Marrying and Sponsoring an Afghan Citizen
Marriage to an Afghan Citizen
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to Afghan citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.
You must demonstrate to Afghan officials that they are not currently married to anyone else – either you have never been married or all divorces are finalized – that your identity is proven, and that you have never committed any crimes in Afghanistan. This is done by providing various documents including an Affidavit of Single Status to the Aghan government either in Afghanistan or via an Afghan embassy.
If you want to bring your Aghan spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.
Registration of Marriage in Afghanistan
Under Afghan law, civil and religious marriage ceremonies may be performed for some foreigners. Afghans who are dual nationals are treated solely as Afghan under the law.
It is not possible for a non-Muslim man to marry a Muslim woman in Afghanistan, but it is possible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim, foreign, woman. Additionally, the court will not register marriages involving Afghans who claim not to be Muslim, unless the couple consents to a Muslim religious ceremony. Afghan law considers all Afghans Muslim by default.
Foreigners who want to marry in Kabul must first register the marriage at the Family Court, located in the Kabul Governor’s House Compound. In the provinces, outside of Kabul, marriages can be registered at the civil courts.
The couple must appear at the Family Court in Kabul with two witnesses and photo identification (preferably their passports). Witnesses should also have photo identification. If one of the individuals who wish to marry is Muslim, a religious Muslim ceremony will be performed at the time of registration. If both individuals are foreigners and non-Muslim, a civil ceremony may be performed. After the court ceremony, the couple is considered married under Afghan law; they may then conduct the family or religious ceremony/celebration of their choice.
After the marriage is registered, the court will issue a marriage certificate upon request. In Kabul, court officials say, it will take about a week to receive the certificate.
If both or one of the parties are Muslim, the Family Court will register the marriage and perform the Muslim nekah ceremony. The nekah is comprised of the igaba wa qabul (acceptance agreement) and the khotba.
When a Muslim man wants to marry a foreign woman who is non-Muslim and the woman is not kitabi (of the book, i.e. Christian or Jewish), she must first convert to Islam. In either case, the court will only register the marriage religiously, with the nekah ceremony.
If both parties are non-Muslim foreigners, the court will register the marriage by performing solely the igaba wa qabul or acceptance agreement without the other half of the typical Muslim religious ceremony. The court will also seek to apply the regulations governing marriage in the couples’ home country. For example, although Afghan law permits polygamy, American men will not be allowed to marry multiple women.
Afghan Marriage Basic Requirements
In order to marry a citizen of Afghanistan, you must demonstrate to the Afghan government that you are eligible to do so. This includes:
- Proof of country of birth
- Proof of single status
- Proof of age requirement
The Afghan marriage certificate is a legal document in Afghanistan. If the couple needs to use it outside Afghanistan, it should be notarized at the Embassy or Consulate of the foreign country where the marriage certificate will be used.
All marriages, civil or religious, performed outside of Afghanistan are considered valid under Afghan law. A legally issued marriage certificate is required as proof. Dual nationals may need to have their marriage certificates authenticated at the Afghan Embassy in the country they were married.
If your Afghan spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Afghan Marriage document application.
If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Afghan citizen.
How long is the Afghan Marriage document valid?
The document is valid for 6 months from the date of issue. If you do not marry your Afghan fiancé within 6 months of the issuance of the Afghan Marriage document, you must apply again with new supporting documents.
List of Afghan Consulates in Canada
The Afghani is the currency of Afghanistan. It is notionally subdivided into 100 pul, although there are no pul coins in circulation.
Between October 7, 2002, and January 2, 2003, a new Afghani was introduced with the ISO 4217 code AFN. It replaced the previous Afghani at two distinct rates. Issues of the government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani were replaced at a rate of 1000 to the new Afghani, while the issues of Abdul Rashid Dostum (the Northern Alliance) were replaced at a rate of 2000 to the new Afghani; the new Afghani was valued at 43 Afghani to the U.S. dollar. Prior to the reissue, there were more than 15 trillion Afghani in circulation after unrestrained printing under Taliban rule and during wars and occupation.
In October 2003, Afghan Central Bank governor Anwar Ul-Haq Ahadi announced that Afghans should use their own Afghani currency in daily transactions rather than United States dollars or Pakistani rupees. This was in preparation for October 8, 2003 when all prices in the Afghan marketplace were to be specified in Afghani.
More and more people are now using the Afghani regularly, instead of the US dollar or the Pakistani rupee, so if you are headed to Afghanistan, you will will likely need to acquire Afghanis.
In 2005, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2 and 5 Afghani
On 7 October 2002, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 Afghani.
