Contracting in afghanistan bsa sofa guidelines

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Contracting In Afghanistan: BSA/SOFA Guidelines

V 2.0


and BSA/SOFA Secretariats 17JAN16

***This document is for informational purposes only. Contractors and contractor employees are urged to seek independent advice from appropriate professionals (attorneys, accountants, business experts, etc.) on all subjects relevant to the topics discussed in this document. This document does not constitute legal advice or opinion of any kind. No lawyer-client, advisory, fiduciary or other relationship is created. The U.S. government will not be liable for any damages, losses or causes of action of any nature arising from any use of this document or of the answers contained herein.***

Table of Contents

Entry into and Exit from Afghanistan...............................................3

Obtaining an Afghan Visa..............................4 Obtaining an Afghan Business License.........7 Afghan Taxes and Exemptions......................10 Carrying a Weapon in Afghanistan..............12 Private Security Contracting.........................13 Points of Contact............................................14

HOW TO USE THIS DOCUMENT This document is intended as a familiarization tool to assist new or potential contractors with understanding the legal

landscape for Department of Defense contractors in Afghanistan. This should not be a primary resource, nor should

it take the place of a company performing due diligence in learning the governing laws of Afghanistan.

While the Staff Judge Advocate's office is happy to provide the following familiarization, we cannot act as counsel

to private entities and our ability to provide additional guidance is limited. Please be aware that laws in Afghanistan can change suddenly and this document may not

reflect the most current legal or regulatory processes.


Entry Into and Exit From Afghanistan

Quick Facts

? Contractors are required to have valid passports with an Afghan visa to enter and exit Afghanistan

Afghan visa requirements for U.S.

and NATO contractors took full effect on 1 September 2015. This means that all U.S. and

? Contractors entering at military airports are subject to visa

NATO contractor employees must have a valid national passport and

inspection by Afghan Border

Afghan visa at the time of entry


into Afghanistan. Those

contractors without visas will

likely be denied entry into Afghanistan. Contractors arriving at a

commercial or military airport without a visa are in violation of Afghan

law and risk deportation and fines.

Arrival at a Commercial Airport

Upon arrival at a commercial airport, contract employees should have their visas checked and stamped and fingerprints and/or iris scans may be collected. Additionally, Afghan officials may present the individuals with Foreigner Registration Cards. These blue cards are required at departure. Travelers should ensure they collect the cards before they leave the airport.

Arrival at a Military Airport

Afghan Border Police will be present at all SOFA-designated international

military Airports no later than 15 March 16. These police officers will

conduct visa inspection and apply entry stamps. Entry documents may

be checked prior to arriving at a military airport and travelers without

the required documents may be denied entry onto their plane with no

refund of ticket purchase.


Obtaining an Afghan Visa

Quick Facts

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign

? New visas may be obtained through Afghan diplomatic missions worldwide

Affairs (MOFA) is responsible for issuing visas for contractor employees entering Afghanistan.

? Visa renewals may be obtained through the MOI Passport

A list of MOFA diplomatic missions can be found at:

Department in Kabul or Afghan

diplomatic missions

Processing times may vary and

? Visas are required prior to entry contractors should provide for

into Afghanistan

plenty of time to obtain visas prior

to entry into Afghanistan.

Procedures for Obtaining New Visas

1. Send an email to MOFA at visa.consular.mfa@ with the following documents:

A. A letter from a senior company representative which introduces the company and includes a list of the company's employees applying for visas, the country of citizenship for each employee, and the passport number for each employee.

B. A letter of introduction identifying the company employee who will provide the passports to the relevant diplomatic mission.

C. The date and location where the company will drop off passports and visa applications.

D. If using a third party to drop off or pick up passports, a power of attorney granting that third party authority to do so. Please allow time for MOFA to validate the request and contact the appropriate diplomatic mission.


2. At the time identified in the email to MOFA, the designated individual should take the following documents to the identified diplomatic mission: A. Original passports for all employees who are applying for visas. B. Completed visa application forms (contact the appropriate diplomatic mission to determine if the require notarization)* C. One 4 x 5 cm photo per application D. Payment (Fees are set by Afghan law, and vary in price)

3. Contractors with classified contracts should contact the International Agreements Branch and USFOR-A SJA/RS LEGAD prior to applying for visas.

Renewing Valid Visas

Contractors may renew their valid visas at either the MOI Passport Office in Kabul, or through MOFA diplomatic missions or MOFA HQ in Kabul. Renewals through MOFA follow the same procedures as above. Renewals through the MOI Passport Office for visas issued after 1 JAN 16 require an entry stamp on the visa. MOI Passport also requires contractor employees to provide the documents identified in 2 above as well as:

1. A letter on company letterhead providing the names of those renewing their licenses,

2. A copy of their company's AISA license,

3. A copy of a photo I.D. for each applicant (this should not be military or NATO I.D.s, a company I.D. card is acceptable),

4. A copy of the applicant's official Letter of Affiliation from the DoD or the appropriate NATO contracting agency,

5. If using a third party expediter agency, a letter of introduction from the company to the MOI introducing the expediter and any couriers they will use.

* Forms may be downloaded from the MOFA website. ** Fees vary based on applicants and application location.


Frequently Asked Visa Questions

My employees are naturalized Americans born in Afghanistan, do they require visas?

If an individual is traveling to Afghanistan using an American passport rather than an Afghan passport or identification card, they should get the appropriate visas.

I hired an expediter who is now asking for work permits, C.V.s, and school records, what is going on?

Your expediter is seeking to obtain a standard Afghan work visa rather than the 1 year multiple entry visa.

Can I travel to Afghanistan without a visa and get one upon arrival?

There is currently no plane-side visa procedure in Afghanistan, nor is there any established procedure for in-country visa issue.

MOFA is asking for different documents than the ones mentioned in this document, what do I do?

Please email and provide copies of what you have already given MOFA and a copy of their demand for additional documents.

I am a contractor doing a site survey at Bagram Airfield. I'll be flying in on a military aircraft, staying for two days, and then flying out on a military aircraft. Do I need a visa?

Yes. ABP will check visas in military terminals beginning in 2016. You may arrange with the Ministry of Foreign affairs for a shortduration visa, however in stead of the 1 year multi-entry visa


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