Last update 16 August 2021Diplomatic missions
Level 5: Warning of ending all trips and immediate leaving the country
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Afghanistan
Address: Str. 15, Wazir Akbar Khan Mina, Kabul
Telephone: + 93 202 311 747
Fax: + 93 202 101 089 (temporary unavailable)
Out-of-hours hotline: +93 707 826 262
Office hours: 09.00 - 15.00h
E-mail: [email protected]
Bulgaria’s direct diplomatic presence in Afghanistan has been temporarily suspended as of 10 March 2018 due to the major damage to the Embassy building caused by the 31 May 2017 massive bomb attack at the edge of the Green Zone in Kabul.
For consular and visa services applicants are kindly advised to contact the Bulgarian embassies in New Delhi (Republic of India), Islamabad (Islamic Republic of Pakistan) or Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran).
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Sofia
Address: 1700 Sofia, 57 “Simeonovsko Shosse”, Residence 3
Telephone: + 359 962 51 93
Fax: + 359 962 74 86
Office hours: 09.00 - 16.00h
Consular Department: 09.30 - 12.00h , 14.00 - 16.00h, (Monday - Thirsday)
E-mail: [email protected]
In the capital Kabul and other provincial administrative centres purchasing goods is possible by payment in USD or EURO.
Crime and security
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is currently found in a period of searching ways to achieve long-lasting peace and stability, strengthening of governmental institutions and achieving supremacy of the law. Forces of the anti-terrorist coalition are still combating against some remnants from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements. In the capital of Kabul and in certain areas of the country International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) are dislocated. On the territory of the country, especially in the big cities such as Kabul, Mazar-I Sharif, Kandahar, etc. criminal gangs are acting with racket and kidnapping of rich businessmen and foreign citizens. Movement, especially in the dark hours of the day, without a guard or an accompaniment is dangerous.
The judicial system is found in a process of strengthening. The norms of Shari'ah are also applicable (the Islamic law). Court procedures are influenced also by traditions and local bearers of the power. For example, in the provincial regions local leaders and tribal authorities decide on punitive cases, and sentences are often based on Islamic or tribal law. The rights of women and children are not protected.
The automobile float in Afghanistan is considerably old as mainly second-hand cars are used, imported from Pakistan, Canada, Germany, etc. Vehicles move on the right lane, but traffic rules are often breached and driving is carried out in the opposite lane. In the bigger cities at major road junctions traffic regulating policemen are placed but, may impose additional difficulties to traffic.
Level and quality of healthcare in the country are extremely bad. According to a research of the World Health Organization, for the last 5 years cases of catching diphtheritic disease, hooping-cough, diarrhea, cholera, malaria, hemorrhagic fever and other dangerous diseases have been registered in Afghanistan. Properly equipped healthcare institutions in Afghanistan are rare, mainly found in the capital Kabul.
Access to qualitative medicinal products is difficult –medicines available in the trading network are unreliable. Bulgarian citizens may obtain against payment qualified medical care at the health care institutions of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Kabul.
Travel papers and visas
The territory of the Islamic Republic Afghanistan is entered only with a valid passport for travelling abroad and the relevant Afghanistan visa issued in advance (entrance or transit visa).
Between R. Bulgaria and IR Afghanistan full visa regime is established. Bulgarian citizens travelling to Afghanistan have to possess fixed in advance Afghanistan entrance or transit visa which may be obtained at the closest diplomatic or consular representative office.
The Afghanistan authorities do not issue visas at the border.
Detailed information on customs regime may be obtained from the Embassy of Afghanistan in Sofia.
Upon leaving Afghanistan, the passports of passengers are checked via a special list of people against whom there are opened cases or claims for financial penalties. This pertains to local citizens, as well as to foreigners.
Please remember that in Afghanistan you must take into consideration the local laws and customs. Upon staying in the country the customary requirements for clothing and behaviour in the Islamic countries shall be observed.
Attitude towards women accounts for Muslim traditions and laws. It is a must that women wear kerchiefs and longer upper clothes.
During your stay in Afghanistan you fall under Afghanistan's jurisdiction. Afghan legislation and judicial systems are applicable. It is recommended that you get informed of the latter in advance and that you strictly observe it.
Penalties for breaches of local legislation may be much more severe than penalties in Bulgaria for the same violations.
Pieces of art and antiquaries are confiscated upon any try for taking them away from the country. Customs authorities may impose even heavier punitive measures.
Please pay special attention and observe local prohibitions on the possession and consumption of alcohol drinks and psychotropic substances. In Afghanistan, the import, sale and use of alcohol are prohibited.
