Welcome to Uzbekistan, the land of extraordinary hospitality and friendliness!
However, in order to make your arrival and stay in, and departure from, the country, please read carefully the guidelines below and follow them meticulously, step by step.
Uzbekistan is opening up to the external world really fast, and many nations can enjoy a special e-visa and visa-upon-arrival regime.
However, for those coming for APTLD74 the Government of Uzbekistan has foreseen a special regime, which, if followed in every detail, should facilitate your entry to the country enormously, making YOU a real VIP.
Your special guest e-visa (visa-upon-arrival) will be ready for you if no later than 15 April 2018 you submit to UZINFOСOM the following documents:
- Scanned copy of your travel passport (better a color one);
- Scanned copy of the completed and signed e-visa application (see www. evisa.mfa.uz)
- Scanned photo
- A reference letter from the employer (on the official letterhead)
Upon receipt of your documents UZINFOCOM will promptly seek clearance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan (MoFA), which takes some time, after which you will have the so-called Confirmation Letter which you should have at hand in hard copy to obtain your visa right in the airport. Please note that under this procedure, the Government of Uzbekistan will cover the consular fees (told you, you are a VIP J), and you will have to pay just for your visa.
Once in the airport, you should have the following documents at hand:
- A hard copy of the Confirmation Letter from MoFA
- The passport (the one you put in your visa application)
- A hard copy of your e-application for visa
- USD 40-50 in hard cash (bank notes), if you are staying in the country for some 5-7 days (sorry, no cards are accepted)
Please note that if you fail to submit your documents on time, it would be
nearly impossible to arrange your special visa, so waste no time –remember,
you will not lose a penny at that early stage.
As well, Uzbekistan has special visa arrangements with individual nations, as follows:
- 1. Visa- waiver regime for residents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine, as well as Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan.
- A simplified regime for residents of Austria, Belgium, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Thailand, France. Czech Republic and Switzerland: they can apply for visas at the Uzbekistani Embassies in their respective countries without any supporting documents and can get their visas within 3 business days.
- Holders of Taiwanese passports should contact GM for detailed
instructions as to how to enter Uzbekistan
Now, half-way to Uzbekistan, it is time to pick a ticket to go there. You will be surprised, but there many airlines flying to the capital city of Tashkent, including:
- Turkish Airlines
- Air Astana
- Malaysia Airlines
- Korean Air
- Asiana Airlines flights
Also, the national flagship carrier Uzbekistan Airlines flies to and from
Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Kuala
Lumpur and Singapore and trust us, this is a truly first-class service! See
their winter schedule 2018.
Travel: Islam Karimov International Airport/Arrivals
OK, you are en route to Tashkent, what about the airport? Well, we have good news and…more good news for you.
The airport is fairly clean and easy to navigate, for one. Thanks to our host, in the airport, you will see the APTLD74 Help Desk, and its English- speaking staff will help you out with passing through the passport control (might be a slight queue to try, which is not a big challenge) and customs formalities.
Effective 1 January 2018, once can enter Uzbekistan with up hard currency equivalent of up to USD2,000 in cash without filling out a customs declaration and pick the “Green” channel in the airport. One cal levae the country having up hard currency in an amount of USD5,000 in cash
However, if you are going to enter the country with more than USD2,000 in cash, while still flying, you will be given customs declarations, which you must fill out in TWO copies, like this:
TO BE FILLED IN TWO COPIES
Having passed the passport control area, you will find the baggage carrousels area, which is quite tight and not that comfortable, but manageable. Having got your baggage, be prepared to show your baggage tag to the airport staff for verification and then go to the customs area. There, you should produce those TWO copies of your customs declaration, and the customs officer will take one and leave the other for you, stamped. DO NOT throw it away, but keep and treasure it, or you are in trouble on your way out of the country!
With your baggage in your hand and the customs declaration folded and kept by your heart, you have exited the airport building. There, you will find more English-speaking staff to help you with an airport transfer (though we recommend you book one from the hotel). Remember, no-one is allowed in the airport but passengers, so do not get surprised at seeing kinda scene from the Walking Dead, with a crowd anxiously awaiting passengers behind the fence some 50 meters away from the airport. Naturally, there will be many hawks there, but adventurous and brave as you are, you can haggle and get a car for just USD10. If you take a hawk, do not get surprised at the car (which can be old), driver (who can smoke and have no command in English), and do not tell later we have not warned you!
