The Complete Guide to Silk Road Visas

Nothing in life worth having comes easy.

Isn’t that just so true?

Although their number is dwindling, many governments in the region still display a keen understanding of this simple truth and keep their visa regimes restricted, unbending in the face of commercial pressures to open up their country. This way, travelers are able to appreciate their destination more.

Still, applying for these visas is time-consuming, frustrating, confusing and sometimes downright scary. We know, we’ve been there.

To help you on your way, we have compiled The Complete Guide to Silk Road Visas. We spend a lot of time writing and updating this guide, and we like to think it’s the definitive resource on visas in this part of the world.

Getting visa support

We have searched long and hard for local travel companies to offer visa support for those who need it. We think we have found the best ones, delivering quality service at a good price.

Getting visa support is now as easy as filling in a small form (and paying :-).

Uzbek letter of invitation application form

Iran authorisation code application form

Azeri letter of invitation or e-visa application form

Kazakh letter of invitation application form

For the Turkmen letter of invitation, you need to book a tour, or get a transit visa.

Can I trust this information?

We keep this guide as up to date as possible. Besides living and traveling in the region and having a lot of direct experience with bureaucracy in these countries, we also get a lot of information from other travelers. We try to keep up to date with all the travel blogs out there, and we follow the main travel forums in English and French.

So we do everything we can to keep the information on this pages correct. But please remember that you are coming to a place where rules change as quickly as the mood of those who make them, and nothing is 100% certain. And please, if you find out something new at the embassy, let us know.

General tips

  • If you are planning an overland trip, we recommend you to get as many visas as possible in your home country. Start as early as possible with this task, this always takes longer than you expect.
  • Plan where you will get the remaining visas. You cannot get all visas everywhere, and price and processing time changes from place to place. Keep in mind also that some cities are much more expensive than others to stay for a longer period.
  • Let your fixed date visas overlap a day or 2. You don’t want to add more stress to your border crossing.
  • Learn a bit of Russian.
  • Consuls love holidays.