As most embassies in Kabul closed following the collapse of the former government, and the number of people demanding visas has increased, the black market business for visas is skyrocketing.
A number of tourist travel agencies say currently only Pakistan’s visas can be obtained legally, but visas of a number of other countries are being sold on the black market at high prices.
Shafi Samim, the director of a tourist travel agency in Kabul, told TOLOnews that people buy visas from the black market at double or triple the regular prices.
According to Samim, people buy visas from Pakistan for up to $350, Tajikistan for $400, Uzbekistan for $1,350, and Turkey for up to $5,000.
Before the collapse of the previous government, however, a Pakistani visa was around $15, India's was $20, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan's cost $60 and Turkey's was $120.
“The real price for a Tajikistan visa is $60, but on the black market it is around $350 to $400. The real price for Turkey's visa is $120, but on the black market it is up to $5,000. There are secrets that we do not know, only the firsthand dealers know how to obtain them,” Samim said.
A number of travel agency officials urged foreign countries to reopen their embassies in Kabul and in order to issue visas to Afghans.
Parwiz Akbari, an employee of a travel agency in Kabul, said: “We urge them to reopen their embassies to dismantle the black markets.”
Residents speaking to TOLOnews also urged foreign countries to reopen their embassies.
Mohmmad Haroon, a Kabul resident, said he has a Pakistan visa but he cannot cross at Torkham gate. According to Haroon, in order to cross the border into Pakistan in addition to a visa you now need a “gate pass," which some people near the Pakistani embassy are selling.
“People have been waiting here for one and two months. They have visas but cannot pass at Torkham gate. They (sellers) have created a black market and sell the gate pass for $200 to $300,” Haroon said.