Uzbekistan Embassy in Almaty report

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Re: Uzbekistan Embassy in Almaty report

Postby steven » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:53 am

Please read and post reports on the Uzbek embassy in Almaty below.

We summarize all info in the embassy reports of the Uzbek visa page.
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Uzbekistan Embassy in Almaty report

Postby Michel » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:31 pm

Dear fellow travellers,

I (Dutch passport holder) just got my visa for Uzbekistan today in Almaty, Kazakhstan. I had my LOI prepared by Caravanistan's recommended agency. I recommend them as well.

Today, July 2 (on Thursday; it's closed on Wednesday, not on Thursday), I went to the embassy just before 1pm. The friendly guard told me to come back at 2pm. I came back at 1.40pm (there's a park nearby to chill). Lots of people near the entrance of the embassy. Don't worry though, as for foreigners there is a different procedure. Around 2.30pm the foreigners were allowed in (if you had the right documents). Some travellers were not allowed in however, supposedly because their application form was not the correct one. My documents were in order: 1 filled out visa application form (done by travel agency who supplied the LOI), the LOI, 1 copy of your passport info page, 1 passport, 1 passport photo.

Within the embassy compound you wait in a room until somebody shows up and takes everybody's paperwork (there were about 10 foreigners). After a while you'll get a small note saying that you have to deposit money in the embassy's account at Bank Centercredit, two blocks back towards the city on Gogol Street. My visa (30 days, 3 entries) costed 18,050 tenge. In the bank make a copy of your bank receipt (bank security guard does it for 20 tenge). Then head back to the embassy, try to work your way through the crowd and then back into the embassy compound. A guy then comes to collect the copy of the bank receipt and and a few minutes later the passport was returned. I was out 4pm. All people were friendly. The whole procedure was pretty painless. :D

By the way, the same was valid for Italian, Malaysian and Chinese passport holders.

I hope this info will help. Happy travels!

Michel
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Re: Uzbekistan Embassy in Almaty report

Postby WorldWideWebster » Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:57 pm

Thanks for your report. Did you hear anything about how long for those without LOI? I'm a US citizen and don't need one, hope to avoid cost of LOI as visa is already $160 for us.
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Embassy Report: Uzbek consulate, Almaty (detailed)

Postby WorldWideWebster » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:28 am

My first Central Asian visa application and certainly not a pleasant one.

I arrived at 1p, asked guard what time and if I should wait or come back. He said 2p, but to not leave.
At 2:15p I asked again, he said 3p, at which point I decided to grab an ice cream nearby. Came back and hovered near front with others.
At 2:30 the guard went up and everyone pushed forward, he said not yet and made everyone move back.
At 3:10 there was some sort of announcement about visas. Since I'd read something about foreigners going first (I was surrounded by about 75 people holding Uzbek passports...saw even a couple with CCCP ones additionally!) I again asked guard if I could go. He took my passport and it looked good but then was saying something about my phone. I assumed he meant turn it off, but suddenly he forcefully pushed me back and I would have fallen if not for huge crowd. I certainly wasn't pushing ahead inappropriately and he already had reached for my passport. Then a Tajik guy got through. Inexplicably I handed him passport again without a problem though people were angrily shouting something about "Amerikan devuyshka".

Ok, I'm in. Only me and a handful of guys with Tajik visas, one Russian lady, one Pakistani. Tajik man lets me go first.

Thr consulate guy seems to be in a bad mood. I give him my stack of papers (wasn't clear with what it meant by photocopy of visa stamps, I just copied everything to be safe).
"Why do you have to go to Uzbekistan?"
"I am a tourist, I want to visit cultural and historic sites"
"Oh....what you thinking? Where is LOI?"
"I'm an American citizen, it's not required."
"What?!? Who told you this, that's not true!!!"
"Well, it's on the Uzbekistan consulate website for one."
Grumbling, grumbling.
"Why you apply now? You're not going until August."
"I'm on a tour, I have some free time this week but not on tour". (Sort of true, it's a DIY hiking trip with a fixed schedule)
"Why you can't apply in Bishkek?"
"It takes a week at least and I will only be there one day, to apply for Tajik visa"
"Why you can't apply Dushanbe?"
"I am on a tour, it takes over a week there, I will only be in Dushanbe 3 days (estimated, might be less).
"Why you travel alone? Why no boyfriend or husband?"
"I marked single, I am traveling alone. Any other questions?" (I'm getting pissed now)
"Fine, come back in 10 days, and we will let you know if you can get one or not"
"Is there any way to get it faster? My friends (ie, internet reports) got theirs the same day, I thought it would at least be same week"
Bad question, more yelling.
"You marked usual processing!! What you think, if you want urgent, why you mark usual?!?" (He repeats this a couple times.)
"I'm sorry sir, I didn't realize 10 days is usual processing time. Please, may I change it to urgent?"
I have to ask him this several times while he keeps yelling usual/urgent bit.

