From Georgia to Kazakhstan through Iran or Russia? Questions

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ustrasse
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:44 pm

From Georgia to Kazakhstan through Iran or Russia? Questions

Post by ustrasse »

Hey folks, first post and I hope it's in the right place.

My husband and I are currently driving from Germany to China, and we have just arrived in Istanbul. We are considering travelling from Turkey to either Georgia->Russia (transit)->Kazakhstan, OR Georgia->Armenia->Iran->Turkmenistan->Uzbekistan->Kazakhstan.

Obviously the second way is more interesting! He is German and I am an Iranian-American (born in USA, only been to Iran once), and we have been able to secure him a visa for Iran. The tricky part here is Uzbekistan tourist and Turkmenistan transit visa. According to my understanding, the Iranian and Uzbekistan visa must be in the same passport to get a Turkmenistan transit visa. We have yet to apply for either, and while it seems relatively painless for German citizens, Iranians need a LOI for Uzbekistan, which takes some time. I've emailed Stantours about the LOI and they instead recommended we shell out for a tourist visa for both TM and UZ, and I put them in my American passport (and he said it's ok to switch passports at the border..) :(

Any idea how easy it is/long it takes for an Iranian passport holder to get a tourist visa to Uzbekistan (in Tehran)? And is there any recent information about how long it takes to get a Turkmenistan transit visa when applying in Tehran and picking up in Mashad? Is it a better idea to do everything in the USA passport?

Separate question: We have no Carnet for our vehicle... does anyone have any experience buying some insurance/paying someone at the border in Iran? We've found some information but it's all a few years old.

Last question :mrgreen: : If the southern route around the Caspian sea turns out to be too expensive/risky for an "Iranian" woman with a foreign guy, we're looking at heading through Russia instead. Now that Kazakhstan is temporarily visa free for USA/German citizens, has the process for requesting a Russian transit visa changed? Does anyone know if it is possible to apply for this transit visa here in Turkey, or any country nearby, even though we are not residents?

Apologies for my naivety, looking forward to getting some advice :)
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steven
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Re: From Georgia to Kazakhstan through Iran or Russia? Quest

Post by steven »

Re Uzbek visa in Iran

Embassy of Uzbekistan in Tehran
Opening hours 9-11 from Sunday to Thursday, best to get there before 9 to be at the front of the queue.
Go to metro Gheytarieh, out of the station call a savari and say Pasdaran, at the huge crossing after 10 min get down and pay 1000 toman, then go up the main road other 10 min to the north and look for a small parking-like square where is a white building. Not far from the Chinese embassy
Application form printed twice , 2 photos, photocopy of passport and LOI if you have one. According to one traveler, the embassy staff don’t mind if you change the dates of entry and exit when you come to pick up your visa, as long as it’s within the validity period of your LOI.
April 2014: No need for a letter of your embassy if you have an LOI. If you don’t have an LOI, you will need a letter from your embassy.
December 2013: With LOI on the spot, without LOI 8 working days urgent, 15 working days normal service.

see https://caravanistan.com/visa/uzbekistan/

If you have space, everything in 1 passport is better. Just don't know how officials in Iran will react to a US passport (ie shouldnt you be on a tour?)

Re Turkmen transit visa in Tehran pick up in Mashad

If you want to start and finish the application process in Tehran, count on 10 days. Most people move on and get it in Mashad. A 2014 embassy report can be found here.

from https://caravanistan.com/visa/turkmenistan/

Driving in Iran - https://caravanistan.com/transport/driving/iran/

Re driving Georgia to Russia -https://caravanistan.com/border-crossings/georgia/ and https://caravanistan.com/transport/driving/georgia/

Should be possible to go the southern way without spending too much. Otherwise a small tour of a few days in Turkmenistan is also not too expensive. Far preferred above the direct route AZ -RU - KAZ or even directer with the boat AZ-KAZ. You spend the same amount of money on the ferry that you do on the tour in Turkmenistan.

Then again, driving in TM is also not so cheap, see https://caravanistan.com/transport/driv ... kmenistan/
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ustrasse
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:44 pm

Re: From Georgia to Kazakhstan through Iran or Russia? Quest

Post by ustrasse »

Hey, thank you so much for this reply! I didn't receive any email notification so I thought everyone just ignored it. :)

We've decided now to go for the Uzbekistan visa in Ankara without LOI (praying that if I submit my USA passport together on the same application with my dude's German one, they might speed up the process a bit), then we will try to apply for Turkmenistan transit visas in Iran. If they won't give me one in my USA passport I guess I'll have to fly out and meet him in UZ.... (ugh)

Thanks for all the info! I guess if anything interesting happens I'll keep you posted.
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Re: From Georgia to Kazakhstan through Iran or Russia? Quest

Post by steven »

Please do. Good luck! 8-)
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jill
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Re: From Georgia to Kazakhstan through Iran or Russia? Quest

Post by jill »

Hi there, we are South Africans and drove London, Turkey,Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzb, Kyrgyzstan to China last year, there was no way round the Carnet and obtained that from the ADAC- the German Automobile association - they were incredibly efficient.
we did not meet up with any other travelers in their own cars in Iran. it was of the most wonderful countries we have ever been to. you are more than welcome to write to me if you would like through the forum (admin edit - no email!) you will have a wonderful trip!!! The stans were wonderful.
now we are looking at driving through Kazakstan and to Moscow... if we can:)
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ustrasse
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Re: From Georgia to Kazakhstan through Iran or Russia? Quest

Post by ustrasse »

Hi Jill,

We have actually completed our journey from Germany to the Stans by car and had a fantastic time (and came out with only three parking tickets and one speeding "ticket"--hope that Uzbeki cop enjoyed the money he swindled out of us!!), and are currently in Bishkek to sell our car.

We were able to organise Carnet-free entry into Iran without a problem using a private service run by Overland to Iran. Very smooth and MUCH cheaper than a Carnet! We saw a French family with their own car in Iran right before the border to Turkmenistan, but were racing to the border so didn't stop to say hello.

Now we're looking forward to the new challenge of exploring Kyrgyzstan and the rest of Kazakhstan by public transport before heading into China. Will be sad to say goodbye to the car, though.
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jill
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Re: From Georgia to Kazakhstan through Iran or Russia? Quest

Post by jill »

This is wonderful , so glad you having such a good time! Can I ask you, the company Overland who helped you organize a carnet free entry, where does one contact them? I am glad it worked for you. Another couple tried and ended up not going as they were stopped at the border. It is different for everyone I think. Good luck for rest of journey!
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ustrasse
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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:44 pm

Re: From Georgia to Kazakhstan through Iran or Russia? Quest

Post by ustrasse »

I contacted Hossein via his website (http://www.overlandtoiran.com/). He's often online on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HosseinsGuestHouse) so you can contact him there as well. :)
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