This country guidance is currently under review. In view of the recent significant changes, notably the Taliban takeover, assessments within this document may no longer be valid. When examining the international protection needs of applicants from Afghanistan, please consider the most up-to-date country of origin information available.
As a next step, case officers have to establish whether an applicant can:
The respective elements are explained below, along with conclusions based on available information:
✓ Safely travel – there should be a safe route, which the applicant can practically travel through without undue difficulty, so that he or she can access the area of IPA without serious risks.
In this regard, the assessment of the travel route from the airport to the city is part of the safe travel criterion and has to be assessed carefully based on relevant COI  See Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 3.1, 3.4; Security situation 2020, 1.6, 2.1.1, 2.5.1].
■ Mazar-e Sharif: The airport of Mazar-e Sharif (MZR) lies 8 km east of the city in the district of Marmul. This airport operates domestic and international flights.
No examples of incidents were reported for the airport in Mazar-e Sharif.
■ Herat: The airport of Herat (HEA) lies about 10 km west of the city in the district of Gozara. This airport operates domestic and international flights.
The road connecting Herat to the airport is routinely controlled by security forces. However, in recent years there have been reports of activity by criminal networks, who are often connected to insurgents.
Based on available COI, it is concluded that, in general, a person can access the cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif without serious risk.
✓ Legally travel – there should be no legal obstacles that prevent the applicant from travelling to the safe area.
There are no legal restrictions on travel within Afghanistan. The government does not generally restrict the right of movement of individuals within the borders of the country, but security forces and anti-government elements may operate illegal checkpoints and extort money and goods from travellers. At government checkpoints, appropriate identification is generally sufficient to permit passage and other sources report that there is no ‘systematic requirement for documents to travel within Afghanistan’ [Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 3.2].
Based on available COI, it is concluded that there are no general legal or administrative restrictions for Afghans to travel in Afghanistan, including into the cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif.
✓ Gain admittance to – the applicant should be allowed to access the safe area by the actor(s) who control it.
There are no legal restrictions on admittance and residence inside Afghanistan [Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 3.2]. The cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif are under the control of the government [Security situation 2020, 2.15, 2.13, 2.5]. It is, therefore, concluded that the criterion of gaining admittance would be generally satisfied with regard to the three cities.
The individual circumstances of the applicant should also be taken into account when assessing whether he or she can safely and legally travel and gain admittance to a part of the country.
Careful examination is required especially in cases of women. Social restrictions constrain women’s ability to travel on their own and women’s freedom of movement is limited by the requirement of male consent or male chaperone. There is variation in women’s freedom of movement and dress code across the country. For example, in Kandahar women are rarely seen alone in public, but this is more common in Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul [Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 3.3].