavailable. Military records kept by previous governments have reportedly been destroyed.
Passports & Other Travel Documents
The Ministry of Interior’s (MOI) Passport Directorate in Kabul now issues machine-readable passports, all of which begin with the letter “O.” The outside cover of a tourist passport is green-grey. Applicants in Afghanistan may apply in a number of provinces, but all passports are printed at the Passport Directorate in Kabul. (Applicants outside of Afghanistan should contact their nearest Afghan Embassy or Consulate.) Applicants are required to provide a given name, surname, and accurate date of birth converted to the Gregorian, or Western, calendar, along with fingerprints. The applicant must also have his or her national identity document, the “tazkera,” authenticated by the Ministry of Interior. A child must be issued his or her own machine-readable passport. Biographic information in machine-readable passports frequently does not match biographic information contained in previous handwritten passports. Handwritten passports are no longer issued, except in the event of an emergency.
Machine-readable diplomatic and service passports for public servants are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The outside cover of a diplomatic passport is dark blue and the passport number is preceded by “D.” The outside cover of a service passport is red and the passport number is preceded by “S.”
Beginning in November 2016, handwritten passports will no longer be considered valid for travel by the Afghan government and the International Civil Aviation Organization. All Afghans wishing to travel on or after this date will be required to obtain a new machine-readable passport.
Hand-written passports are still considered valid for U.S. visa issuance, although they are no longer routinely issued. Hand-written tourist passport numbers start with OA or OR, diplomatic passports start with D, and student and service passports start with S. A child may be listed in his or her mother’s passport and, as such, a visa for a child may be issued into the mother’s passport. While issuance of hand-written diplomatic passports was tightly controlled, issuance of service passports was less so. Page two of handwritten passports shows the name of the passport holder in Dari and English. There is no standardization of the transliteration of the name. Misspelling of basic information is therefore not unusual. It is also not unusual for an Afghan to use an alias entirely different from the name in the passport. While Afghanistan issues “student” passports, a “student” passport is not required to issue student visas. A father’s name may also appear, but is no longer used in visa issuance. Page three contains the photo and other biodata of the passport holder and is covered by a simple laminate. The following pages show validity dates, list physical characteristics of the passport holder, and have space for a wife and children. Security features include microprinting, the passport number punched through interior pages, and a UV feature that reads “Republic of Afghanistan” in Dari and English along with a seal on each page. Trade and student passports were phased out in 2011, but may still be in circulation. The passport booklets themselves date from the time of the Soviet occupation.
Visas may be issued in valid Afghan passports that were issued prior to September 1996 and after October 2001. Afghan passports issued by the Taliban or Mujahadeen governments are no longer valid even if unexpired. Passports issued by other Afghan embassies and consulates under the direction of the Northern Alliance before and during that 1996-2001 time period are considered valid, though are likely to be expired.
Visa Issuing Posts
Kabul, Afghanistan (Embassy)
All non-immigrant visa applications for nationals of Afghanistan are now processed by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, to include petition-based visas. As of May 1, 2011, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul also processes immigrant visa applications for nationals of Afghanistan.
Applications already assigned for interview, or waiting for processing based on an interview already conducted at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan or other Embassies for Afghan citizens will continue to be processed there.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul is located at Great Masood Road between Radio Afghanistan and the Ministry of Public Health. The road is also known as Bebe Mahro (Airport) Road. The U.S. Embassy provides routine American Citizen Services, including passports, notarial services, and CRBAs. Security considerations limit Consular officers' mobility and ability to provide emergency consular services, and Afghan authorities can provide only limited assistance to U.S. citizens facing difficulties.
Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.