Although a comprehensive visa-free regime was announced in 2016, this has not come into force: most people still need a visa to visit Uzbekistan. Additionally, many nationalities need a letter of invitation from a local tour company before they can apply for their visa at the embassy.
In sum, it means the Uzbek visa generally does not come cheap.
Border crossing warning
Many things that are legal in your country are illegal in Uzbekistan. For important info when entering Uzbekistan, see Uzbekistan border crossings.
At the moment, only citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine have visa-free travel.
History of the visa-free flip-flop
In December 2016, it was announced that the visa-free regime would be expanded starting April 1, 2017. Citizens of Australia, Austria, Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, Finland, Switzerland and Japan could enter the country without a visa for tourism purposes for up to 30 days, it was said.
Citizens aged 55 or over from Belgium, China, Czechia, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, United States and Vietnam would have been able to enter Uzbekistan without a visa for up to 30 days for tourism purposes. Tourists from all 27 countries would have had to pay a $50 entrance fee.
Uzbekistan tourist visa
An Uzbek tourist visa is issued for a maximum of 30 days. If you want to have 30 days, be sure to fill in it as such on your visa application. The visa is date-specific, meaning that entry and exit dates are set on the visa. You can enter after the visa entry date and leave before the exit date.
It is possible to get a double entry visa simply by paying 10$ extra, but this is not a real double entry visa. A double-entry visa is not valid for 30 days. It is actually 2 back-to-back 15-day visas.
The cost for the tourist visa has officially been lowered to 40$ in December 2017, with double entry 10$ extra. Usually, though, prices at embassies tend to be a bit higher. Americans and Israelis pay 120$ to 165$, Japanese go for free.
Apply in one embassy, pick up in another
It is possible to apply for a visa in one embassy, and pick it up in another one, similar to the Turkmen visa. Generally a simple and easy-going process and recommended for people on the go who do not need a LOI (and thus need to wait 1-2 weeks)
It is possible to get a 30-day visa valid within a 60-day timeframe. Ask your consul and say that you are cycling for increased success rates.
Normally you cannot apply more than 3 months in advance for your visa. On many occasions, though, we have heard of travelers getting a visa more than 3 months in advance.
Another exception for exceptional travelers: 2 visas! You will still have to exit the country, but you can get 2 visas at the same time (useful for walkers). For the exceptional price of 500$.
Letter of invitation
Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UK and USA do not need a letter of invitation to apply for their Uzbekistan tourist visa at the embassy. All other nationals need a letter of invitation from a tour company.
If you have a LOI, you can usually get the Uzbek visa the same day or the next day (see embassy reports for details of each embassy). If you do not have a LOI (meaning, if you are from a country that does not need one), it will take much longer. 1 week? 10 days? 2 weeks? It depends on your embassy (again, see below for reports).
For this reason, many travelers who don’t need the letter of invitation decide to get one anyway so as not to get stuck too long if they are applying on the road. It is also possible to apply in one embassy and pick it up in another one – this is another option to avoid long delays. When picking up the visa in the second embassy, you will have to fill out the application form again. Don’t worry, you are not starting the procedure again, you will get your visa the same day. They just need the paper.
There is no e-visa for Uzbekistan. There is, however, an Uzbek E-visa website. You cannot get an e-visa through this website, though.
But the website does have a purpose. You need to fill in your data in the form on the site and print out the form. This print-out you need to take to the embassy of your choice for your visa application.
Uzbekistan visa on arrival
It is possible to get a visa on arrival in Uzbekistan, but only at the airport of Tashkent (perhaps Termez, but not certain). Single or double entry is possible. There are several requirements though.
- You need to have a letter of invitation stating you will get the visa at the airport.
- There is no Uzbek embassy in the country where you are coming from (where your airplane is coming from, not your country of residence)
Also, the info provided to airlines says you need two passport photos, so bring them to ensure you can board the plane to Tashkent.
When entering from a land border into Uzbekistan, visa on arrival is not possible.
