Have you decided to visit beautiful Uzbekistan? Are you charmed by its unique culture and nature? Do you want to taste delicious pilaf, lagman, shurpa or shish kebab? Do you desire to spend a night in a desert on the shore of the blue lake Aidarkul? Or, perhaps, you have decided to follow the Great Silk Way through ancient Uzbek cities – Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva cities? Anyway, you can be faced with the need to obtain an Uzbek visa.
Every year the flow of tourists to Uzbekistan grows. It is explained by the attractiveness of the culture, nature and the relative cheapness of this country. Nevertheless, the year income from the tourism field does not exceed the mark of 2% of the GDP. In February 2018 the president of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirzieev signed the resolution on tourism development in the country. According to this resolution, in Uzbekistan were adopted different measures on its implementation: the system of a double corridor, visas abolition (for several days and for a number of countries), the launch of an electronic entrance visas, a hot line for tourists, tourism police, the abolition of the prohibition to make a photo or a video in the underground and QR-codes installation for all tourist attractions, amongst others.
Who doesn’t need visa to Uzbekistan?
But let us focus more on obtaining a visa to Uzbekistan. According to the president Shavkat Mirzieev’s resolution, the measures on tourism development included visa abolition, but certainly not for all countries. Let us see which ones do not need visas.
The visa free regime for 60 days includes citizens of some post-Soviet countries: Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. The visa-free regime only for 30 days, includes 7 countries – Israel, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and Japan.
As for European countries, there is also a 30-day visa-free regime for citizens of Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary,Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Romania, France, Slovakia, Slovenia,Swiss, Switzerland, Check Republic, Poland, Portugal, Vatican. The visa-free regime applies to the holders of valid diplomatic, service and civil passports of these European countries, regardless of the purpose of their trip. You can find more details on the official website of Uzbek government.
Such visa regime liberalization was carried out according to the resolution on tourism development in Uzbekistan. It bore the following positive results: for the first three quarters of 2018 Uzbekistan was visited by 4,5 million foreigners. Among them 7% pointed tourism as the official purpose of entrance. This rate fully complied with the government’s strategic plan on tourism development.
Electronic visas – great invention of the digital era
Electronic visas are only issued for touristic purposes. It is a comfortable way to get a visa without leaving home. The system of getting electronic visas to Uzbekistan was launched in July 2018. This kind of visa gives the right to stay in Uzbekistan for 30 days. In order to obtain an electronic visa you should fill out an application form (the applicant bears responsibility for the indicated information), attach your photo and a scanned version of the passport, after that you will receive the confirmation of the application via e-mail and pay 20 dollars fee through VISA payment system.
The decision on your visa application will be taken within 3 working days. The electronic visa is sent in a PDF format to the e-mail address of the applicant. It is necessary to print it out – saving it in the mobile phones can be not enough to pass controls at the airport. In a case of refusal, you will receive an appropriate notification at the electronic address, as well. The paid application fee is not given back. Those who are going to apply for the electronic visa can also visit the official e-visa website where there are detailed instructions on obtaining the Uzbekistan electronic visa and where you can apply for it as well.
Immediately after arrival in Uzbekistan (no later than 3 days) all foreigners should pass through the registration procedure which can be done in the official bodies of the country. If a foreign citizen stays in a hotel the registration is carried out by the hotel’s employees. It is made for the whole period of the visa duration. The tourists will be given a registration receipt which is to be kept until the very end of the stay in Uzbekistan; as in a case of the loss of this receipt the foreign citizen will be fined or may face some more serious problems.
The citizens of some countries, such as the USA, China, Persian Gulf countries, Latin America states, some island countries and others (the full list of them you can see on the official Uzbek government web-site page), who are just passing through Uzbekistan, and have some third country as their final destination, still should not miss an excellent opportunity to visit the most beautiful touristic attractions of the country. They can do it by planning their trip in advance for a period of up to 5 days (just such a quantity of time foreign citizens are allowed to be in Uzbekistan if they have a ticket to some third country).
Like in any other country, in the control points of the airports of Uzbekistan also exists the procedure of the luggage and personal belongings inspection. In this country there is no limit to foreign currency: any sum can be brought to, but it is to be officially declared. Exchange of the Uzbek national currency is also permitted, but the total sum should not exceed 272.000 Uzbek sums (approximately 275 dollars). Alcohol and tobacco can only be carried by adults (those who are already 16), for carrying animals and agricultural products (berries, fruit, vegetables, medical drugs) an especial permit is needed.
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