Afghanis [Public Domain]
The Afghanistan 1 Afghani Banknote depicts on the front the Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank with Eucratides I-era coin. While on the Bank it depicts Mosque in Mazari Sharif.
The Afghanistan 2 Afghani Banknote depicts on the front the Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank with Eucratides I-era coin. On the back it depicts Paghman Gardens which is a popular place near Afghanistan‘s capital city, Kabul. It is a place where people relax and spend the weekends there with friends and relatives. At the entrance is the European style monumental gate, similar to that of the Paris Arc de Triomphe but smaller.
The Afghanistan 5 Afghani Banknote depicts on the front the Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank with Eucratides I-era coin. On the back it depicts Bala Hissar which is an ancient fortress located in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. The estimated date of construction is around the 5th century A.D.
The Afghanistan 10 Afghani Banknote depicts on the front Ahmed Shah Durrasni mausoleum, Kandahar. On the back it depicts Paghman Gardens as well.
The Afghanistan 20 Afghani Banknote depicts on the front Rowza Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni’s Tomb while on the back it depicts Arg King’s Palace.
The Afghanistan 50 Afghani Banknote depicts on the front Shah Do Shamira Mosque while on the back it depicts Salang Pass.
50 Afganis by ROFI44WIK / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
The Afghanistan 100 Afghani Banknote depicts on the front Pul e Khishti Mosque while on the back iot depicts Arch of Bost.
The Afghanistan 500 Afghani Banknote depicts on the front Khwaja Abdullah Ansari Mosque in Harat while on the back it depicts Kandahar Airport tower.
500 Afghanis by Doctor Z. / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
The Afghanistan 500 Afghani Banknote depicts Mazar Sharif Shrine of Hazrat Ali while on the back it depicts Tomb of Ahmad Shah Durrani Baba
How to Call Canada From Afghanistan
Calling Canada from Afghanistan – Direct Dialing Numbers
To make a direct call to Canada from Afghanistan, you need to follow the international dialing format given below. The dialing format is the same when calling Canada mobile or land line from Afghanistan.
To call Canada From Afghanistan Dial
00 – 1 – Area Code – TEL #
Follow the dialing format shown above while calling Canada from Afghanistan.
- 00 – Exit code for Afghanistan, and is needed for making any international call from Afghanistan
- 1 – ISD Code or Country Code of Canada
Area code – There are 18 area codes in Canada. The area code is the first three digits of your telephone number.
List of area codes in Canada
- 403/587 (Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat)
- 780 (Edmonton, Fort McMurray)
- 250/236 (Victoria, Prince George, Kelowna)
- 604/778/236 (Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria)
- 204/431 (all of MB)
- 506 (New Brunswick)
- 709 (Newfoundland and Labrador)
- 902 (Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island)
Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon
- 867 (all three territories)
- 416/647 (Toronto)
- 519/226 (London, Windsor, Kitchener)
- 613 (Ottawa, Kingston)
- 705 (Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay)
- 807 (Thunder Bay, Kenora)
- 905/289 (Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Mississauga, Ajax, Markham [GTA])
- 418/581 (Quebec City, Rimouski, Chicoutimi)
- 450 (Laval, Longueuil)
- 514/438 (Montreal)
- 819 (Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivieres)
- 306 (all of SK)
When to call Canada from Afghanistan – Time Difference
Knowing the time difference between the country from which you are calling and the recipient’s country will ensure that you are not making untimely calls.
Afghanistan Time Zone
Afghanistan standard time zone is UTC/GMT +4:30 hours
The time difference between Canada and Afghanistan depends on the time zone you are calling. Afghanistan time zone is GMT +4:30 hours. Canada’s time zones are 8 (PST), 7 (MST), 6 (CST), 5 (EST) or 4 (AST) hours behind GMT (except for Newfoundland, which is 3.5 hours behind) so the time difference between Afghanistan and Canada can be as much as 12:30 hours (for Vancouver). -8) and as little as 3.5 hours (for Halifax). +8)
Daylight Saving Time
Afghanistan Time does not operate Daylight-Saving Time
Since Afghanistan does not observe Daylight-Saving Time, the time difference between Afghanistan and Canada changes depending on whether Canada is experiencing Daylight Savings or not. In the summer time you need to add an hour when calculating time difference in Canada.
|Canadian Province / Territory||Standard Time||Daylight Time|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||GMT-3:30||GMT-2:30|
|Prince Edward Island||GMT-4||GMT-3|
Standard Time Zones
North American Time Zones [Public Domain]
Daylight Saving Time Zones
From 2007, clocks following the new North American standard for Daylight Saving Time are to be turned forward by one hour on the second Sunday in March and turned back on the first Sunday of November.
