UzbekistanOfficial Name: Republic of Uzbekistan
Must be valid at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Special permissions needed
Embassies and Consulates
#3, Moyqorghon Street
5th Block, Yunusobod District
Republic of Uzbekistan
Telephone: +(998) (71) 120-5450
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(998) (71) 120-5450
Fax: +(998) (71) 120-5448
Since becoming an independent republic in 1991, Uzbekistan has been undergoing significant economic and social change. Much of the country, particularly areas outside of Tashkent and the major tourist destinations of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, is remote and difficult to access. Tourist facilities in these areas are typically below international standards, and many goods and services remain difficult to find on a regular basis. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Uzbekistan for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
A passport and visa are required. All travelers, even those simply transiting Uzbekistan, must obtain an Uzbek visa before traveling to Uzbekistan. Visas are issued by Uzbek embassies and consulates abroad. Visitors coming from countries where Uzbekistan does not have diplomatic or consular representation should obtain visas in a third country. Visas are not available upon arrival at Uzbek airports. U.S. citizens seeking visas are encouraged to apply for their visas well in advance of their travel.
Visas for Travel to Uzbekistan
Visit the webpage of the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the United States for the most current visa information.
Visitors may apply for two types of visa:
- Tourist visas: Visitors who intend to stay at hotels should apply for Tourist (“T”) visas. Such visitors are required to stay at hotels and may not legally stay at private residences. Hotels are responsible for registering their “T” guests with the Office of Entry, Exit and Citizenship Issues, commonly known as OVIR, and will ask guests to turn over their passports, , so hotel staff can perform this task. Tourist visas cannot be extended in Uzbekistan.
- Private visitor visas: Visitors who intend to stay at private residences (e.g. with friends or family) should apply for Private Visitor (“PV”) visas. Official invitation letters are required in order to apply for a PV visa. PV visa holders are responsible for registering themselves at OVIR offices within three days of arrival in country. PV visa holders who stay at multiple residences are responsible for re-registering each time they move to another private residence. PV visa holders, once initially registered with OVIR, are permitted also to stay at hotels, which will complete registration for the hotel stay as described above. This typically occurs if a foreign visitor wishes to combine a home stay with friends or relatives with excursions to tourist destinations.
The application process differs for tourist and private visitor visas. To obtain a tourist visa, the applicant must apply for a visa at an Uzbek Embassy or Consulate by filling out the required application form and providing the information requested. To obtain a private visitor visa, the applicant must follow the same steps as for a tourist visa but also arrange for an inviting party to file an official invitation letter in Uzbekistan via the Office of Entry, Exit and Citizenship under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The inviting party should obtain approval and then send the approved letter to the U.S. citizen. This approved invitation letter then must be included with the application for a visa to Uzbekistan to indicate the applicant’s intent to travel as a private visitor, rather than as a tourist.
It is important to note that Uzbek visas not only indicate the validity of the visa, but also the period of time a person is allowed to stay in Uzbekistan on a given trip. A visitor will have to leave the country before the number of days indicated as the duration of stay on the visa expires. Therefore, it is important to indicate your intended period of stay when applying for your Uzbek visa.
Registering your Temporary Residence in Uzbekistan
All travelers present in Uzbekistan for more than three business days must register with the Office of Entry, Exit, and Citizenship of the district or city in which they are staying. All foreign nationals are required to obtain valid registration by their third day in Uzbekistan (excluding Sundays and national holidays). Please note that the three-day grace period does not apply to tourist visa holders, who must register at a hotel as soon as they arrive in Uzbekistan. Therefore, it is important to apply for this registration as early as possible upon arrival in the country to avoid a fine and other penalties. Registration fees vary depending on length of stay, ranging from $20 for a one-month stay to $200 for a stay of up to a year. Visitors without proper registration are subject to fines, imprisonment, and deportation. The fines range from US $1,000 to $12,000.
