Tajikistan, officially Republic of Tajikistan, Tajik Tojikiston or Jumhurii Tojikiston, Tajikistan also spelled Tadzhikistancountry lying in the heart of Central Asia. It is bordered by Kyrgyzstan on the north, China on the east, Afghanistan on the south, and Uzbekistan on the west and northwest. Tajikistan includes the Gorno-Badakhshan (“Mountain Badakhshan”) autonomous region, with its capital at Khorugh (Khorog). Tajikistan encompasses the smallest amount of land among the five Central Asian states, but in terms of elevation it surpasses them all, enclosing more and higher mountains than any other country in the region. Tajikistan was a constituent (union) republic of the Soviet Union from 1929 until its independence in 1991. The capital is Dushanbe.

Several ethnic ties and outside influences complicate Tajikistan’s national identity to a greater extent than in other Central Asian republics. The Tajik people share close kinship and their language with a much larger population of the same nationality living in northeastern Afghanistan, whose population also includes a large proportion speaking Dari, a dialect of Persian intelligible to Tajiks. Despite sectarian differences (most Tajiks are Sunni Muslims, while Iranians are predominantly Shiʿis), Tajiks also have strong ties to the culture and people of Iran; the Tajik and Persian languages are closely related and mutually intelligible. The Tajiks’ centuries-old economic symbiosis with oasis-dwelling Uzbeks also somewhat confuses the expression of a distinctive Tajik national identity. Since the early years of independence, Tajikistan has been wracked by conflict between the government and the Islamic opposition and its allies.


The economy of Tajikistan is dependent upon agriculture and services.[13] Since independence, Tajikistan has gradually followed the path of transition economy, reforming its economic policies. With foreign revenue precariously dependent upon exports of cotton and aluminium, the economy is highly vulnerable to external shocks. Tajikistan’s economy also incorporates a massive black market, primarily focused on the drug trade with Afghanistan. Heroin trafficking in Tajikistan is estimated to be equivalent to 30-50% of national GDP as of 2012.

In the fiscal year (FY) 2000, international assistance remained an essential source of support for rehabilitation programs that reintegrated former combatants of the Tajikistani Civil War into the civilian economy, thus helping maintain the peace. International assistance also was necessary to address the second year of severe drought that resulted in a continued shortfall of food production. Tajikistan’s economy grew substantially after the war. The gross domestic product (GDP) of Tajikistan expanded at an average rate of 9.6% over the period of 2000-2007 according to the World Bank data. This improved Tajikistan’s position among other Central Asian countries (namely Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), which have degraded economically ever since. As of August 2009, an estimated 60% of Tajikistani citizens live below the poverty line. The 2008 global financial crisis has hit Tajikistan hard, both domestically and internationally. Tajikistan has been hit harder than many countries because it already has a high poverty rate and because many of its citizens depend on remittances from expatriate Tajikistanis.


Tajikistan has both natural beauty and cultural richness, which appeals to tourists from all around the world. In addition, the country is relatively unexplored, and therefore considered “exotic”. This is a big selling point for today’s adventure tourists who want to explore places where few other people have been to.

Tajikistan attracts two kinds of adventure tourists. The first group includes independent tourists who travel the country without reliance on tour operators. This usually includes backpackers and bikers, who are attracted by the Pamir Highway, the Fann Mountains and most importantly, the country’s warm and hospitable people.

The second group includes tourists who visit the country through tour operators as part of Tajikistan-only or multi-country packages. They come to see the unique cultural sites along the Silk Road, such as Sarazm (a UNESCO site), the Hissor Fortress, the Ajina Teppa excavation site, the Khulbuk Castle, the Yamchun Fortress, and others.

Tajikistan is generally known as a safe destination, despite its proximity to Afghanistan. This was confirmed by a 2018 World Bank Group survey of tour operators: over 50% of international and local respondents confirmed they are generally satisfied with the country’s security situation.

