Q&A: Abkhazia visa & entry clearance letter

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steven
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Re: Q&A: Abkhazia visa & entry clearance letter

Post by steven »

Read and submit questions, answers and reports on the visa process for Abkhazia below.

We summarize all info at the Abkhazia visa page.
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Crazydre
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Q&A: Abkhazia visa & entry clearance letter

Post by Crazydre »

Just received an Abkhaz entry clearance letter, only 3 working days (rather than 7) after sending the application, even though I've never visited the country (I'm entering and exiting from Georgia)

Laughably simple: I filled in the form (except two fields lacking English translations) and sent a blank e-mail titled "visa application" with the filled-out form and a copy of my ID Card.

Do make sure you have Microsoft Word, as the form doesn't work properly in OpenOffice.

3 days later I got the reply containing the clearance letter. Apsny, here I come!
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Hulab
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Abkhazıan Vısa unclear

Post by Hulab »

Hello

I am in Turkey now waitıng ın Malatya bus statıon for my bus to Georgıan border where I'm stayıng a few days around Gonıo, Batumı and from there I hope to make ıt to Abchazıa for short stay. I try to fıgure out the Vısa applıcatıon form but itseems kınd of amateurıstıc, I don't know. Here a screen shot;

Not everythıng ıs translated ınto englısh (don't know why), I understand that questıon 14 ıs about beıng marrıaged or not but how should I respond as an unmarrıed person? I can tıck off two empty fıelds but whıch one?

Fıeld 17 ıs about permanent resıdence ın myown country I suppose?

Also fıeld 18/19/20 ıs about my job... whıch I don't have. (I quıttedmy job last year to travel for a year) What should I do wıth thıs?

Image


Thanks for helpıng :)
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Crazydre
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Re: Abkhazıan Vısa unclear

Post by Crazydre »

The fields that had no English translations, I left blank

In field 17 I just wrote my home address, with the post code, town and country.

In 18 and 20 write N/A and mark N/A in 19
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tatterdemalion
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Re: Q&A: Abkhazia visa & entry clearance letter

Post by tatterdemalion »

Applied for the Entry Permit via new online application.

Received confirmation immediately and the Permit arrived seven calendar days later.

Looks like it's been overhauled and is operational.
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tatterdemalion
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Re: Q&A: Abkhazia visa & entry clearance letter

Post by tatterdemalion »

Further:

Georgian police checkpoint before Abkhazia bridge friendly, only 15 minutes wait, normal questions.

Abkhazia checkpoint:
Must have print out of Entry Permit
There is no visa on arrival
Hand over with passport and wait outside until called, 2-4 hours. Others having to wait outside may be processed quicker or slower.
Once you're through, usual passport scan and questions at top of the hill.
They keep your entrance permit
Mashsrutki at the border finish at 17:00. I hitched to Sukhum in just over an hour but have a feeling I was lucky. Usually 40-50 to Gall, 150-200 Gall-Sukhum, 50 Sukhum-New Athos, 150-200 Sukhum-Pitsunda, 200 Sukhum-Psou. Some charge extra for baggage (printed price or not).

Visa (must be obtained to exit Abkhazia (if you're planning only one or two nights, you will have to make sure that you trip doesn't fall on a weekend)
33 Sakarova
Open MF 9-5 apparently closed 12-1 lunch but was still operating at 12:05
Ground floor, Consular section, if there's a line say "tourist" as you go to walk through the furthest door.
Enter rightmost cubicle stating "tourist"
Official serving me was Lasha
400RUB (<$7) for ten days in cash or card on the spot
Can confirm it's not free for UK citizens as currently stated on wikivoyage.

Exiting back to Georgia
Abhazian checkpoint, normal questions, they keep your visa but will give it to you if you ask for it (5 mins)
Georgian police checkpoint, quick check on the computer is all (1 min)

My booked hotel was dodgy (GUESTHOUSE SOWSOUL, 17 Shotlandskya), and no other place would let me use their WiFi to find another.
Went to police opposite the State Museum, very helpful, shared wifi hotspot.
Cheapest one I could find online was 500 a night quite a distance out of town. One operated a hotel himself and offered a one of their rooms.
His wife offered a delicious dinner, with homemade wine, coffee etc. Eggs, bread and porridge for breakfast.
Would definitely recommend.
He gave me his card (slip of paper) with details and advised me to show it if police were being a problem.
His details:
Dvorik family guesthouse
Спортивная 16 (Sportivnaya 16) not far from the Central Market Рынок/Rinok
Анрик/Anrik +7 940 722 26 77 or +7 940 967 34 84
[email protected]
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Kaufimanius
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Re: Q&A: Abkhazia visa & entry clearance letter

Post by Kaufimanius »

Hello

I wanted to share my experience and how I got refused entry in mid January 2018.

