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October 8, 2021

Update on U.S. Passport Operations

International Parental Child Abduction

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 While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar.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

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kabul
U.S. Embassy Kabul suspended operations on August 31, 2021.
Email:
AfghanistanACS@state.gov
Phone:
833-741-2777 or 606-260-4379

 

General Information

For information concerning travel to Afghanistan, including information about the current security situation in Afghanistan, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see our country-specific information for Afghanistan and the Afghanistan Travel Advisory.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Child Abduction. The report is located here.

Hague Abduction Convention

Afghanistan is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Afghanistan and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents should consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Afghanistan and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options generally for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709

Telephone: 1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Website
Email: SCAIPCA@state.gov

Parental child abduction may be a crime in Afghanistan depending on the circumstances of the child's removal. Parents are encouraged to consult with an Afghan attorney to determine if their particular case qualifies as a crime under Afghan law.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in Afghanistan to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Afghanistan and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children's Issues may be able to provide limited assistance to parents seeking access to children in Afghanistan who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children's Issues nor consular officials at U.S. Embassies or Consulates are authorized to provide legal advice.

Mediation

It is unknown if any organizations offer mediation services.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: September 3, 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