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Turkmenistan visa Q&A [archive]

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:27 pm
by tazi
I am an 'older traveller' interested in journeying from Bukhara-Mary-Ashgabat-Mashad. I may try to do this independently, but I am also relaxed about booking a tour. I have an Australian passport and have read that it is possible to get a Turkmenistan transit visa at the border, but that you have to walk about 2 kilometres with your bags. I'm only planning to be in Turkmenistan for 3-4 days. Can anyone confirm the visa process...?

Re: Turkmenistan transit visa

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:47 am
by steven
You have to get a transit visa in advance

Depending which border you take, you might have to walk. I think only the Farap border is a bit of a walk.

If you take a tour, the tour company will help you across by car.

Turkmenistan Transit Visa - Experience

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:56 am
by MattBazire

Just incase it is useful to anybody contemplating a trip to Turkmenistan, I wanted to outline my experience in getting a transit visa.

I applied for the visa in Dushanbe - it's not an easy place to find, use the Lonely Planet map (turn off Karamov, take the first major turn to the right into a residential looking area, and the embassy is on the first turning on the left - it doesn't look like an embassy, look for a guard booth on the right-hand side and a bench on the left). You will have to show your passport on entry, and they'll make you sit on the bench to wait. The embassy opening hours are 9am-12.30am - but appear to be fairly flexible, when I was there the consul left for an hour meeting, and then opened in the afternoon to make up for it.

Make sure you do have a colour copy of your photo page, your entry country visa and your exit country visa.

On entry, you have to show all documents and then write an invitation letter based on a copy on the wall (not sure what happens if you can't speak English, as the number of languages they're written in is pretty minimal), outlining how long you want the visa for and the places you want to visit - I'd write every town on your route to justify a five day visa etc.

As I wanted to collect my visa in Tashkent I was told to leave, and I would be emailed a copy of my 'code' and I could use that to collect it. It appears this was a mistake, in the end I collected the visa in Almaty (a great embassy, I never saw anybody else there, and whilst stand-offish, they were very helpful. They kept asking for my 'code' , which I hadn't been emailed (and never have been), after lots of backwards and forwards they either logged onto a website, or called the Dushanbe consulate, and gave it to me, at which point the process started.

You need to complete a new application form, and provide them with two colour passport photos (additional to the two given in Dushanbe) - I didn't have these, and it is very difficult to find suitable photo booths in Almaty, so in the end got colour photo copies of my passport (a shop is out of the embassy, turn right, go over the major cross roads, and it's on the left, rough;y 200m in total from the embassy), cut them out and they didn't seem to mind.

I then had to take my invoice for $85 to a bank at the Western end of Kabanbay Batyr, a road over from St Nicholas' Cathedral - it looks like an office block, but has big red letters on the roof of the bank name (begins with A). I just went in an showed the invoice to everybody, and after a long laborious process I was given a receipt which I took back to the embassy, and was given my visa - Simple!

It may seem like a lot of work, and stress - but it was by far and away the most worthwhile visa, what an amazingly different country, in what is already a very different part of the world! (I will try and put up a copy of my trip in case anybody needs some inspiration)

Re: Turkmenistan Transit Visa - Experience

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:02 am
by steven
Thanks Matt!

Turkmenistan transit

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:37 pm
by mbrauerman
We went to the Turkmenistan Embassy in Tashkent on a holiday (end of October 2013), but fortunately the consul just walked out and told us to come at 13:00 the same day with two color copies of our passports (including the Iran visa) (there is a photo shop a few minutes away in the middle of the apartement complex behind the embassy). We waited there at one o'clock for a while, but nobody opened and the Uzbek police wouldn't do anything. So we went to the other (car) entry around the embassy, where a very helpful employee of the embassy told us he would let us enter at the original gate. Once inside the consul himself and the employee helped us to fill out the russian forms (although they speak little english themselves). We handed over two passport photos and the photocopies, and had to fix the entry and exit points, and entry/exit date (five days). No problem concerning the car.