How to Call Afghanistan From Canada
Calling Afghanistan from Canada – Direct Dialing Numbers
To make a direct call to Afghanistan from Canada, you need to follow the international dialing format given below. The dialing format is the same when calling Afghanistan mobile or land line from Canada.
To call Afghanistan from Canada Dial
011 – 93 – Area Code – TEL #
Follow the dialing format shown above while calling Afghanistan from Canada.
011 – Exit code for Canada, and is needed for making any international call from Canada
93– ISD Code or Country Code of Afghanistan
Area code – There are 13 area codes in Afghanistan. If there is an area code dial area code of the city in Afghanistan you are calling after dialing ISD Code. The format is dial 011 + 93 + phone number
Afghanistan Area codes
|City||Area Code||Dialing Code|
|Mazari Sharif||50||+93 50|
The Embassy of Canada in Afghanistan
Street No. 15, House No. 256
Wazir Akbar Khan
Telephone: 93 (0) 701 108 800
Fax : 93 (0) 701 108 805
Email: [email protected]
Hours of Operation
Sunday to Thursday: 8:30 to 16:30
Consular Services Hours of Operation
Sunday to Thursday: 8:00 to 12:00
After hours emergency contact information
(for Canadian citizens only)
E-mail: [email protected]
Call collect: (613) 996-8885 / (613) 944-1310 (TTY) – The Emergency Operations Centre of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An experienced officer is always available to respond to emergency calls from anywhere in the world.
You can also phone the numbers above and follow the recorded instructions to reach the Emergency Operations Centre.
In a number of countries, you can also call the 24/7 Operations Centre toll-free
Afghan Wedding Traditions
Marriage in the traditional Afghan culture has is a long process, through many steps.
As with some other traditionally oriented cultures, the bride and groom have often never met before the engagment.
A man informs his parents of the bride of his interest and his parents look into her family background, and assess her beauty and quality.
If they are Satisfied with what they find, his parents will send a female family member or a relative to her house in order to understand, indirectly or directly, and would reveal the proposal if the situation is favorable. This discussion process takes some time, and a date is usually set to announce the decision among the relatives, if both sides are satisfied with the deal.
‘Shereny khory’ or namzady is the first step. The groom’s father and some other esteemed male members of his community go to the bride’s home and provide her with candy and gifts, and money and clothes for the bride’s family. After the meal is presented, the groom’s father or a community elder officially reveals the purpose for the visit and sets the demand: “Will the bride’s father accept the groom as his servant?”
An elder from the bride’s extended family accepts the ultimatum, and both sides come to an agreement on the dowry, the jewelry to be exchanged, who will pay for the costs of the wedding, and other logistics —which are often beyond the financial means of the individual families involved.
As it is decided, a big qand (or sugar cube) is broken by someone from each side and mixed up with some of the candy and then it is distributed in small bags among those present.
The period between the engagement and the wedding can involve different degrees of gift-giving, depending upon the financial assets of the groom. Shortly after the engagement, the groom’s family is supposed to provide some amount of money to the bride’s family in order to buy clothes, carpets, dishes, and jewelry for the bride. Essentially, they are providing wedding presents prior to the wedding.
The groom’s family traditionally provides the dowry, the couple’s new home, and covers the costs of the wedding party. Sometimes the groom will serve his father-in-law-to-be by living with him, but he will be unable to see his new bride on a regular basis. Time is set aside where the new couple is allowed to meet each other and get to know each other; this is called ‘naamzad baazy’. Whether or not the groom is living in his prospective in-laws’ house, his parents will often visit his fiance, especially on holidays such as Eid, and they will bring gifts.
The Henna Party
Henna by Thamizhpparithi Maari / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
‘Takht e khina’ occurs the night before the wedding. The groom’s family is responsible for the provision of the henna.
The henna is kept a basket decorated with flowers and candles. Children wearing new clothes cut ina traditional style take the henna basket from the groom’s home to the bride’s home, accompanied by musicians or music. Once, the henna has been put on everyone at the bride’s house, there is more music. The bride and groom must then sit together.
But the groom’s female relatives don’t let the bride pass; they tell her that she must pay to enter the room.
One tradition is that the bride closes her right hand and does not let the groom put henna on it unless his mother presents or promises some valuable gift. Otherwise the groom must force opnen her hand.
Once he or his mother has succeeded, the groom leaves immediately after he puts henna on the bride’s hand and ties it with a clean white cloth. The henna party is meant for women. The remaining henna is then given to the young girls who are single. The single girls who get henna on their right pinkie are thought to be likely to marry soon.
