Abkhazia in detail

Entry & Exit Formalities


The first step to visiting Abkhazia is to obtain a clearance letter to enter it. Instructions are on the website of the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry: you fill in a form and email it to the foreign ministry's consular service along with a copy of your passport's personal data page. Within seven working days you should receive your clearance letter (in Russian) by email: check it carefully as mistakes are sometimes made.

Having entered Abkhazia with your clearance letter, you must then go within three working days to the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry in Sukhumi to obtain your visa. Abkhazian visas are single pieces of paper, not stuck into your passport, which you'll surrender on exiting the country. A 10-day single-entry visa costs R400 (around US$7).

Georgia permits foreigners to enter Abkhazia by the Enguri Bridge boundary near Zugdidi, but treats entry to Abkhazia from Russia by the Psou River border as illegal entry into Georgia, punishable by a heavy fine or imprisonment. If you enter Abkhazia from Russia, don’t try to continue across Abkhazia’s southern boundary into Georgia. You'll need a double-entry Russian visa in advance in order to return to Russia.