If you normally do not need a LOI, you will still need one for the visa on arrival. If you make a small stopover in a country where there is an Uzbek embassy (but not long enough to reasonably get a visa), you can still apply for the visa on arrival.
Basically, once you hold an LOI with a stamp from the MFA saying the visa will be issued in Tashkent, you will be allowed on the plane, and you will not be turned back at Tashkent airport for having departed a country with an Uzbek embassy.
A transit visa for Uzbekistan allows you to stay in the country for maximum 2 times 3 days. No LOI is needed. Besides other documents, to apply you will need a visa for your onward destination (or need to explain you do not need such a visa). You do not need a visa from the country you are coming from.
Application procedure and visa requirements
For your Uzbekistan visa application you will need to go to an Uzbek embassy and bring:
- your passport. You need to have at least 2 empty pages left and 6 months validity after expiry of the visa
- a copy of your passport (you can keep your passport during processing)
- 1 filled-out Uzbekistan visa application form (download and print it from here)
- a letter of invitation if you need one
- 2 passport pictures
For a transit visa, proof of onward travel is needed.
What to fill in on the form
People tend to get confused about the Uzbek application form.
- Inviting party: if you need a LOI, fill in the company who gave you the LOI. If you do not need a LOI, fill in ‘not applicable, a dash or something similar.’
- Accompanied persons: children if you have any traveling with you. If not, ‘not applicable.’
- Address in Uzbekistan: name of a hotel you are staying, or pretend to be staying at. Hotel bookings are not usually checked at the embassy.
- Passport picture: there is no need to upload a picture to the form, you can simply bring a passport picture to the embassy.
Applying and pick-up in different places
It is possible to apply in 1 embassy and pick up your visa in another embassy. Note that you will need to fill out the application again when picking up your visa. Paperwork is the backbone of any stifling dictatorship worth its salt.
Note that the trick did not work for people who wanted to pick up their visa in Bishkek after applying in Almaty.
Registration in Uzbekistan
When travelling in Uzbekistan, you need to be registered by hotels or other licensed places to stay. If you fail to do so, you might have to pay a fine or a bribe. Read all about it: Registration in Uzbekistan.
February 2015: Extending your visa is no longer possible in Uzbekistan, according to one Uzbek travel agent.
Before: You can get an Uzbek visa extension in Uzbekistan, but only once. 1 month is the maximum, although tour companies claim only 2 weeks are possible. The place to go is the OVIR office. A paper from Uzbek tourism may be necessary first, though. We’ve heard of people doing it without Uzbek tourism as well. Some tour companies claim you need an additional letter of invitation from them. As far as we know, this is not true.
Tchehova street 22, Tashkent
Tel.: +998 712 569586 or +998 712 569614
Overstaying & non-tourist purposes
Overstaying your Uzbek visa: please, please don’t do it. When overstaying, you get the choice between being deported, in which case you will be locked up for a few days while waiting for your court case, or paying a 1000$ fine. If you decide to get deported, the agency who sold you your LOI will have to pay the 1000$ fine for you and might have to close its doors. People lose their jobs and livelihoods.
Overstaying without a LOI: we are not that worried, that is your problem alone. In the last report we got (late 2016) the fine paid was 7 million som (after 2 days detention).
Additionally, we know many of you coming in winter have girlfriends in Uzbekistan. Don’t marry them on a tourist visa. You need a private visa for that.
If you have an LOI, you can usually get the Uzbek visa the same day or the next day (see embassy reports for details of each embassy). If you do not have a LOI (meaning, if you are from a country that does not need one), it will take much longer. 1 week? 10 days? 2 weeks? It depends on your embassy (again, see below for reports).
For this reason, many travelers who don’t need the letter of invitation decide to get one anyway so as not to get stuck too long if they are applying on the road. Another option might be, like with the Turkmen visa, to apply in one embassy and pick it up in another one. This is not common, but it might be an option. 2 Czech travelers applied in Istanbul and picked up in Tehran.
Click the tab below to see all embassy reports.