I applied for my entry permit via the electronic application on the 25th of December 2018 . Contrary to what is stated everywhere, I did not get immediate confirmation in my inbox, which I thought was weird. After 10 days of waiting and no answer whatsoever, I had a Russian friend of my call the MFA, but he told me nobody answered. On the 12 of January, I received my entry permit. They must've just taken a long holiday or something, whatever.

On the 17th of January I arrived at Kutaisi airport and immediately took a cab to the border. Georgian guards were friendly and after 20mins they waived me through. So far so good. I arrived at the Abkhazian checkpoint at 11 AM and handed over my passport and entry permit and was told to wait. After 1 hour the guard called me and made a nono-face and pointed at the permit. I asked "What's the problem?" in Russian and let me tell you I have never seen a more relieved face in my life. My Russian isn't the greatest but I was able to understand what the problem was. Apparently they call the MFA to confirm whether you are on some kind of list (сипсок/spisok), and my name was NOT on that list. No name on list, no entry. He offered me to wait and he would call them again after lunch, just to check. He was very friendly and even offered me bottle of water and a Kit-Kat. At 2 PM, he called me again and apologized profusely, but there was no way he'd let me through. I didn't understand what this list was and why I wasn't on it. Then finally it clicked, silly me, he wanted me to bribe him. So I offered money. But to my surprise, he laughed it off and said "нельзя" - no way. Again, he told me I wasn't on the list, some error must have happened in the system and he apologized again and wished me all the best. So I turned around and went to Batumi which was nice, but still, not where I actually wanted to go.

So, entry permit ≠ guaranteed entry.

Edit: Swiss passport
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marten568
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Re: Q&A: Abkhazia visa & entry clearance letter

Post by marten568 »

Does anyone have first hand experience in entering Abkhazia with their own vehicle? I emailed the Ministry of Affairs and they responded with a one line email saying no private vehicles are allowed to cross the Georgia border only public transport.
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steven
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Re: Q&A: Abkhazia visa & entry clearance letter

Post by steven »

marten568 wrote:Does anyone have first hand experience in entering Abkhazia with their own vehicle? I emailed the Ministry of Affairs and they responded with a one line email saying no private vehicles are allowed to cross the Georgia border only public transport.
Well that is clear enough, I think.

Abkhazia is getting a lot stricter on the Georgian side, it was possible before I have read, It looks like a lead-up towards perhaps a full closure on the Georgian side in the near future.
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Re: Q&A: Abkhazia visa & entry clearance letter

Post by Granite2018 »

I applied for my Abkhazian visa through the MFA website in early October 2018 and received it five working days later (applied on a Friday, received the following Friday). I only printed one copy of the visa/invitation letter out and the Russian border guards held onto this when I crossed, so I had to get another copy printed in Sukhum. You can do this in the central market (рынок in Russian). Shortly after you walk into the market, there is a copy shop with an obvious sign featuring Kodak (or similar company). Easier to print two or three off before arriving in Abkhazia.

Google maps is pretty useless in Abkhazia and all the locals use Yandex maps (which I didn't have), so it took a bit of time to find the Repatriation Ministry where you buy the actual visa. You can use the Pingvin Cafe (which is featured on google maps) as your reference point. When you're outside this cafe and your back to the sea, follow the road (land inwards) until you reach a big white building with columns outside (you'll know when you see it).

Hand the visa letter over and pay by cash or card. I paid 400 rubles for my visa, which was for five days. That was on an EU passport.

On a side note, ATMs in Abkhazia do work with foreign cards. I withdrew money with a British bank's Mastercard at a Russian bank in Sukhum. It appeared on my banking app as a withdrawal in Russia.
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