Finally he marks on there urgent, says he doesn't know if they'll accept it, and says I can come back in "a couple days". What does this mean? It's a Monday. Thursday? Nyet. Friday? Ok.
When I ask what time he again rants, what do I think? Visa stuff is at 2pm (I asked because most reports say pickup at 4:45).
I ask if this means I'll get the visa, he says "I don't know, I don't know", shaking his head negatively. He doesn't know how much it will cost either but I'll pay Friday if I get it.

On the way out he mumbles "stupid American" in Russian. I decide to get the heck out of there and ignore it.

No idea what to do now....supposed to go camping Thursday and Friday (hi Steven and Thomas). I really don't feel optimistic at this point about the visa, but it really will save me time down the road in Dushanbe (I already need to apply for Turkmenistan transit visa there).

What do people think, is it likely I will actually get the visa?
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Re: Embassy Report: Uzbek consulate, Almaty (detailed)

Postby bwv812 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:39 pm

This is why most people who don't need Uzbek LOIs get them anyway: it better to spend the $70 or whatever and get your visa the same day than save a bit of money and be forced to wait around for a week.

With an LOI you can get your Uzbek visa in Dushanbe on the same day.
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Re: Embassy Report: Uzbek consulate, Almaty (detailed)

Postby WorldWideWebster » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:47 am

Yes, that's true. However, paying $230 (I'm assuming normal fee for Americans at $160) for a country I'll be in for two weeks at best is something I hoped to avoid. I just didn't expect to be treated this rudely here based on other reports. I wouldn't even mind it if I got the sense I will actually get the visa-from how this guy sounded, it doesn't look good.
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Re: Embassy Report: Uzbek consulate, Almaty (detailed)

Postby steven » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:58 am

2 weeks is normal without LOI, anywhere in the world. If you don't want to pay for the loi, you will have to wait, either here or in Dushanbe.
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Re: Embassy Report: Uzbek consulate, Almaty (detailed)

Postby WorldWideWebster » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:51 pm

In the end, got here 2, at a couple to 5 my name was called, paid and got visa 5:15. Charged $240 for US passport without LOI because "urgent" (4 day). Also given only one entry instead of the two requested, and 17 [sic!] instead of 30 requested. When I asked about this, official said, "That's what they gave you" and wouldn't change it.

In short, based on my experience, I'd say don't apply here unless you have 2+ weeks, or an LOI. Looks like Dushanbe is a better bet. I need to apply for two other visas there so just dealt with it here, win some, lose some. Learned my lesson.
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Re: Uzbekistan Embassy in Almaty report

Postby JuanGau » Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:24 pm

Really painless. I (Argentinian citizen) had already the LOI, got to the Uzbek embassy, which works from 2 pm, not on wednesdays but on thursdays (23 July). It was full of people but guards made as enter first, there we gave our application forms and had to go to pay to Credit Center Bank in Gogol St, three blocks away. Until there it was quite quick. When we goylt back to the embassy, the people outside the embassy already started to enter, so the official who was with our visas, was now busy with the other people with uzbek passports. He told us to wait, so one hour later he gave us back our passports with the visas approved. Painless
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Re: Uzbekistan Embassy in Almaty report

Postby mpkz » Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:23 pm

July 2015, Finnish citizen (but others including USA and HK had the same experience):

I would not recommend this embassy, unless you have a day to kill. The process basically took an entire afternoon. Same comments as the others below had. Bring LOI, application, photo and photocopy of your passport (I forgot this and just got it copied quickly and for free at the travel agency across Gogol St in less than 5 mins). 2 foreigners turned away at the gate for missing docs, including one guy missing LOI even though he didn't need it (I think, I lost track of him later).

Process took about 3.5 hours total but it felt much longer. Got the visa like 5:15 after turning up at 1:50 (didn't let anyone in until 2:40). There was a lot and a lot of waiting inside until they called your name a few times (first to tell you to pay, then to give you your visa later). Uncomfortable (hot room without many seats) and slow as these guys deal with a lot of Uzbeks registering as Uzbeks abroad, if you have a Uzbek embassy at home I recommend that instead.

Only thing to note is that the bank guy didn't charge me for a copy and the machine in the bank you can use to pay (talk to a local though, they're also there paying) doesn't dispense change. A local topped up his phone and paid me the remainder though, so no issues.

Overall conclusion for me was that this isn't a great embassy for tourist visas, it's geared for the locals.
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