Put all medicines in their original packaging and check if some of them are not considered illegal narcotic means in Afghanistan. If you use such means, please bear a copy from the medical prescription confirming this fact.
Avoid carrying articles of third persons through the border of Afghanistan.
You cannot drive a motor vehicle in Afghanistan without holding an original Afghanistan certificate for driving a car or another vehicle. Car driving with a foreign registration number is not recommendable. Do everything necessary to get acquainted with the local traffic rules.
In Afghanistan, monetary penalties are imposed or you are subjected to court investigation upon violating traffic rules, mainly upon a traffic accident or a crash where local citizens are injured.
If by any reason you are arrested by local authorities, you should ask for providing contact with the Embassy of R. Bulgaria in Kabul. The consular officer will establish contact with you in the shortest time possible.
You are advised to conclude in advance a health, tourist, travel or another similar insurance contract in Afghanistan. There are also local Afghanistan companies which make insurances and represent big international insurance institutions in Afghanistan.
In case of death of a Bulgarian citizen in Afghanistan, you should call the Embassy of R. Bulgaria in Kabul to render you assistance and help in the arrangement of formalities.
You may obtain direct financial help from the Embassy, only in case your relatives or close acquaintances deposit in advance the amount requested on your part at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Financial-Economic Activities” Directorate.
In case of theft of personal documents, money, tickets, etc. you should immediately call the Embassy of R. Bulgaria in Kabul in view of providing you assistance upon issuing a protocol by the regional police department. Afterwards, with the consul's assistance, steps for issuance of the documents necessary for continuation of your travel or your return to the motherland will be undertaken.
It is not compulsory, but it is recommended to register yourself at the Embassy of R. Bulgaria in Kabul by submitting a valid telephone number and place where you are residing. It is recommended to provide information of the organisation or the institution you work, in case of difficulties in contacting you or upon any other necessity.
Before departure from Bulgaria or immediately after your arrival in Afghanistan please note down the addresses and telephone numbers of the Bulgarian Embassy in Kabul. The administrative staff of the big hotels or the small private hotels (guesthouses) in which you will stay not always disposes with the data of the diplomatic missions in Kabul. For eventual checks and information, for your ease, the address, telephone number and fax number of “Consular Relations” Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia may be found on the Internet site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Detailed information and advice for those flying by plane, as well as the new safety requirements in this connection may be found on the website of Sofia Airport.
Information on the import-export regime of Afghanistan, as well as on the quantities of goods and monetary funds you may take from the country may be found on the website of the Customs Agency.
Verifications and Legalisations
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is not a member state under the Hague Convention on the abolishment of the requirement for legalization of foreign public documents. There are no acting treaties between Bulgaria and Afghanistan on legal assistance and all verifications and legalisations are carried out after the common order. For example, civil status documents, such as birth certificates and civil marriage certificates are verified in advance by the “Consular” Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. The consul at the Embassy confirms only the signature and seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. Documents shall be translated in English as a must. The consular office may also verify the signature of a private person, the signature and contents of a private document, the transcript of a private document, the translator’s signature, as well as the signature and seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.
Issuing of Bulgarian identity documents
The period of validity of a Bulgarian passport may not be extended at the Embassy. Applications are accepted on issuing of a new Bulgarian passport. Upon necessity, a temporary passport for return travel of a Bulgarian citizen may be issued. Upon issuing of a temporary passport to a minor and under-aged Bulgarian citizen, the application for issuing of a Bulgarian personal identity document must be signed by both parents in front of the consular official; an original from the birth certificate, of the civil marriage certificate of the parents, and a recent photo must also be submitted.
Registration of birth, marriage or death in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is carried out by the competent authorities in the country. Upon birth of a child a document is issued by the relevant health care institution, containing information on the physical characteristics of the newborn child, the names of the father and the mother. The document, in principle, is issued only by big health care centres which have and maintain registers. Such centres are available only in the capital Kabul.
In case of a natural death, the relatives of the deceased person shall inform the municipal authorities and the relevant subdivisions of the Ministry of Interior. If the relatives of the deceased reside in remote districts, they shall inform the mayor of the settlement and the local religious person. In most settlements in the country no population register is available. Upon the issuance of a death certificate by municipal authorities, the signatures of at least three witnesses shall be put on the document; thereafter the document is verified by the Ministry of Justice and may be presented before the Supreme Court in order to share the property of the deceased.
The conclusion of a civil marriage in Afghanistan is carried out respecting the local laws and customs. A document for a concluded civil marriage is executed only in case one of the persons is a foreign citizen and the couple is to live or work abroad. A civil marriage document is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan; therein, the data of both spouses are mentioned in English and Dari language, as well as those of three to five witnesses.