In the car, you can exhale and enjoy a short (some 20 min) ride to the downtown hotel. (see the list of recommended hotels)
While checking in, the receptionist will fill out and give you a
Registration Form like this:
DO NOT throw it away or lose it because you will have to get it stamped again while checking out and then to show it in the airport again! Make sure
Travel: Departure from Uzbekistan
So, this sad day has come and you gotta hit the road. Check out the Customs Declaration (remember the copy you have kept since your arrival?), make sure the receptionist at the hotel stamped your Registration Form and….bingo, you got it! Print out your boarding pass and forget all this I- have-it-in-my-cell-phone/e-boarding-pass nonsense. Why? Hm-m-m, the answer will be, Because! Because you will have trouble entering the airport building; because you may have trouble checking you baggage and getting through the customs; because…look, just be sweet and print out that damn piece of paper, for God’s sake, will you?!
While in the airport, please check in for your flight and check in your baggage, and, if you have more than USD5,000 in cash, fill out yet another Customs Declaration (yes, in addition to the one you have in your pocket! It will be considered your DEPARTURE Customs Declaration) and put your carry-ons in the X-ray machine. LIFEHACK: DO NOT leave any coins in your X-rayed stuff, or you will get questions (the officer might think you have antique coins you are smuggling out of the country, so you will have to prove they are nothing like that and lose a lot of your time); then you have BOTH Customs Declarations checked (God forbid your DEPARTURE Declaration displays a bigger amount of hard currency than your Entry Declaration – you will have another myriad of questions at best or face an on-spot interrogation/investigation at worst).
Then you go through the passport control (quite fast), then another X-Ray machine for your belongings (including shoes), and you can now exhale and go straight to the duty free area (LIFEHACK: Uzbek vodka and brandy are quite good and fairly cheap there; there also is a bar area and a couple of coffee and fast food outlets).That is basically it, and below, please find below more important information for you, put in the alphabetical order for your greater convenience)
Antique items, including books, stamps, and notes and coins: we strongly recommend you DO NOT buy anything older than 50 years; if you do, demand a certificate for the customs (good vendors know it and will be happy to produce one for you), for as we said, it is strictly prohibited to get any antiques out of the country
Currency (exchange): the currency is Som and currently 1 USD~8,100 Soms. Som is traded freely these days, and no passport is required to exchange your money. Be mindful though that the country is still pretty cheap, so do not change much at once.
Embassies: see for your country’s Embassy
Health: generally, the city enjoys pretty decent sanitary conditions. If unhealthy or in ineed for medical assistance, note that medical and dental care is available in several government and private hospitals and clinics, though the quality of services can be suspect. Pharmacies are common throughout Tashkent but hardly have English –speaking staff. In all cities of Uzbekistan except the capital, Tashkent, regular ambulance service can be reached by dialing 03. When dialing from mobile phones, please dial 03 or 103. In Tashkent city, the number for regular ambulance service is 103. It looks like in Tashkent, the International Medical Clinic is a place to report.
Language: Uzbek and Russian are widely spoken in Tashkent, and some youth can speak some English
Public transportation: see about.
Safety: Tashkent is a VERY safe city and one can stroll around freely and undisturbed.
Souvenirs: pottery, wood carving, rugs, traditional clothes, paintings, spices – there is a plethora of things to buy in the country, but be mindful of really old stuff (see Antiquities above)
Taxi: for taxi, check at your local hotel. Also, on the street, you can hail for any car, as many residents moonlight as cabbies. Short distance rides would be very cheap USD 1-5, but better check out official yellow cabs with chequered signs on the door – still fairly cheap, they provide a far better and more reliable service.
Voltage and sockets: see. Note that adapters will unlikely to be available on the spot, so better arrange them prior to leaving for the country
Weather: Generally, it is great in late-September, with very few rains, plenty of sunshine and temperatures between 22 to 30 Celsius. The climate is very dry, so you will feel really comfortable at all times. It can be slightly cooler at night, so a light sweater or coat would be just fine.
Zombies: According to Stephen King, Uzbekistan officially is a zombie-free country, so travel safely (we are kidding about zombies, of course ☻, but no kiddin’ about safety of your travels (see above)), and we put the word “zombie” here because nothing else starting with letter “Z” popped up in our mind to conclude this document, sorry.