Most travelers to Tajikistan need a visa, although changes might be coming in 2022. An additional GBAO permit (Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast) is necessary for any travel to the Pamirs.
Former Soviet Union countries
Nationals of the following 10 nations are not required to obtain a visa for Tajikistan:
52 other countries
Tajikistan has implemented a 30-day visa-free policy for passport holders of 52 countries, starting January 2022. While at first glance this makes it easier to visit Tajikistan, be aware that you still need to get a GBAO permit separately if you want to visit the Pamirs, either on arrival or in advance. Updates and questions welcome in this forum thread.
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United States of America
Since June 3, 2016, passport holders of 121 countries can apply for an e-visa to Tajikistan (in principle, some nations get refused routinely).
The e-visa is valid at international airports and at land borders.
Price and validity
Price is 50$ for the visa, 20$ for a GBAO permit.
The visa used to be valid for 45 days within a 90-day period from the entry date you fill in. Since March 1st 2020, visa validity has increased to 60 days.
The e-visa is single entry, just like the visa on arrival. The 45 days should fall entirely within the 90 days. You can apply as early as you like.
You don’t have to enter on the first day of entry, you can enter at a later date as well. Similarly, you can leave before the 60 days are up, you do not have to stay until the last day. Your day of entry counts as a full day, even if you arrive at 23.55. Same with your day of exit: counts as a full day.
We haven’t gotten any reports yet about the new 60-day rule, and there are still some unknowns. Let us know about your findings.
We have heard it is possible these days to buy a double entry e-visa. If not, the old recipe is to simply buy 2 single entry visas before entering Tajikistan for the first time, and getting the older e-visa stamped first and the newer e-visa stamped on your second entry.
The site has worked properly for a long time, but in 2019 long delays became common. If you have the time, apply at least a few weeks in advance to avoid delays – see the delays chapter below to check if people have recently reported trouble. Make sure your details are correct when submitting, you cannot submit again without paying first.
At land borders and checkpoints, guards know what an E-visa or e-GBAO permit is. A black and white printout of the e-visa is fine, although it does not look very official and guards have no computers to check the validity of your document. If you have problems with the system not working, send an e-mail message to both [email protected] and [email protected] and send with high priority.
On entry, border guards may or may not stamp your passport. In any case they stamp your entry card. Keep that close to you at all times, the same for your e-visa.
Chinese and Hong Kong travelers are routinely refused for the e-visa. We have also had a report of a Swiss traveler being refused. All experiences and questions are welcome in this forum post.
Application got stuck or delayed
If your application got stuck because of payment issues, you may not be able to apply again because your application is still “in progress” in the system. In that case, you can try first to send an e-mail to the MFA. Try [email protected] first, after that, [email protected] and [email protected]
We have forum threads for
You can also get in touch with a helpful embassy. Bishkek is known to help you quickly get the e-visa, while Tashkent will simply stick a visa in your passport the same day for 75$.
Flying in and getting a visa on arrival is a last resort (that’s not available to all passport holders).
Applying through an agent
If for some reason you cannot apply yourself through the website, or simply prefer to have someone else do it for you, Ivisa takes over the work for an extra 20$.
Most embassies give out visas for 30 and for 45 days (GBAO permit is for 30 days max). Single entry or double entry visa can be requested. A double entry visa is the same price as a single entry visa.
A website different from the e-visa website allows you to apply before picking up your visa at the embassy. This is not for the e-visa, but rather an electronic application for visas that still need to be picked up at the embassy (tourist, business, private, …).
It seems you might also be able to get a visa applied for through this website at the airport on arrival. We welcome your feedback.
Letter of invitation
It has been a long time since invitation letters for Tajikistan where still necessary, but we have recently heard certain embassies are asking for one once again. We cannot provide you with one, but most travel agencies in Tajikistan will be happy to do it for you.
Visa on arrival
After a brief interruption in the summer of 2017, it is possible once again to obtain a visa on arrival in Dushanbe airport. It’s not 100% safe, there is no standard process. But we haven’t heard of serious mishaps. Your experience is welcome in the VOA forum thread.
The VOA is valid for up to 45 days, and eligible nationalities are: All EU/EFTA states, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.
GBAO permits are not available on arrival.
Tajik visa for Chinese / Hong Kong
It is not easy. Chinese travelers get rejected for the e-visa, but we have also heard of Chinese passport holders being rejected at the embassy in Beijing.
We have also heard positive reports of Chinese travelers who did get the E-visa. If you have a Chinese passport, your report is most welcome.
There is also a forum thread for Hongkongers.
For your embassy visa application you will need:
- 1 passport with minimum 6 months validity after expiry of the Tajik visa and 2 empty pages
- passport pictures (1, 2 or 3 depending on the embassy)
- 1 completed Tajikistan visa application form
- photocopy of passport can sometimes be requested.
Registration in Tajikistan
Registration is no longer necessary for travelers on a tourist visa staying up to 45 days. All other visas have to register with the Migration Police (OVIR).
There could be a law stating that you have to register with OVIR in the 3 days after you’ve stayed 45 days. Whether that is correct is hard to say but it seems like the police follows more or less this rule. Some officials (eg. embassy in Bishkek) will say it’s not necessary. You risk to pay a hefty fine or a bribe, or you can get away with it.
OVIR Dushanbe: Mirzo Turzunzade Street 5 Tel. 227 67 22 (no English) Opening hours: 8am-5pm
OVIR in Dushanbe is known to be difficult. Khorog, Khujand, Murghab are perhaps easier.
Visa extension & visa runs
Latest reports indicate that a tourist visa can no longer be extended. You need to get out of the country and get another (e-)visa. As far as we know, there is no limit to the amount of times you can exit and re-enter Tajikistan on visa runs.
Overstaying your visa
Few reports have come in of people overstaying their visa. Exiting via the infamous Kyzylart-Bor Dobo border might turn out the cheapest (but we have no accounts of this being done, this is pure speculation).
Safer would be to go to court in Dushanbe and pay the few hundred dollar fine. According to the most recent law-breaker, the maximum fine is 4000 somoni, but he was fined only $220 in the end.
You will need assistance from your accommodation or embassy to pull this off. The US embassy is regarded as unhelpful, while the British, German, Japanese and French embassies are in better standing. If you are already detained, then the Tajik authorities will walk you through the process.
Ishkashim border market on Tajik visa
It is possible to visit the Saturday border market of Ishkashim (check to see if it’s open) on a Tajik visa. You leave your passport with the Tajik border guards, and walk across a little bridge to get to the market. When you are done, you walk back and pick up your passport. No Afghan visa is required.
Find embassy reports for different cities in the forum threads linked below.