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 100093
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 such 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
Uzbek immigration laws and regulations are complex and often enforced in a discretionary, arbitrary manner. In some cases, U.S. citizen travelers have received contradictory guidance from Uzbek officials. The Department of State strives to provide accurate information, but has no authority over Uzbek entry and exit controls or visa requirements. For more information, contact the Uzbek Embassy in the United States, the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Uzbek Ministry of Interior (page in Russian and Uzbek only).
A valid Uzbek visa in a valid U.S. passport is required to enter Uzbekistan. Visitors may not enter Uzbekistan with a valid Uzbek visa in a canceled or expired U.S. passport, even if they present another valid U.S. passport at the port of entry. All travelers, even those transiting Uzbekistan, must obtain an Uzbek visa before traveling.
Visas are issued by Uzbek embassies and consulates abroad. Visitors coming from countries in which Uzbekistan does not have diplomatic or consular representation should obtain visas in a third country. Visas may not be obtained upon arrival at Uzbek airports. U.S. citizens should apply for visas well in advance of their travel.
Visas for Travel to Uzbekistan
Visit the visa information page of the Uzbek Embassy in Washington, D.C., for current visa information.
Visitors may apply for two types of visa:
- Tourist visas: Visitors who will 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 guests with T visas with the Office of Entry, Exit, and Citizenship Issues of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, commonly known as OVIR, and will ask guests to turn over their passports so that hotel staff may perform this task. Tourist visas cannot be extended after arriving in Uzbekistan.
- Private visitor visas: Visitors who will 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 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 address. PV visa holders, once initially registered with OVIR, are also permitted to stay at hotels, which will complete registration for the hotel stay as described above.
The application process differs for tourist and private visitor visas. To obtain a tourist visa, you must apply at an Uzbek embassy or consulate by filling out the required application form and providing other information. To obtain a private visitor visa, you must follow the same steps and also arrange for an inviting party to file an official invitation letter in Uzbekistan with OVIR. The inviting party should obtain approval, which includes a “telex number,” and then send the approved invitation letter to the U.S. citizen. This approved letter with the “telex number” must then be included with the visa application.
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 must leave the country before passage of the number of days listed as the authorized duration of stay on the visa. Include precise dates for your planned period of stay on your Uzbek visa application.
Overstaying your visa by any time at all may result in a $2,000 fine and a delay of a week or more before the Uzbek authorities allow you to exit the country. Travel agencies and tour companies may also be fined if customers overstay their visas or for visa application errors. Tourist visa holders who are unable to depart Uzbekistan by the visa expiration date or end date of their authorized period of stay must apply for an exit visa from the OVIR office at the Tashkent International Airport. The application must be submitted before the anticipated overstay, the service normally costs $160, and there is no guarantee OVIR will approve the request. Private visitor visa holders must apply for extensions at the district OVIR office at which they are registered. Again, the application must be filed before any overstay, the cost is normally $160, and there no guarantee of approval.
Registering Your Temporary Residence in Uzbekistan
All travelers present in Uzbekistan for more than three business days must register with OVIR in 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). 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 soon as possible 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 $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 five bordering states, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. For more information on bordering countries see the Travel Warning for Afghanistan and Country Specific Information for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. 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 should ensure they will cross at an authorized point. Please contact Uzbek Embassy in Washington, D.C.,for the most up-to-date information.
Travel within Uzbekistan by rail or land sometimes requires brief entries into neighboring countries. Travelers should consider obtaining multiple-entry Uzbek visas as well as proper visas for the relevant 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 Uzbek Customs Authority; the other should be kept by the traveler and presented at the time of departure from Uzbekistan. The amount of cash taken out of Uzbekistan cannot exceed the amount indicated on the customs declaration at the time of entry. 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.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Uzbekistan.Long-term visitors may be required to submit HIV test results along with their visa application. For more information, contact the Uzbek Embassy in Washington, D.C., before you travel.
Uzbek diplomatic missions will refuse to issue a visa to a U.S. citizen minor if at least one of the minor’s parents is an Uzbek citizen who has registered a permanent residence (“propiska”) in Uzbekistan. In these cases, the Uzbek Embassy in Washington, D.C., or the Consulate General in New York will either issue an Uzbek birth certificate or record the child’s information in the Uzbek citizen parent’s passport. To travel to the United States a dual national minor must obtain Uzbek travel documents, either through inclusion on the parent’s exit permit or by obtaining a new Uzbek passport with a valid Uzbek exit permit. In some cases, the Uzbek immigration authorities have allowed dual national children to depart for the United States only if they possess an Uzbek biometric passport with a valid exit permit, as well as a valid U.S. passport.