The groom’s father is required to provide all arrangements and all the needs of the bride’s family on the wedding day. Relatives and friends of the bride find the bride at her father’s house and bring her out to sit among the women gathered on the property and waiting for the groom and his friends to come and take her to the new home.
Partying at the Groom’s Home
The actual party is normally held at the groom’s father’s house where a larger number of people are invited for lunch. Music, provided by a group of men playing the tambourine, accompanies the groom’s relatives and friends with their gifts to this house, where an appointed person has remained to accept the wedding gifts.
The groom’s family serve the tea, water, and fresh juice in a receiving line. They also serve as ushers.
A minimum of two teenaged boys from the bride’s extended famly have prepared a special white cloth, which is given to the groom. The groom prepares as people eat lunch and say an afternoon prayer. The groom is mounted on a horse; he is preceded by his and the bride’s elders, and he is accompanied by a party that includes the tambourine players.
Once at the bride’s father’s house, all the men listen to the khutba nikah. After this speech, the groom is taken to the bride, who is waiting for him on a decorated stage among a crowd made up of women and girls from her family, who are singing and dancing. The couple oversee the celebrating for some time, and then they are helped to sit by their mothers and sisters. The first of the couple to sit is supposed to be the submissive half of the couple. Any single girls who sit near the sofa are thought to marry sooner.
‘Aina moshaf’ is a ceremony involving a mirror and the Qur’an. Both the bride and the groom are covered by a new shawl and a brand new mirror, wrapped in a soft cloth, is presented on the table, together with a new Qur’an. The mirror is unconvered under the shawl, so the bride and groom see each other in the mirror. Afterward, they recite religious verses.
Following the ceremony, music is played and the new couple exchange glasses of homemade sherbet and an Afghan dessert known as ‘malida’ (kind of Afghan dessert). Then, the cake is cut and, just like here, the couple eat first.
Every one congratulates the couple in person, and then the couple leaves the party for their new home.
The New Home
Close friends and relatives of the bride accompany her to her new home. Traditionally, the bride rides with the groom on his horse. She is not supposed to get off the horse until the groom’s family offer her property. In really traditional ceremonies, a sheep is slaughtered at the exact moment her foot touches the ground. More common is the tradition of the bride hammering a nail into the door of her new home as she crosses the threshold. The party ends when the single women take the bride to her bedroom.
‘Takht jami’ is held on the third or seventh day after the wedding. It is basically a bridal / wedding shower after the wedding instead of before it.
At around the same time, the groom will take some valuable gifts to his father-in-law and this will initiate the Paeewazee, which is the process of friends and family inviting the couple together for their first visists.
Special dishes are prepared during the Afghanistan’s wedding ceremony which includes kababs grilled on skewers, Nan which is Afghan bread in flat and oval shaped, stewed vegetables and rice cooked with meat.
Afghani food by ANBI / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Religion in Afghanistan
The official religion in Afghanistan is Islam, which is practiced by over 99% of its citizens. Sunnis make up 80-89% of those muslims, while the remaining 10-19% are Shi’as and about 1% or less practice other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, zoroastrianism, Sikhism and Hinduism.
At a population growth rate of 3.85, Afghanistan has the fastest growing Muslim population in the world.
Islam in Afghanistan
Afghanistan was not always so religiously homogeneous, and Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Jews, and Greeks all left an imprint on its history. Following Alexander the Great’s brief occupation in the 4th century BCE, the Seleucid Empire controlled the area until 305 BCE when they ceded much of it to the Maurya Empire as part of an alliance. The Mauryans brought Buddhism from India while they controlled southern Afghanistan until about 185 BCE.
In the 7th century, the Umayyad Arab Muslims entered into the area after conclusively defeating the Sassanians in the Battle of Nihawand (642 CE). Following this massive defeat, the last Sassanid Emperor, Yazdegerd III, became a hunted fugitive and fled eastward into Central Asia. In pursuing Yazdegerd, the Arabs chose to enter the area from north-eastern Iran and thereafter into Herat, where they stationed a large portion of their army before advancing toward the rest of what is now Afghanistan. The Arabs applied considerable efforts toward propagating Islam amongst the locals.
A large number of the occupants of the region of northern Afghanistan accepted Islam through Umayyad missionary efforts, particularly under the reigns of Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik (caliph from 723 to 733) and Umar ibn AbdulAziz (caliph from 717 to 720). During the reign of Al-Mu’tasim, Islam was generally practiced among most occupants of the region and finally under Ya’qub-i Laith Saffari, Islam was the predominant religion of Kabul along with other major cities of Afghanistan. Later, the Samanids spread Islam deep into Central Asia, as the first complete translation of the Qur’an into Persian occurred in the 9th century and many of these peoples spoke or understood Pesian. Since the 9th century, Islam has dominated the country’s religious landscape. Islamic leaders have entered politics at various times of crisis, but rarely exercised secular authority for long. The remnants of a Shahi presence in Afghanistan’s eastern borders were expelled by Mahmud of Ghazni during 998 and 1030.
