The Uzbekistan tourist visa is issued for 7, 15 or 30 days. Even though some tour companies (or even the embassy!) might tell you otherwise, the Uzbek visa is date-specific, meaning that entry and exit dates are set on the visa. You can enter after the visa entry date and leave before the exit date. It is possible to get a double entry visa simply by paying 10$ extra, but this is not a real double entry visa (see below).
Only citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine have visa-free travel.
In December 2016, it was announced that the visa-free regime would be expanded starting April 1, 2017. Citizens of Australia, Austria, Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, Finland, Switzerland and Japan could enter the country without a visa for tourism purposes for up to 30 days.
Citizens aged 55 or over from Belgium, China, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, United States and Vietnam could enter Uzbekistan without a visa for up to 30 days for tourism purposes. Tourists from all 27 countries would have to pay a $50 entrance fee.
Letter of invitation
Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UK and USA do not need a letter of invitation to apply for their Uzbekistan tourist visa at the embassy. All other nationals need a letter of invitation from a tour company.
If you have a LOI, you can usually get the Uzbek visa the same day or the next day (see embassy reports for details of each embassy). If you do not have a LOI (meaning, if you are from a country that does not need one), it will take much longer. 1 week? 10 days? 2 weeks? It depends on your embassy (again, see below for reports).
For this reason, many travelers who don’t need the letter of invitation decide to get one anyway so as not to get stuck too long if they are applying on the road. It is also possible to apply in one embassy and pick it up in another one – this is another option to avoid long delays. When picking up the visa in the second embassy, you will have to fill out the application form again. Don’t worry, you are not starting the procedure again, you will get your visa the same day. They just need the paper.
For important info when entering Uzbekistan, see Uzbekistan border crossings.
Overstaying & non-tourist purposes
Overstaying your Uzbek visa: please, please don’t do it. When overstaying, you get the choice between being deported, in which case you will be locked up for a few days while waiting for your court case, or paying a 1000$ fine. If you decide to get deported, the agency who sold you your LOI will have to pay the 1000$ fine for you and might have to close its doors. People lose their jobs and livelihoods.
Overstaying without a LOI: we are not that worried, that is your problem alone :–)our forum’s visa section.