Lonely Planet Writer

Uzbekistan opens its doors to travellers a little further by issuing 30-day visas

Travellers will soon be able to visit Uzbekistan for up to 30 days thanks to a new visa scheme. The visa was announced as part of a presidential decree by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev on 4 December.

Uzbekistan issues 30-day visas
Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan. Photo by: JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images

Previously, the maximum length offered for a visa to Uzbekistan was 15 days, with most tourist visas being issued for only seven days. The new scheme will allow travellers to apply for a single-entry visa of up to 30 days in duration. It was unclear at the time of writing whether the new visa would be open to tourists of all nationalities.

The scheme comes as Uzbekistan has been seen to open its doors to tourism since the death of former president Islam Karimov, whose administration was thought by many to be an authoritarian regime closed off from outside influence and not particularly encouraging of tourism.

Uzbek government issues 30-day visas for travellers
The Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Independence Square, Mustakillik Maydoni, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Photo by: Mel Longhurst/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images

Karimov, who held the office since Uzbekistan’s independence in 1991, was succeeded by Mirziyoev in December 2016, who has made moves to open the country more for tourism, including reestablishing flights between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan after 25 years. In a further bid to attract foreign tourists, Uzbekistan reduced visa-issuing times for 12 nationalities to only three days starting in October 2017, making it now quicker and easier to receive an Uzbek visa than at any other time in the country’s history.