Silk Road visas part two... Where to get what etc
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Feb 9, 2013 7:10 AM Last Post By: leyke
Jan 18, 2013 4:38 AM
Silk Road visas part two... Where to get what etcSuch a pity the hundreds of helpful visa posts have been deleted on here! In a bid to get people sharing visa knowledge in a part of the world where rules seem to change more frequently than it rains in the UK I thought I would post what my visa plans are.
Please let me know if you have any personal experience on these plans (I have never done this journey before) or if you have any other recommendations on visas.
So we are travelling west to east from April to August 2013. We are travelling form the UK by train to Turkey, then will be heading to Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystzan, Kazakhstan, China.
Here's our visa plans - let me know if you will think they will or won't work!
Azerbaijan - Get in UK before we leave (takes 10 working days to process without LOI or paying extra)
Turkmenistan - Pick up tourist visa in Yerevan, Armenia (armed with LOI and pre-arranged tour through Stan Tours)
Tajikistan - pick up in Baku, Azerbaijan (with no LOI)
Kyrgzstan and Kazakhstan - Pick up together from Kazakh embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan (with no LOI)
Afghanistan - Not sure yet, we're still working on this
China - We have been told from David at Stan Tours that this is a massive problem! Apparently Bishkek, Dushanbe and Tashkent have all become 'very tricky'.
Let me know your thoughts, and happy travels :)
PS if you want to follow our travels then you can follow my World in Words travel blog
Jan 18, 2013 9:56 AM
1We are travelling form the UK by train to Turkey, then will be heading to Armenia
I assume you already know that the land border between Armenia and Turkey is closed and in order to go overland from Turkey to Armenia you have to make it through Georgia (or through Iran, if you can get a visa for Iran) but just in case you didn't know...
You don't state your nationality but be aware nationals of 44 countries don't need a visa for Kyrgyzstan (for stays up to 60 days) anymore. You can consult the list here.
Jan 18, 2013 4:55 PM
2Yes, sorry my mistake. I did know that border was closed, as I believe is the border between Armeina and Azerbaijan. We'll do Georgia - Armenia - Georgia - Azerbaijan.
Thanks for your link... Looks like we don't need the Kyrgzstan visa after all (from the UK).
Thanks for your reply!
Feb 1, 2013 1:25 AM
Feb 9, 2013 7:10 AM
Where to get visas on the Silk Road
This post will probably not interest you in the slightest if you are not also planning a trip across the ‘stans of Central Asia.
For your reference, I am a British passport holder… Bring on the visas.
Georgia: EU citizens do not need a visa.
Armenia: EU citizens do not need a visa from January 10th, 2013 according to the latest info from the FCO here. (Border is currently closed between Armenia and Azerbaijan and also between Armenia and Turkey).
Azerbaijan:Pick up in Batumi, Georgia. According to recent blogs, this is very easy to do and only takes 3-5 days to come through. Strictly speaking, British citizens do not need LOIs but they are widely regarded to speed things up… I think we will try without. From the embassy in London it takes 10 working days, unless you are prepared to pay quite a bit more to seed it up by four days.
Turkmenistan: We have decided to get the tourist visa (you can get a transit visa for a few days, which basically allows you to pass through the country) but we’re hoping to spend about 7 days there. It means we have to book a tour ahead of our visit and be accompanied by a tour guide at all times. And LOI (valid for three months) is required. We plan to pick up that before we leave and then get the visa in Yerevan, Armenia, where apparently it only takes a couple of days to come though. The visa will state entry and exit dates and what parts of country you are travelling to – you can enter after the start date and leave before the exit date. Apparently Yerevan is the best option at the moment as Baku is only open two days a week.
Uzbekistan: Amazingly, Uzbekistan will let us apply for a visa with only a copy of our passport. About 10 days later we will need to go down to the embassy in London with our real passports to get the visa put in. Therefore we shall be doing this before we leave the UK, it will be the only visa we leave with. LOI not normally needed for UK citizens, but it can speed to process up anyway and some embassies will ask for one. We shall try it without. We have been told you can also get this visa in Baku and Istanbul.
Afghanistan: Looks like we can get this in Tashkent, Uzbekistan according to the latest information here.
Tajikistan: Need visa and GBAO permit (for Pamirs), which we plan to pick up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (open 9am – noon) or Baku, Azerbaijan (open 15:00 – 17:00). Baku sounds the easiest option according to various forums, so we’ll try there first.
Kyrgyzstan: No visa needed for UK citizens according to the latest information here.
Kazakhstan: Collect visa in Baku, Azerbaijan. No LOI required. Easy and cheap to sort here according to this information.
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