In order to enter Uzbekistan you need to apply in advance for a Visa, unless you come from the following countries.
Visa on arrival is only viable at the airport and just if your home country has not diplomatic delegations in its territory
Conversely, the best solution would be to request it in your home country, facing fewer problems and reducing waiting time on the road. However, if you are travelling overland on the Silk Road, you don’t know beforehand when you will exactly cross the border, information needed in the application form. This is why we decided to leave it for the last possible moment, once the timeline would be a bit clearer.
You can apply for 7, 15 or 30 days Visa, with one or multiple entries.
You can find the complete Visa fares here. In doubt, we went for the longest allowed period, 30 days, which is only a bit more expensive than the shorter stays.
♦ Uzbekistan Consulate in TEHERAN:
The Uzbekistan consulate in Teheran is located in the Northern side a bit far away from the city centre and the closest metro station (Nobonyad). The exact address is:
N10, Park 4 Dead End – Telephone: (021)222 915 19 or 021 222 99 780 – GPS N35 48.267 E51 28.534:
Note that in Teheran you have both the Uzbekistan embassy and consulate. Only the latter is in charge of Visas. So ensure you don’t get confused with addresses !
The regular opening hours of the consulate are: Sunday to Wednesday from 9 am until 11 am and Thursday from 9 am to 10.30 am.
The building is located at the end of a cul-de-sac alley. You will distinguish the typical sentry box for the diplomatic police, who will inquire about your nationality and business. Normally, if you are European, you should receive some priority by the police. Otherwise, you have to write your name on waiting list written on a paper hung at the street gate.
For us, every time we went there it was always quite fast and painless. The office is located on the first floor, barricaded behind a barred, untraspassable door, through which a blond woman (in 2016) inquires newcomers at regular intervals.
Don’t expect too much ceremony: the first time you go there, they immediately ask you whether you have a LOI (letter of invitation) or at least a recommendation letter from your embassy, should you come from Italy, Spain or one of the following countries no needing LOI. In case you don’t have any of them, you are rejected.
That was quite strange for us, because on the official website there is absolutely no mention of this requirement. Anyway, we had to abide by the request and reach our respective embassies (or consulates).
- For Italy, the consulate is situated in:
Mandela-Street, 11 – Teheran
- For Spain, you should go to the embassy in:
Corner of West Asadi Shadi S &. Shahrzad Darous، Iran
Nevertheless, don’t bother to go to Spanish embassy, as they are currently denying any support for the Central Asia “stans” (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) apart from Kazakhstan.
Try to check anyway with them, in case the situation has meanwhile changed. In 2016, since it was impossible to get the recommendation letter from the embassy, the only possibility in Iran for Spaniards was through an expensive and time-consuming LOI to be asked to a travel agency (you can find some options online), which we discarded. For Italy all fine instead !
Once you have your recommendation letter or LOI, you can go back to the consulate for the application.
You will also need to attach:
- The application form duly completed online, printed out in 2 copies
- 2 passport-type pictures
- 1 copy of the main page of the passport (black and white is ok)
- Your passport for verification (you keep it during the all the process though)
The regular waiting time without LOI (with only the recommendation letter from the embassy) is 8 – 10 days. With LOI, it should be faster.
Therefore, we had to go back a third time after 10 days to pick the Visa up (just for Italy unfortunately). The procedure this time was quick and smooth. You can even change your entry date at this point, in case you need. Remember to bring your passport. They then print out your Visa (we had to wait no longer than 15-20 minutes) and ask for payment, 75 US Dollars. No other currencies accepted. Thus make sure you have them with you. Change is given in dollars too.
Voilà! You can smile with the Uzbekistan Visa in your hands!
♦ Uzbekistan Consulate in BAKU:
An easier way for Spaniards (and maybe other nationalities) to get the Uzbekistan Visa is in Baku, Azerbaijan. There, if you come from one of the exempted countries (e.g. Spain), you don’t need any recommendation letter from your embassy.
Just the following documentation:
- The application form duly completed online and printed out.
- 1 passport-type picture
- 1 copy of the main page of the passport (black and white is ok). In our case, it was not needed as the consul arranged one by himself.
- Your passport for verification (you keep it during the all the process though).
A LOI (letter of invitation) is needed for the rest of the countries. Even for the exempted countries, it might be useful to get the Visa faster, even on the same day. Nonetheless, it is expensive and long to be obtained (normally 7 – 10 days at least). If you can, then, try to avoid it.
The waiting time without LOI was for us exactly 7 calendar days, from Friday to Friday
The consulate is open from 10 to 12 and 15.30 to 17, from Monday to Friday.
The exact location is:
Badamdar şossesi, 1st highway, 9th lane, 437, Baku, Azerbaijan
40.3513°N / 49.80493°E
Going there by public transport is possible: take bus number 31 (it costs 20 q) from Seyk Samil Kuc or a red bus number 5 from Elmlar Metro station (you can pay only with a prepaid card, which can be purchased at metro stations or some bus stops and used indistinctly for both transports) and get off at Badamdar şossesi. The consulate street is just behind the bus stop, where you will see a fruit and vegetables shop, just before a blue CitiMart supermarket sign. From the beginning of the street, you will have to walk only 5 minutes.
Generally there are no long queues outside. Police keeps the order and priority. Inside you will be received by the consul in person, a friendly old man trying to help you in English.
The only disadvantage in Baku is the payment for the Visa.
Since you are not allowed to hand the cash directly at the consulate, you have to go to a specific, affiliated bank, International Bank of Azerbaijan, located in 67, Nizami Street:
Open from 9 30 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. The address is reported in a small note the consul will give to you at your first appearance there. However, the place where you have to go to pay is not the bank itself, but an “anonymous” building next door on the left. You will first have to show up with the consul’s paper to a reception in the entrance hall, where they will point you towards the rear side desks. There, an employee will take your personal details and hand you an official payment paper, which you have to show to another desk opposite side. After waiting some minutes for the responsible, we could finally make the payment. Keep the receipt for the consulate !
To sum up, the complete timeline to get the Uzbekistan Visa in Baku is:
- Apply with all relevant documentation at the consulate.
- Wait a few days (4-5 maybe).
- Dial the consulate phone number (+994124972549 or +994124972552) to inquire if the Visa is ready. They speak decent English. Wait for confirmation.
- Once confirmed, go to pay to the bank. The Visa fee is 75 $ for 30 days stay. Only dollars are accepted. Change is given in dollars too.
- With the payment receipt, head for the consulate (after 7 days for us).
- In few moments you have your Visa!
In short, Baku is better than Teheran because it’s slightly quicker (7 days against 8-10) and hassle-free for the recommendation letter from the embassy. However, the payment system there may turn out to be a bit time consuming.
Please tell us about your experience in getting the Uzbekistan Visa in Iran, Azerbaijan or other cities.
Thanks a lot ! : )