A GBAO permit can be obtained
- online when applying for the e-visa (20$),
- at most embassies (see below) when applying for the Tajikistan visa (2$-60$ depending on embassy)
- in Dushanbe at the Migration Police (OVIR) (4$)
- in advance through a tour operator (40$ – not very useful anymore since the e-visa)
In Dushanbe, the permit can be arranged in 1 day for around 50$ with a travel agency, or 4$ (20 somoni) if you do it yourself. You can also arrange your GBAO permit in advance through Caravanistan for 40$. Osh guesthouse in Osh does the same thing for a similar price.
Address: Mirzo Turzunzade Street 5 (map) – N38.57126, E068.7972 or 38.571829, 68.796566
Tel. 227 67 22 (no English)
Opening hours: 8am-5pm
September 2016: 20 somoni and 1 day turnaround. Bit messy but doable with help from locals.
May 2015: A friend and I got our GBAO permits without any hassle in Dushanbe yesterday. We applied Friday afternoon (just after their lunchbreak ended at 1pm) and picked it up on the following monday (also 1 pm – could have been earlier but we were busy). As far as we can tell it is valid from the day of application until the expiry of our Visa.
At the OVIR office (Mirzo Tursunzoda st. 5 / GPS: ) the necessary office is at the right side of the building when facing it from the street. The little booth with the blackened windows, right by the door is where you get the form, friendly guy takes your passport and fills everything in for you digitally and prints it out. Take said form and bring it to the little window/office/counter at the far end of the room. The lady then told us to pay 20Somoni/person at the next Ammonat Bank, just round the corner on Bukhoro St, (GPS: 38.5739224, 68.7928644) and bring the receipt back on Monday when we could collect our Permit. Limited english was spoken, but if you ask for “Pamir?” someone will point in the right direction
Extending: In case you got a GBAO permit for just a week (see Bishkek), you can extend it at OVIR. There are OVIR offices in every city in Tajikistan, some more helpful than others (Khujand, Khorog, Murghab are recommended, Dushanbe is not). It seems impossible to extend a GBAO permit for more than 30 days though. You will need to get a new permit on a new visa page.
Address: Lenin 115
Opening hours: 8 – 13 and 14 – 17 Monday – Friday, 8 – 12 Saturday.
According to one traveller, extending is unnecessary:” I was traveling with a 7 days permit in gbao area for 15 days, there are many check points, but they only write down my Tajikistan visa number. I asked a few soldiers and policemen , they said they only care about visa, I even passed a checkpoint, I just handshake with the police, he didn’t want to check my passport. If I knew this before I will not to pay 100 som to get a ugly useless stamp to waste a whole visa page in my passports, I feel less risk traveling in gbao area without this expired permit.”
The GBAO permit can cover all areas of GBAO, but this must be specifically requested in the application – to cover all possibilities, put the following on the form: Khorog, Murghab, Darwaz, Ishkashim, Vanj, Rushan. Once you are in possession of the complete GBAO permit, you can travel freely (except for Sarez and perhaps Zorkul – see below); any attempt by over-zealous or greedy officials should be resisted – self-confident bluff is a good weapon. Apart from the GBAO permit, special permission is required for travel only for Sarez.
All other areas should be covered by the GBAO permit, although it is prudent to check with the Tajik border guards or local travel agent in Khorog before travelling to Zorkul. The Sarez permit can be obtained free of charge at the Committee for Emergency Situations at Lohuti Street in Duhanbe, opposite the Tajik Sodirot Bank.
For Zorkul, you can obtain the permit in Khorog and Murghab. In Murghab, the building is down near the hospital: your homestay provider should be able to point you to the right place. Alternatively ask at the tourist information office and they’ll point you in the right direction.
Embassies that offer GBAO permit
For some dark reason, not all embassies offer the GBAO permit to be stamped in your passport when you apply for a Tajik visa. At those, you will need to get it yourself at OVIR in Dushanbe.
To the best of our knowledge, the following embassies do offer the GBAO permit when you apply for a Tajik visa: Almaty, Ankara, Bishkek, Islamabad, Tokyo, London.
Definitely no GBAO permit for now in Baku, Tashkent, Dubai, Istanbul, Moscow and Tehran.
See the embassy reports on the Tajik visa page for more info about these embassies.Comments are closed. If you have questions or embassy reports, head over to our forum’s visa section.