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Post by Txirugor »

In 2015 we obtained the visa upon arrival at the Dushambe airport and the GBAO at the Dushambe office. We were lucky since we requested it in the morning in the first hour and they gave it to us the same day. Does anyone know if it is now possible to obtain the Visa and the GBAO at the airport?
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Post by Christian77 »

You can't get the GBAO permit at the airport, only at the Dushanbe OVIR office. Just get the e-visa online (and the GBAO permit at the same time), as processing times are back to normal (about 3 working days). In Bishkek the airline asks to see your visa before letting you check in (I'm not sure about elsewhere, you may have to argue with someone). I have heard about people being refused boarding (or having serious difficulties) in Istanbul because they did not have a visa already. Just because the Tajik government says they have visa on arrival does not mean you can convince some airline of that fact. It's a risk, I just can't give you the odds on that risk. But I do see plenty of people saying they did get the visa at the airport.
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Post by blakep76 »

I'm also a bit jaded about visas on arrival. A few months ago me and the Mrs were flying from Nicosia in Cyprus to Turkey. I had a multi-entry visa, so was fine. She only had a single entry, so needed a new one. When departing Istanbul a few weeks earlier we'd asked immigration if, when we later returned she was eligible for a visa on arrival (there was a counter available at all major Turkish airports) - they answered affirmatively. Did all the other research. Checked tripadvisor, Timatic etc. No problem to do a VOA. Kind of a relief since my Chinese bank card doesn't work outside China to pay for the evisa and other payment methods available to us (alipay, wechat pay) only work to Chinese ID card holders, which we arent't. Predictably enough when checking in for the Turkish Airlines flight (at 6 effin AM) "Where is visa? Cannot check in!"...."She doesn't need one. She can get it on arrival"...."Is not possible! No visa no fly!" hour passed. Talking to different staff, supervisors - they wouldn't budge. If ever you want to see a look of absolute terror try approaching random strangers in airports to ask if you can use their credit card to pay for something "We'll give you the cash!!!!"....people were literally falling over trying to get away from us. In the end a combination of the wife's tears and a super sweet trusting Turkish woman got the e-visa issued for us. But waaaay too much stress.
Upon arriving in Istanbul, out of curiosity we approached the Visa-on-Arrival counter, showed her passport...."Is she eligible for a VOA?"....."Of course!!!"....asked the Turkish Airlines counter next door why they hadn't let her onboard...."Bah! Bloody Cyprus! They don't know their jobs! She can get a visa on arrival!"
In future, unless in an absolute failsafe VOA destination such as Kathmandu I'll always try to arrange whatever visas are required in advance.
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