Getting a visa for Uzbekistan is pretty easy these days, as little paperwork is required. If you are from one of the countries which need a Letter of Invitation (LOI), the only challenge would be getting one but there are a few agencies which will be happy to help you for just a little money.
Which countries don’t need a Letter of Invitation for the Uzbek visa?
Update February 2018!
The list of countries which don’t need a Letter of Invitation have gone from 15 to 51 countries!
These are the lucky countries which don’t need a LOI when applying for an Uzbekistan tourist visa:
Important! For these nationalities, a LOI is not mandatory but, if you do get one, you can collect your visa on the same day you apply for it at the embassy. Otherwise, the visa processing takes between 5 and 8 working days. If you are short on time, do get a LOI in advance.
And which countries do get a visa-free for Uzbekistan?
Again, since February 2018, the list has increased!
How to get a Letter of Invitation for an Uzbekistan travel visa?
If you are not on the lucky list, you’ll have to get a LOI through an agency or hotel.
I strongly recommend getting it through Tashkent Top Chan Hostel. Why? Basically, because there’s no other agency where you can get it cheaper. They charge $42 and it takes 8 working days to proceed, or 4 working days, if you pay an extra $10 fee.
Just email them at [email protected] and follow their instructions. They are quite responsive and efficient.
Note: Officially, the hotel reservation is not mandatory but, at the embassy, they did ask me for it. I didn’t have one but, after a long discussion, they accepted my application. If you want to avoid any trouble, I recommend bringing your hotel booking.
What are the Uzbekistan tourist visa requirements?
When you go to the embassy, you will need the following requirements:
- A passport valid for 6 months
- A copy of your passport
- 2 passport photos
- Uzbekistan visa application form, which needs to be filled in online and printed. You can find it here
- Your LOI (if applicable)
- Hotel booking confirmation, as mentioned above
Uzbekistan visa fee
For most citizens, the Uzbekistan travel visa fee is $75 (plus an extra $10 for double entry), except for USA and Israelis, who pay around $150.
You pay for your visa, in cash, when you collect it at the embassy.
Getting an Uzbekistan visa at the Embassy in Dushanbe
Since I was traveling in Tajikistan, I got my visa in Dushanbe. Here’s what you should know:
When you get at the embassy, you will meet tens of locals waiting outside, in front of a guard. You should tell the guards that you have come to apply for a tourist visa, so you will have preference over the locals. No need to say that the earlier you go, the better.
Once you are inside and it’s your turn, you just hand over your documents and that’s it. If you don’t have a LOI, he will tell you to come back after 5-8 working days. If you do have a LOI, you can get the visa in approximately 20 minutes.
By the way, you should be able to keep your passport.
Important! The day before I applied, in my hostel, there was a lady from the USA who was not allowed to apply for her Uzbek visa because she didn’t have a LOI. She insisted that USA passport holders don’t need a LOI, but the guy said that each embassy has its own rules. Apparently, they had a very long discussion, but the poor lady had no chance. However, I went to the embassy on the next day, talked to the same guy and they accepted my application. How weird, right? When I went back to the hostel and talked to the American lady, she came to the conclusion that the guy doesn’t like people from the USA.
Uzbek Embassy timings – For applications, the embassy is opened from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 12:30pm.
Where is the Uzbek embassy and how to get there? – The embassy is located next to the Medical University, just off the Rudaki Avenue, which is the main street of the city. To get there, from anywhere in Rudaki Avenue, take the bus nº3 (1TJS) or the shared taxi nº3 (3TJS).
Where to stay in Dushanbe
Backpacker Hostel – Yeti Hostel – I spent 10 days here and the truth is that this is one of the most comfortable hostels I’ve been to. Super comfy beds, a big kitchen and a living room with awesome couches, Yeti Hostel is one of those places where you can stay for a long time.
Backpacker Hostel – Green House – Located right next to Yeti Hostel, Green House is very similar to Yeti, with the difference that this one is always busier as it is more famous and older. I recommend Yeti Hostel just because it’s less busy.
Guest House – Hello Dushanbe – If you want a less backpacker-friendly place, Hello Dushanbe may be slightly more expensive but the facilities are great. Mostly, it has double rooms but also one budget dorm. If I ever come back to Dushanbe, I would stay here.
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