Border Crossings and Customs in Uzbekistan
Many of Uzbekistan’s land border crossings are restricted to use by nationals of the two bordering states. Land crossings by U.S. citizens and other third country nationals are often restricted to specific border posts. U.S. citizen travelers planning an overland border crossing are advised to ensure that they will be crossing at an authorized point. Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan for the most updated information.
The Uzbek government tightly controls all official border crossings. Travel within Uzbekistan by rail or land sometimes requires brief exit into neighboring countries. Travelers therefore should consider obtaining multiple-entry Uzbek visas as well as proper visas for the neighboring countries.
Foreigners must complete a customs declaration in duplicate upon entering Uzbekistan through an airport or overland crossing. Customs officials will review and stamp both copies. One will be retained by the Customs Authority; the other is to be kept by the traveler and presented at the time of departure from Uzbekistan. The amount of cash taken out of Uzbekistan should not exceed the amount indicated on the customs declaration as having been brought in. In order to export more cash than was imported, one must obtain special permission from the National Bank of Uzbekistan. Those who understate the amount of currency on their declaration form upon departure from Uzbekistan face fines and confiscation of their unreported money.
For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Uzbekistan.
Visitors staying more than 15 days must be tested. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Uzbekistan before you travel.
Safety and Security
The Department of State advises U.S. citizens that the potential for a terrorist attack or localized civil disturbance still exists in Uzbekistan. Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are active in the Central Asian region. Members of these groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and have attacked U.S. government interests in the past. They may attempt to target U.S. government or private U.S. citizen interests in Uzbekistan. In the past, these groups have conducted kidnappings, assassinations, and suicide bombings.
Uzbek authorities maintain a high level of alert and aggressive security measures to thwart terrorist attacks. High security at official facilities may lead terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer targets. These may include facilities where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events, and resorts. The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent continues to employ heightened security precautions. U.S. citizens should report any unusual activity to local authorities and then inform the Embassy.
Depending upon security conditions, travelers may experience restricted personal movement, including the closing of roads to traffic in addition to frequent document, vehicle, and personal identification checks. The Uzbek government has intermittently restricted travel to certain parts of the country in response to security concerns.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan on Twitter and visiting the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: The rate of violent crime in Uzbekistan, including against foreigners, has increased in recent years. In urban areas, travelers are urged to take the same precautions against crime that they would take in a large U.S. city. If you are traveling at night, try to stay in well-lighted areas, please travel in groups, maintain a low profile, and do not display large amounts of cash. Beware of pickpockets in public places, such as tourist destinations and local markets.
Although using private cars as taxicabs is a common practice in Uzbekistan, U.S. citizens, especially women, should not consider this a safe practice. U.S. citizens are encouraged to use clearly marked taxicabs, such as those at hotels and should avoid riding in taxis alone.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are they illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in most areas of Uzbekistan is 01 for fire; 02 for police; 03 for an ambulance; and 050 for the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Please note that in Tashkent city these numbers are 101, 102, 103 and 1050 respectively.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in UZBEKISTAN, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Uzbekistan, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going. Persons violating Uzbekistan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Uzbekistan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Taking photographs of military or security installations or other locations of strategic significance (ministries, border and other checkpoints, bridges, tunnels, reservoirs, mountain passes, subway system, etc.) is prohibited in Uzbekistan. Uzbek authorities enforce these regulations quite strictly. Obey all signs restricting photography and be mindful that the absence of such a sign may not mean that you can take a picture.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Travelers to Uzbekistan are subject to frequent document inspections. Therefore, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to carry their U.S. passports with their Uzbek visas, or certified copies, with them at all times so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.
Diplomatic missions of Uzbekistan refuse to issue visas to a U.S. citizen child if at least one of the U.S. citizen’s parents is a citizen of Uzbekistan with permanent residence (propiska) in Uzbekistan. In these cases, the Embassy of Uzbekistan or the Consulate General of Uzbekistan will either issue an Uzbek birth certificate or enroll the child in the Uzbek citizen parent’s passport. To travel back to the United States such a dual national child must obtain Uzbek travel documents, either by enrolling in the parent’s exit permit or by obtaining a new biometric passport with a valid exit permit. The U.S. Embassy’s experience indicates that the border authorities of Uzbekistan will allow the child to depart Uzbekistan for the United States if the child possesses an Uzbek biometric passport with a valid exit permit (or is enrolled in the parent’s exit permit) and a U.S. passport.
