Afghan passport

The Afghan passport may be issued upon request by any national of Afghanistan who has applied for and received an Afghan identity card (Tazkira), particularly an electronic Tazkira.[1][3][4] It is renewable every 5-10 years. As of 2016, nearly one million of the new computerized Afghan passports have been issued.[5] The Afghan passport was introduced by Emir Abdur Rahman Khan in 1880. Alam Gul Haqqani is the current head of the passport department.[6]

Afghan passport
Afghan Passport first issued in 2017.jpg
Front cover of an Islamic Republic Afghan passport[1]
TypePassport
Issued byInterior Ministry[2]
First issued1880
PurposeIdentification
EligibilityAfghan citizenship
Expiration5-10 years
Cost10,000 afghanis ($95)

In September 2011, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs began issuing two types of biometric passports (e-passports) for Afghan diplomats and public servants. These were produced in the United Kingdom.[7][8] The standard e-passports began being issued to the general public in March 2013.[9] According to spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Janan Musazai, "on the photo page, there are 16 security codes."[7] Issuance of national computerized e-ID cards (e-Tazkiras) were also discussed.[10] These changes are intended to prevent fraud in future elections and government corruption as well as to improve the overall security of Afghanistan. In 2013, the cost of a new Afghan e-passport was 5,000 Afghanis ($100 US dollars),[11] but in 2019 it was 10,000 afghanis (circa £99).[12] Previously, passports had been hand written; they are no longer valid.[13]

Afghanistan currently has only one passport office, which is located in Kabul.[14] Ordinary passports (those other than diplomatic or service passports) can be issued by Afghan embassies and consulates abroad.[15] After a pause following the fall of Kabul on 15 August 2021, the Taliban resumed issuing passports bearing the name of the former government, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.[16] By March 2022, the Taliban had introduced a new design bearing the name "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan".[17]

As of October 2021, Afghan citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to only 26 countries and territories, ranking the Afghan passport 116th in the world, or the least powerful in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index.

Visa requirementsEdit

As of October 2021, Afghan citizens have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 26 countries and territories, ranking the passport 116th and worst in the world according to the Henley Passport Index.[18] Because the ruling Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not internationally recognized, it is continuing to issue passports bearing the name of the former, internationally-recognized government, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which are accepted for international travel. However, obtaining foreign visas from within Afghanistan is difficult as many embassies in Afghanistan have closed in the wake of the Fall of Kabul on 15 August 2021.[16]

Counterfeiting and forgeryEdit

In 2015, Afghanistan's TOLOnews reported that a number of citizens of Iran and Pakistan have fraudulently obtained Afghan passports.[19][16] It was reported in 2022 "that a number of counterfeiters abroad had prepared passport booklets, smuggled them into the country and distributed them to the public."[20][21]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Gov't initiates distributing passports on electrical IDs". Khaama Press. March 10, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  2. ^ "Taliban govt resumes issuing Afghan passports in Kabul". Agence France-Presse. Kabul. France 24. 18 December 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Passports to be issued only on e-ID cards". Pajhwok Afghan News. March 10, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  4. ^ "ENIC process at a snail's pace: Balkh residents". Pajhwok Afghan News. July 25, 2021. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
  5. ^ "Afghanistan Launches Online Passport Application Service". TOLOnews. January 14, 2016. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  6. ^ "Alam Gul Haqqani appointed Passport Department head". 20 September 2021.
  7. ^ a b Meer Agha Nasrat Samimi, ed. (September 17, 2011). "Foreign ministry issues computerised passports". Pajhwok Afghan News. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  8. ^ Ataullah Khpelwak, ed. (September 18, 2011). "Foreign ministry issues computerised passports (Video)". Pajhwok Afghan News. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  9. ^ Ahmad Quraishi, ed. (March 24, 2013). "Machine-readable passport system put in place". Pajhwok Afghan News. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  10. ^ Ghulam Hussain Zakiri, ed. (February 24, 2013). "14m Afghans to get computerised ID cards in a year". Pajhwok Afghan News. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  11. ^ Azizullah Hamdard, ed. (March 5, 2013). "Countrywide electronic passports soon". Pajhwok Afghan News. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  12. ^ Glinski, Stefanie (2019-06-12). "Patients sleep under the stars in long queue for medical visas | Stefanie Glinski". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  13. ^ "Passport - Consular Affairs - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Islamic Republic of Afghanistan".
  14. ^ Norland, Rob (September 19, 2015). "Abandoning Afghan War Zone in a Perilous Quest for Europe". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  15. ^ Afghan Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. "Passport: Requirements For Obtaining Afghan Passport". Embassy of Afghanistan in Ottawa. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  16. ^ a b c Amy Cheng; Haq Nawaz Khan (6 October 2021). "Hundreds of Afghans gather outside passport office as Taliban resumes issuing travel documents". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  17. ^ "Afghan diplomats under pressure from Taliban regime". Agence France-Presse. Islamabad. France 24. 14 March 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2022. New passports issued in Kabul now refer to the country by the Taliban's name, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
  18. ^ Henley & Partners (5 October 2021). "The Henley Passport Index: Q4 2021 Global Ranking" (PDF). Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Fraud in Passport Office Revealed After Iranian National Got Afghan Passport". TOLOnews. August 22, 2015. Retrieved 2021-07-28. It is now said many Iranians and Pakistanis seek out Afghan passports in order to get easier access to the UAE.
  20. ^ "Officials: 3 Million Passport Booklets to Arrive in 2 Weeks". TOLOnews. May 23, 2022. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
  21. ^ "Group involved in printing fake passports arrested". Pajhwok Afghan News. May 23, 2022. Retrieved 2022-05-23.

External linksEdit