This was a bit of a hassle. We initially planned to take a train from Samarkand, Uzbekistan up to Tashkent and spend a week or so sorting out Pakistan, India, China, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan visas. Then we realized this was ridiculously over ambitious, not to mention that it seems India and Pakistan visas have the reputation of being impossible to get for over-land travelers once you’ve left your home country. We also decided to wait until Bishkek to get our China visas as China have now changed their visa application process only issuing 30 day visas that require you to enter the country within 30 days of the issue date.
So, we arrived at the Tajikistan Embassy having read that the process can take anything between one and nine days. We arrived at 8.15am to find a crowd of about 50 Uzbeks all going through the same arduous process. Turned out the staff were friendly enough. When we finally completed the application forms we then had to queue again to make the application to the consulate ( a little office in the same building). Our hearts sunk when he said come back in nine days! We begged and pleaded saying that we couldn’t wait because we were cycling blah, blah… Eventually he said he get the ready for the following Monday (we were there on a Thursday). Again we insisted that we couldn’t wait and eventually he kindly said come back tomorrow. We turned up on the Friday morning at 8.30am full of hope, but were told to return at 5pm. We came back at the end of the day very happy to promptly receive our hand-written visas. We had met a few other people who did have to wait the full seven to nine days.
Open from 9am – 12pm, but get there at at the latest 8.30am as it’s bloody hectic. It seems like they’re open Monday to Friday.
$55 for a single entry 30 day visa for British passport holders (and Canadian and Finnish passport holders, as their were a couple of guys there with us). Conveniently you can actually pay directly at the embassy.
Take a photocopy of your passport photo page and Uzbek visa, one passport photo. We forgot to take passport copies, but the guy was helpful and photocopied them for us as well as printed the English application forms.
We bought a letter of invitation from STANtours, which I can’t remember how much we paid for. It was emailed to us pretty much instantly. I’m not sure if you actually need it, but the other tourists we met at the embassy also had them, and the consulate took them along with the application forms and passport copies.
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Tajikistan Embassy and Consulate, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Cost for two GBAO permits – 30 somoni paid into a nearby bank and 10 somoni paid directly to the OVIR office.
The office staff will take copies of your passports. We didn’t have to take passport photos or other forms with us.
We went to the OVIR office at 11am, having already paid the initial cost of 30 somoni into the near-by bank, and were told to come back at 2pm. Mary insisted that we needed them quickly so with a slightly surly attitude the woman filled out a form and told us to return at 1pm. We returned at 1pm and paid the remaining 10 somoni and were again told to return at 5pm. Luckily we were on our bikes, so it didn’t take long to back and forth. We returned at 5pm and picked up the GBAO permits.
I’ll upload a map asap. In the mean time the directions for the OVIR office are in the Lonely Planet.