The Shi’a Muslims make up 10-19% of the total population of Afghanistan. Although there are some Sunnis amongs them, the Hazaras are predominantly Shi’a, mostly of the Twelver branch with some smaller groups who practice the Ismailism branch. The Qizilbash Tajiks of Afghanistan have traditionally been Shi’as.
There are also some Zoroastrians still remaining in Afghanistan. The figures vary widely though statistics show that little over 300,000 Afghans were counted as Zoroastrians in 1970.
Hindus and Sikhs
There are about 4000 Hindus and Sikhs living in different cities but mostly in Jalalabad, Kabul, and Kandahar. Senator Awtar Singh is the only Sikh in Afghanistan’s parliament.
Baha’i Faith was introduced to Afghanistan in 1919 and Baha’is have been living in there since the 1880s. Bahá’ís number approximately 400 according to a recent estimate.
Some unconfirmed reports state that there are 500 to 8,000 Afghan Christians practicing their faith secretly in the country.
There was a small Jewish community in Afghanistan who fled the country before and after the 1979 Soviet invasion, and there is only one Jew left living there permanently today.
Major Mosques of Afghanistan
Abdul Rahman Mosque [Public Domain]
Herat Mosque by Koldo Hormaza / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Shrine of Hazrat Ali in Balkh by Steve Evans / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
Lashkar Gah Mosque [Public Domain]
Khost Mosque by Hewad Khostai / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Honeymoon Places in Afghanistan
Apart from Kabul, only basic accommodation is available in Afghanistan. Even in Kabul, very few hotels such as the Hotel Inter Continental are up to Western standards. A few other hotels in Kabul that might meet western standards include the Kabul Serena Hotel, the Mustafa Hotel, the Safi Land Mark Hotel and the Maple Leaf Inn. Le Monde Guest House provides accommodation in Mazar e Sharif. Afghanistan has been stricken by continuous internal strife for more than two decades. Several places of accommodation have suffered damage or destruction.
InterContinental is a 3 star hotel. It was subject to a terrorist attack in 2011.
Inter-Continental Hotel by Casimiri / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Kabul Serena Hotel
The Kabul Serena Hotel is located in proximity of embassies, ministries and the airport. It is rated as “10 star”.
Serena Hotel by Aulfat Rizai / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 1.0
Places to Visit
The five lakes of Band-e Amir are a beautiful location of Afghanistan. The cluster of five lakes is collectively known as Band-e- Amir. Band e Amir lake is also called the lake of jewels. Lakes of Band e Amir lakes are formed naturally with extraordinary geological formations. Color of water is deep blue.
Band-e-Amir [Public Domain]
Band-e-Amir [Public Domain]
Band-e-Paneer [Public Domain]
Kabul Museum by Carl Montgomery / Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY 2.0
Once considered a valuable record of Central Asian history, Kabul Museum, also known as the Afghanistan National Museum, was home to some of the finest collections in Central Asia.
The Museum was built in 1920. Many objects from Places to Visit in Afghanistan Kushan, early Buddhism and early Islam were hosted in the Museum. Some early manuscripts, miniatures, weapons and art objects belonging to former royal
Kyber Pass [Public Domain]
The Khyber Pass has been an important site in the history of Afghanistan. Khaybar has been an important link between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Throughout history it served as an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia. Most foreign invaders in India entered through Khyber Pass. Crossing Khyber Pass, one of the most important routes in the history of Asia, can be quite the experience. But be warned, the border is not the friendliest place.
Khyber Pass by Anthony Maw / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Minaret of Jam
Minaret of Jam is on the UNESCO heritage site list [Public Domain]
The Minaret of Jam is quite isolated in itself, located in a remote valley next to the Hari Rud river [Public Domain]
The Panjshir has always been most people’s first choice for tourism in Afghanistan due to its proximity to Kabul and its astonishing natural beauty. It is located 150km north of Kabul, near the Hindu Kush.
Panjshir Valley [Public Domain]
Tora Bora, which can literally be translated as Black Dust, is a cave complex in eastern Afghanistan. The complex hosts itself in the White Mountains locally known as Safed Koh. Tora Bora is approximately 50km west of the Khyber Pass. The US forces battled with Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Tora Bora, during the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Tora Bora [Public Domain]
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