Tourism development depends on many factors – from liberalization of the aviation sector, development of basic infrastructure, security issues, availability of information online, etc. Is there a roadmap on tourism development in Tajikistan? What are the priority issues to be addressed and what should the areas of focus be?

Tourism in Tajikistan is recognized as an important contributor to job creation and economic growth, so the Government of Tajikistan has put in place a number of initiatives to make the country more attractive for visitors. However, Tajikistan can do a lot more to attract more tourism spending.

The 2018 World Bank Group survey of tour operators pointed out several critical areas which should be looked at. For example, improving air travel connectivity to Tajikistan, as well as in-country transport are very important. Launching a Dushanbe-Khorog flight could be quite transformational. Tanzania, for example, significantly improved its tourism sector by allowing small independent airlines to fly small planes (like the Cessna Caravan) within the country.

Another area is the quality of accommodation and facilities: access to water and sanitation in guesthouses, homestays and tourism sites needs significant improvements. These improvements do not require large investments, but are critical for the comfort of visitors.

The preservation and rehabilitation of tourism sites, enhanced tourism services, simplification of the regulatory environment in the tourism sector, upgrading of skills, better regional connectivity in Central Asia, improved food services, and stronger marketing and promotion were also highlighted by tour operators as steps that could help Tajikistan reach its full development potential.


Education in Tajikistan consists of four years of primary school followed by two stages of secondary school (lasting five and two years, respectively). Attendance at school is mandatory from age seven to seventeen. In accordance with the Law on Higher Education and Professional Postgraduate Education the country provides for the following levels of higher education:

  • Specialist degree (darajai mutakhassis), with studies lasting five years. Five years university degree is equivalent to bachelor (four years) and master degree (one year).
  • Bachelor degree (darajai bakalavr), with studies lasting not less than four years except for medicine (no less than five years);
  • Master degree (darajai magistr), with studies lasting minimum of one year.

Some higher education institutions still apply an old system by providing specialists degree (darajai mutakhassis) where upon graduation a specialist diploma is awarded, which is equivalently recognized as a master degree by Higher Education and Professional Postgraduate Education of Tajikistan. On the other hand, some higher education institutions award Bachelor degrees after four years of studying. Thus those who do not have a Bachelor degree in a specialty cannot start a Master degree. Tajik is the main language of instruction through secondary school, but in 2003 Russian was restored as a mandatory second language.

The Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) finds that Tajikistan is fulfilling 98.9% of what it should be fulfilling for the right to education based on the country’s level of income. HRMI breaks down the right to education by looking at the rights to both primary education and secondary education. While taking into consideration Tajikistan’s income level, the nation is achieving 97.9% of what should be possible based on its resources (income) for primary education and 100.o0% for secondary education.


How To Apply for a Tajikistan Visa?

You can apply for a Tajikistan visa in one of the following ways:

  • Online, through the official Tajikistan eVisa portal
  • At an Embassy or Consulate, if you are not eligible for the eVisa
Applying for a Tajikistan eVisa

You can apply for a Tajikistan eVisa through the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (here). This is a simplified process, wherein you have to:

  • Complete the online application form.
  • Pay the Tajikistan eVisa fee. Fees are non-refundable.
  • Wait for the visa to be processed. This takes about two working days. You will receive the Tajikistan eVisa on your email.
  • Print out the visa and bring it with you when you travel.

Visa type: The Tajikistan eVisa is issued only for tourism.

Eligible border crossings: You can enter Tajikistan through any airport or border crossing using an eVisa.

Tajikistan eVisa cost: The Tajikistan eVisa fee is USD 50. If also applying for a GBAO permit, the cost is about USD 70. The GBAO Permit allows the holder entry to the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region.

Required documents: When you apply for a Tajikistan eVisa, the requirements will appear once you fill in the sections regarding your nationality and travel dates. You always need a passport that’s valid for at least another six months.

Validity: The Tajikistan eVisa allows the holder to stay in the country for up to 60 days. The visa is single-entry and valid for 90 after it is issued.