He asked us wether we want to pick up the visa at the embassy in Tashkent or directly at the border. The border-pick-up is only possible at certain border crossings (we choose Dashoguz, some friends picked Farap – Alat, the consul said Konye-Urgench is not possible) - you get a code (two letters and three numbers). Exit point for us was given through the Iranian visa application as Sarhaks and the consul didn't challenge that. We didn't have do pay anything - the visa is supposed to be paid for at the border.

At the border (mid-November 2013) We were one day early (Uzbek visa 30 days expired, but valid period for two more days). From the Uzbek border gate you cross a bridge - there the first Turkmen guard allowed us into a 1km border corridor - we had also play taxi - usually everybody has to walk there - even German diplomats. At the Turkmen border post, the employee asked us friendly to sit, only to tell us that our "Invitation" only starts from the next day - but everything else should be o.k. We tried, but were not allowed to camp in the no-mans-land, so back the Uzbek border invalidated the exit stamp and we were back for one more night in Uzbekistan.
The next day at the Turkmen border we had to wait for app. one hour for the visa to be processed. The route was again extensively discussed - a side trip to Konye-Urgench is forbidden, there is a direct road via the Dashoguz airport bypassing this city. We had to specify for every night where we intended to stay and argue, so we could use the full 5 days. We had to pay the fee for the visa (55$) + 10$ entry fee + 2$ transfer fee at the "bank" next to the visa counter. For the car: filling out forms, define the route, pay 125$ (desinfection, entry & transit, compensation of fuel cost (depends on your route), insurance, processing) +2$ transfer fee - take care that no mistakes are made ... And then we got the best inventory of our car so far by Turkmen customs :-) In the customs form we were not "allowed" to put money, laptops etc. (as you should do in Uzbekistan) - but everything was ok.

Diesel is 0.58 Manat per liter, there is a gas station in Dashoguz in the direction of / near the airport. We were first not allowed to fill canisters, but after a while the guy put one canister into our car to hide and filled it there. There is another gas station near the crossing with the road from Konye Urgench, one somewhere between Derweeze and Ashgabat (more south, didn't note the coordinates) and several around Ashgabat.

Exit at Sarhaks: Bypassing a long queue of trucks. Exit form filled out for us by a border guard. Only marginal check by the custom guys (no cameras & sd-cards checked - although our cameras were inspected in Ashgabat by policeman).

Turkmenistan transit visa question

Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:37 am
by Condor
I plan on traipsing through Central Asia in summer of 2014. My tentative route through Turkmenistan involves entering from Kazakhstan on a motorcycle and heading for Turkmenbashi, stopping in Darvaza (by way of Ashgabat), and exiting in the north to continue to Nukus. Is this feasible? I understand that I will need permits for the west and north of the country; will bringing a motorcycle be prohibitively messy? Will a brief detour to Nokhur get me in trouble? I am a US citizen, starting the trip in the UK (Mongolia-bound). Thank you for any feedback.

Re: Turkmenistan transit visa question

Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:11 am
by steven
You don't need extra permits to go to the places you want. If you do it in 5 days, you don't need a guide, but it is a long route to do in just 5 days. You won't get in extra trouble by going to Nokhur.

A motorcycle to Turkmenistan is quite expensive, couple of 100$.

Re: Turkmenistan transit

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:24 pm
by steven
Thank you for your detailed report!

Turkmen Transit Visa w/ Double entry Uzbek Visa

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:28 pm
by echan.sburger
Hi, Couldnt seem to find anything on this...

Can I get a Turkmen tourist visa if I have a double entry Uzbekistan visa and enter and exit through the same port?

Stephen :D

Re: Turkmen Transit Visa w/ Double entry Uzbek Visa

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:41 pm
by steven
Not possible. It's a transit visa, meaning you have to transit from one country to another, and you need both visas in your passport before you can apply for the Turkmen visa. This seems to have been edited out last time I changed the article on the site, I put it back in now.