Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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el_pescador
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Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by el_pescador »

I entered Tajikistan today (24/9/2021) via the Samarkand - Panjakent border crossing and wanted to share my experience with you guys :

I took a private taxi from Samarkand to the border checkpoint for 80,000 som. There isn't any public transportation that goes there however there are a few shared taxis that head there every morning from what I hear. The Uzbeks let me out no questions asked and I didn't run into any issues until I reached the Tajik passport control booth. The customs agent told me that foreigners are only permitted to enter the country via the Dushanbe airport and that he would have to ask his boss if they could make an exception for me. I then started speaking with his boss and told him that going back into Uzbekistan would be very inconvenient for me, that I heard reports of other foreigners entering Tajikistan via the same border checkpoint recently, and that I would love to make a "deal" with them. He told me that he was going to do everything in his power to get me permission to cross but had to discuss the matter with a number of people who were higher up than him on the chain of command. I spent around two hours waiting in front of the passport control booth before he came back and said that I was good to go. They never asked me for a bribe. One important thing to note here is that I speak fluent Russian and I spoke to them in Russian. I imagine that someone that speaks neither Tajik nor Russian would have just been denied entry. I was also never asked to present a covid test result.

I got swarmed by a horde of taxi drivers as soon as I left the border control area. They initially wanted to charge me 100 Somoni (8.82 USD) to get to Panjakent but I talked them down to 56 somoni. It turns out that the standard price is only 20 somoni so keep that in mind if you make the same journey.

I'm a US passport holder and had an evisa that I got expedited via Caravanistan's connection. It cost me $70 USD (which is pretty excessive in my opinion) but I got my visa emailed to me six hours after placing my order. Their guy was very responsive but had no established way of accepting payment remotely which I thought was a little odd. I agreed to pay him in cash when I get to Dushanbe.
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frunze
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Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by frunze »

This story is even heart warming. Everyone involved was legitimately concerned in finding a solution for you and pushing the argument to higher and higher levels. You thought, not without reason, that a bribe would be requested but instead they were concerned with and your travel· All of this legally, btw.
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el_pescador
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Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by el_pescador »

For sure. I was super grateful to them.
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stefank
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:16 pm

Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by stefank »

I still haven't recieved my e-visa and I had applied and paid it on september 16th. Should I be worried?
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Boris
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Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by Boris »

stefank wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:37 am
I still haven't recieved my e-visa and I had applied and paid it on september 16th. Should I be worried?
We had the same problem. Had to pay extra $40 to get it done immediately
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matt2matt2002
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Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by matt2matt2002 »

Boris wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 2:56 pm
stefank wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:37 am
I still haven't recieved my e-visa and I had applied and paid it on september 16th. Should I be worried?
We had the same problem. Had to pay extra $40 to get it done immediately
How did you pay the extra $40?
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Boris
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Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by Boris »

matt2matt2002 wrote:
Sun Oct 31, 2021 9:27 pm
Boris wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 2:56 pm
stefank wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:37 am
I still haven't recieved my e-visa and I had applied and paid it on september 16th. Should I be worried?
We had the same problem. Had to pay extra $40 to get it done immediately
How did you pay the extra $40?
we got lucky
our guide in Tajikistan knew someone who could make it faster. So he offered help and we got our visa within an hour or so. And we paid him upon arrival to Tajikistan.
P.S. we paid 30USD not 40
i've his contacts if anyone is interested (PM)
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landcruising
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Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by landcruising »

Google Translate version of this page: http://asiaplustj.info/ru/news/tajikist ... n-52-stran

From January 1, 2022, the Government of Tajikistan introduces a unilateral visa-free regime for citizens of 52 countries of the world to enter the republic.

The period of stay of such persons on the territory of Tajikistan by a government decree is set at 30 days.

The ministries of foreign affairs, internal affairs and the State Committee for National Security of the country were instructed to ensure control over the implementation of the adopted resolution.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan undertakes to notify the relevant countries about the introduction of a unilateral visa-free regime.

Currently, Tajikistan has a bilateral visa-free regime (or with a visa on arrival) from 58 countries of the world.

The reasons for granting such preferences to citizens of certain countries are not specified in the decree.

Most likely, this measure is aimed at increasing the inflow of foreign investment and tourists to the republic. The fact is that the countries on the list, whose citizens will be able to enter Tajikistan without a visa from January 1, are on the list of 78 countries whose citizens are eligible for a Tajik visa in a simplified manner. And the foreign policy department of Tajikistan explains the granting of visas to foreigners in a simplified manner by "an increase in the level of investment and tourism attractiveness of the republic."

The introduction of a unilateral visa-free regime from January 1 applies to citizens of the following countries of the world:

1. Australia
2. United Arab Emirates
3. Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
4. State of Brunei Dorusalam
5. State of Kuwait
6. State of Qatar
7. New Zealand
8. United States of America
9. Iceland
10. Canada
11. Swiss Confederation
12. Malaysia
13 Hungary
14. Republic of Austria
15. Argentine Republic
16. Federal Republic of Germany
17. Dominican Republic
18. Republic of Indonesia
19. Italian Republic
20. Republic of Korea
21. Republic of Cuba
22. Republic of Latvia
23. Republic of Lithuania
24. Maldives
25. Republic of Poland
26. Portuguese Republic
27. Republic of Singapore
28. Turkish Republic
29. Republic of the Philippines
30. Republic of Finland
31. French Republic
32. Republic of Croatia
33. Czech Republic
34. Republic of Chile
35. Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri -Lanka
36. Republic of Ecuador
37. Republic of Estonia
38. Hellenic Republic
39. Principality of Liechtenstein
40. Principality of Monaco
41. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
42. Kingdom of Bahrain
43. Kingdom of Belgium.
44. Kingdom of Denmark
45. Kingdom of Spain
46. ​​Kingdom of the Netherlands
47. Kingdom of Norway
48. Kingdom of Thailand
49. Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
50. Kingdom of Sweden
51. Jamaica
52. Japan

Подробнее: https://asiaplustj-info.translate.goog/ ... tr_pto=nui
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adrdilauro
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Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by adrdilauro »

Tajikistan borders in Ferghana Valley.

