Visa regime in Uzbekistan
Last updated on 10.03.2015
If you are travelling to Uzbekistan you need to obtain an appropriate visitor's visa. Only citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine have visa-free travel.
All travelers, even those simply transiting Uzbekistan for less than 72 hours, must obtain an Uzbek visa before travelling to Uzbekistan. If you plan an overnight stay or have a long layover, you will need a visa to exit the transit lounge of the airport. Uzbekistan has suspended the 72-hour transit rule that allowed travelers with visas from other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to transit Uzbekistan without an Uzbek visa.
Getting an Uzbekistan tourist visa is a 2 step process. First, you will need to get an official letter of invitation (except citizens of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) from a local company authorized by the Ministry of Tourism (Uzbekturizm) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then you will need to take this invitation along with the application form and two passport size photos and an original of your passport to the Uzbekistan Consulate in your country in order to have your visa processed and stamped. The processing timeline is about 7-10 working days. The approved visa support is faxed directly to the Embassy or Consulate of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the country where the traveler is receiving the Uzbekistan travel visa. Keep in mind, that if you are a citizen of the country listed above you don't require a visa support letter to get your Uzbek visa, it's just most probably you can not get your visa stamped on the same day when you apply and you may be asked to come back few days or even weeks later.
Travel visa can be obtained in the Consular Missions of the Republic of Uzbekistan abroad. In the Tashkent International Airport visas can only be issued to those persons, who are arriving from the countries where the Republic of Uzbekistan does not have permanent diplomatic or consular missions. Bear in mind, that Uzbek visa is date-specific, meaning that entry and exit dates are set on the visa, so plan your itinerary carefully when applying for visa.
The Republic of Uzbekistan has missions in following countries: Afghanistan, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium (Luxemburg), Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam; and consular departments in following cities: Athens (Greece), Bangkok (Thailand), Dubai (UAE), Frankfurt-am-Main (Germany), Istanbul (Turkey), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Mazar-e-Sharif (Afghanistan), New-York (USA).
Visitors coming from countries where Uzbekistan does not have diplomatic or consular representation should obtain Uzbekistan visas in a third country or in Tashkent International Airport. Importantly, Uzbekistan visas indicate not only the validity of the visa, but also the period of time a person is allowed to stay in Uzbekistan on a given trip. In case applying for Uzbekistan tourist visa in airport you still need to have approved visa support from Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Tashkent in order to obtain visa in Tashkent International Airport. Therefore, it is important to indicate your intended period of stay when applying for your Uzbek visa.
Travel around Uzbekistan by rail or land sometimes requires brief exits into neighboring countries. Travelers should have a multiple entry Uzbek visa and proper visas for the neighboring countries in order to avoid delays in travel. Please check your itinerary.
The requirement for foreigners to register within three days of arriving in any given place is an irritating overhang from the Soviet period and, even more irritatingly, it is often enforced by the authorities.
If you check into a hotel authorised to take foreigners, the hotel will automatically register you. Keep hold of the small slip they give you as proof of registration as you may be required to show it on departure. If you take an overnight train journey, keep the ticket stub or booking confirmation as proof of your whereabouts. If you are camping or staying with friends or at a homestay for more than three nights, you should register at the local OVIR to ensure you (and your hosts) are in the clear.
Punishments for failing to register are applied arbitrarily and you never know if you'll be the unlucky one. Whilst most people will get away with a few missing registration slips (and may not have them checked at all), some unlucky ones could be even detained for couple of days and fined for up to US$1,500 each for failing to register. Unless you have plenty of time and money to throw at extricating yourself from the problem, play it safe.
Transit Visas to Uzbekistan
In case of a transit via Uzbekistan, while traveling to a third country, all visitors should have transit visas issued in advance by an Uzbekistan Embassy or General Consulate abroad. Transit visas are issued for a period of up to 72 hours and cost $20 for 24 hours, $25 for 48 hours or $30 for 72 hours. Transit visas are issued against third country visa and the copy of air ticket/air ticket reservation to the third country must be shown. No Invitation Letter is needed to obtain Transit visas.
A tourist visa can be extended only in force major situations. To extend a visa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs a further letter of support from our company and the explanation letter with all details. Extension fees apply. Please note, that it is really complicated procedure and there is no guarantee that the Ministry of foreign affairs will aprove the visa extension request.
Theoretically it is possible to extend visa for up to seven days once you are in Uzbekistan, but in practice people often prefer to leave for a neighbouring country and apply for a new Uzbek visa there. If you are feeling optimistic (or have run out of other options), you can obtain a seven-day extension from the Office of Visa and Registration (OVIR) at Tashkent International Airport for US$40, but this is not guaranteed and will involve a lot of persistence. Tashkent-based travel agents may also be able to smooth the way for an additional fee.
Staying in Uzbekistan with an expired visa is illegal! You will be penalized for expired visa and may be banned to enter to Uzbekistan in the future. Penalties will apply.