The most direct routes in certain areas of the Fergana Valley are along roads that may temporarily cross poorly demarcated/ not yet agreed upon borders. These so-called transit roads are used daily by locals without incident. However, U.S. citizens traveling in the region are advised that crossing the border in such a manner, even inadvertently, may be considered an immigration violation. Pay careful attention when planning overland routes, and obtain proper visas if a border will be crossed. In addition, all travelers are reminded that taking photos or filming in border areas is prohibited and doing so may result in detainment and questioning by border guards.
Uzbek customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary import to or export from Uzbekistan of items such as armaments and ammunition, space technology, encryption devices, x-ray and isotope equipment, nuclear materials, poisons, drugs, precious and semi-precious metals, nullified securities, pieces of art, and antiques of historical value. Contact the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Washington, D.C., or the Consulate of Uzbekistan in New York for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Most transactions are conducted on a cash-only, local currency (soum) basis. Many merchants will accept dollars for larger tourist handicraft purchases. Credit cards are accepted only at the main hotels and a few shops and restaurants; travelers’ checks can be cashed into dollars at the National Bank of Uzbekistan. The commission fee is two percent. Old U.S. dollar bills (prior to 1990) and/or those in poor condition (with tears, writing, or stamps) are not acceptable forms of currency in Uzbekistan. Although payment in U.S. dollars is required for certain hotel charges, airline tickets, and visa fees, other dollar transactions, as well as black market currency exchanges, are prohibited.
In Uzbekistan, religious congregation is only allowed by registered religious communities. The registration process for religious organizations and groups is strict and complex. Activities such as proselytizing, importing and disseminating religious literature and offering private religious instruction are subject to criminal penalties and/or deportation.
Uzbekistan is an earthquake-prone country. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in Uzbekistan. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Uzbekistan, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Uzbekistan, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States. Local public transportation and majority of buildings in Uzbekistan are not easily accessible for individuals with disabilities.
Medical care in Uzbekistan is below Western standards, with severe shortages of basic medical supplies, including disposable needles, anesthetics, and antibiotics. A large percentage of medication sold in local pharmacies is known to be counterfeit. Elderly travelers and those with pre-existing health problems may be at particular risk due to inadequate medical facilities. Most resident U.S. citizens travel to North America or Western Europe for their medical needs. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy maintains a Medical Contacts List on the Embassy website. Travelers are advised to drink only boiled water, peel all fruits and vegetables, and avoid undercooked meat. Due to inadequate sanitation conditions, travelers should avoid eating unpasteurized dairy products and most food sold in the streets.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Uzbekistan. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Uzbekistan has a developed but inconsistently maintained traffic infrastructure. Although main roads in central Tashkent are relatively well maintained, many secondary roads inside and outside Tashkent, and particularly those in the Tien Shan Mountains, are in poor condition and may be passable only by four-wheel-drive vehicles. Driving at night can be quite dangerous because only the main roads in Tashkent and a few other major cities have streetlights; rural roads and highways generally are not lit. Visitors are strongly urged to avoid driving at night outside Tashkent. The gasoline supply can be sporadic; therefore, travelers should expect occasional difficulty finding gasoline, particularly outside Tashkent.
Livestock, as well as farm equipment and carts drawn by animals that lack lights or reflectors, are found on both urban and rural roads at any hour. Local drivers are not familiar with safe driving techniques. Pedestrians in cities and rural areas cross streets unexpectedly and often without looking for oncoming traffic. Uzbekistan has a large road police force, which frequently stops drivers for minor infractions or simple document checks. There have been reports of harassment of foreign drivers by the road police, with reported minor police corruption in the form of solicitation of bribes.
Uzbekistan has a “zero tolerance” policy for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Uzbekistan’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Uzbekistan’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.