All U.S.-Uzbek dual nationals should be aware that Uzbekistan is issuing new, biometric passports that are required for all Uzbek citizens exiting the country. Obtaining a biometric Uzbek passport and a new exit permit in that passport takes several months and may significantly delay dual nationals’ departure from Uzbekistan.
More information on dual nationality as well as the prevention of international child abduction can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website. For further information about customs regulations, see our Customs Information page.
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-Qai’da, and the Islamic Jihad Union 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. U.S. Embassy 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 informed of important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow U.S. Embassy Tashkent on Facebook, Twitter and visit the Embassy 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, at 1-202-501-4444, from abroad.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and to review tips on planning a safe trip.
CRIME: The rate of violent crime in Uzbekistan, including violent crime against foreigners, has increased in recent years. In urban areas, travelers are urged to take the same precautions they would take in any large U.S. city. If traveling at night, stay in well-lit areas, 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, train stations, and local markets. Although using private cars as taxis 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 taxis, such as those at hotels and should avoid riding in taxis alone.
It is recommended that travelers not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are they illegal in the United States, you may also be breaking local law if you purchase them.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, 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 of 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 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. It is important to know what is and isn’t legal in the country you are visiting. It is also important to know that some things might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. For example, you can be prosecuted in the United States if you buy pirated goods, engage in sexual conduct with children, or use or disseminate child pornography in a foreign country even if those activities are legal there.
If you break local laws in Uzbekistan, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. Persons violating Uzbekistan’s 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. Uzbekistan has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Taking photographs of military or security installations or other locations of strategic significance (ministries, border and other checkpoints, bridges, tunnels, reservoirs, mountain passes, the subway system, etc.) is prohibited in Uzbekistan. Uzbek authorities enforce these regulations strictly. Obey all signs restricting photography and remember that the absence of such a sign does not mean you may take a picture.
Arrest Notifications in Host Country: While some countries automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested, others may not. To ensure that the U. S. government 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.
The most direct routes in certain areas of the Fergana Valley are along roads that may temporarily cross poorly demarcated or disputed borders. These so-called transit roads are used daily by locals without incident. U.S. citizens traveling in the region, however, are advised that crossing the border in this 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, remember that taking photos or filming in border areas is prohibited and that doing so may result in detainment and questioning by border guards.
Uzbek customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the 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 Uzbek Embassy in Washington, D.C., for specific information on customs requirements.
Most transactions are conducted on a cash-only, local currency (soum) basis. Many merchants accept dollars for larger tourist handicraft purchases. Credit cards are accepted only at the main hotels and a few shops and restaurants, and traveler’s checks can be cashed into dollars at the National Bank of Uzbekistan. The commission fee is two percent. Old U.S. bills (prior to 1990) and/or those in poor condition (with tears, writing, or stamps) will not be accepted. Payment in U.S. dollars is required for certain hotel charges, airline tickets, and visa fees, but 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).
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for women travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: Sexual relations between men are against Uzbek law and punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment. The law does not criminalize same-sex sexual activity between women. Same-sex sexual activity is generally a taboo subject in Uzbek society, and there are no known LGBT organizations. According to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013, there was no known violence against the LGBT community in Uzbekistan in 2013. In this period there were no reports of official or societal discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, statelessness, or access to education or health care in Uzbekistan, but this may be attributed to the social taboo against discussing same-sex relationships rather than to equality in such matters. For further information on 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 the majority of buildings in Uzbekistan are not easily accessible for disabled individuals.
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. U.S. Embassy Tashkent’s Consular Section maintains a list of medical contacts on the Embassy website. Travelers are advised to take precautions against traveler’s diarrhea including drinking only boiled water, peeling fruits and vegetables, and avoiding undercooked meat. Due to inadequate sanitation conditions, travelers should avoid eating unpasteurized dairy products and most food sold in the street.
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 more details, please see the CDC's information on TB.
Trauma care in Uzbekistan is far below Western trauma care standards, and therefore emergency medical conditions and issues often require medical evacuation. Aeromedical evacuation can take days and is very expensive. Travelers are urged to purchase medical evacuation insurance before traveling to Uzbekistan.
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 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 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 animal-drawn carts that lack lights or reflectors, are found on both urban and rural roads at any hour. Local drivers are unfamiliar with safe driving techniques. Pedestrians 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 road police harassing foreign drivers and asking them for 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.