I just visited Khujand and the nearby areas, I tried all the borders of the region so I can report.

1. Oybek: they let me cross from Uzb to Taj without even the slightest problem. I don't know whether they did not know about the rule that forces foreigners to enter Taj by flying, or whether the rule has been dropped. The owner of the hotel I stayed in Khujand was surprised that I had been able to cross, he said that a guest from South Korea had been refused entry just two days before me.
I was let in without any question. Nobody asked for any covid test, either.

On the other direction (Taj to Uzb) there seems to be confusion about which covid test is required. The clinic I went in Khujand (clinic Lukmoni Hakim, in Chalovsk, recommended me by the hotel owner) at first said Uzbekistan did not require tests to enter by land. When I insisted, they did a quick RNA test, saying it was the same as PCR. It costed 160 TJS.
At the border, the only covid control was a guy who went chatting randomly with the people in queue, asking whether they had covid certification. I answered yes, and he was satisfied without even looking at the certificate.

2. Kulundu (south from Khujand, to Kyrgyzstan). I didn't go physically there, but the border officer who gave me a ride to Isfara said it's closed for everybody. On the way we passed through a weird neighbourhood (called Histevarz), where the right side of a road belongs to Kyrgyzstan, and the left side belongs to Tajikistan. Cars with Kyrgyz plate use the right side of the road, and cars with Tajik plate use the left side. Most buildings on the Kyrgyz side were bombed down, except for a single fuel station, which had prices in Kyrgyz Soms, that actually proves you can officially jump from a country to another by just crossing the road.

3. Isfara - Batken. I went there and they did not let me pass. It's only open for Kyrgyz citizens, who are forced to use that border if they want to connect to "mainland" Kyrgyzstan from the areas west of Vorukh (that are effectively a big enclave, cut out from the rest of the country due to lack of roads). I think you guys can scratch off, for the time being, both Batken and Kulundu from the list of open land borders of your border map.

4. Patar (Konibodom - Besharik). Due to covid, it's currently open only for Tajik and Uzbek citizens. The situation might change quickly, though, and you might also try bribing somebody, so, if you are in Khujand, I'd say it's worth a try. I did not try to bribe anybody because it's not something I like doing: I just went to the Uzbek side, together with the Tajik officer who had already agreed to let me out of Tajikistan; we asked the Uzbek officer if they would let me in, he didn't know so he made a phone call, and they told him I could only cross at Oybek.

Tajik visa: I obtained it through the "official" channel, I had to wait 24 days.

Accommodation in Khujand: the hostel "Somoni Hostel", mentioned in the wikitravel page, has officially shut down due to covid. However, there is a "standard" gostinica called "Heson" just 50mt from there, and they also have 4-beds dorms at 110 TJS per night. These dorms are not used by tourists, they are more for Tajik people who fly from Tashkent because flights from Dushambe are expensive, and they stay one night in Khujand before crossing at Oybek. If you arrive in town by taxi, remember to mention that the gostinica is "Heson" and not "Ehson" (which is a more expensive one in a different neighbourhood)

Finally, a couple of additions to the (amazing, I have to say) guide pages on Caravanistan:

1. It is true, Khujand museum is stupid, but the stone mosaics downstairs are really beautiful and worth the 15 TJS ticket. They are carved by a contemporary artist.

2. Istaravshan has a beautiful 600 years old madrasah that is not mentioned in the guide, and also a modern (but still beautiful) mosque entirely decorated in grey an pink marble.

Also, in Istaravshan's guide I'd mention the restaurant "Farovon" which is a local institution, very popular among locals. They make great plov, cakes, pomegranate juice, it's a huge restaurant, clean and with modern, comfortable sofas.

Ah also there is a section of Istaravshan bazaar where they sell beautiful, hand carved knives.
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adrdilauro
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Re: Tajikistan Corona travel restrictions / e-visa issues Q&A

Post by adrdilauro »

Hey, I just saw that the Istaravshan page now mentions the madrasah. I don't know whether It was added recently, or whether I just didn't notice it before, because I was looking at the page from mobile with low internet connection. If it did mention it before, apologies for flagging it.

I just read the section about hotels in Istaravshan. I can mention that there is a new super-shiny-looking hotel just on the side of the Kal'ai Mug Tepe, this is the link to google maps:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/%D0%9 ... 69.0087824

From the outside, its quality looks high enough for western standards

Also, the pink-gray marble mosque I was mentioning is called "Muhamad Iqbal", it's just 100mt north from Kuk-Gumbas Madrasah. The complex of Muhamad Iqbal mosque includes the new mosque (beautifully covered in pink-grey marble) and the old mosque (with the typical, beautiful wooden roof of mosques in this region, carved and covered in colours)
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