Uzbekistan Visas and Letters of Invitation (LOI)

Although it is technically possible for EU and US citizens to obtain a tourist visa to Uzbekistan without a Letter of Invitation (LOI), we recommend spending the extra $30 for the letter. It enables the process to move faster and removes some of the pain. We used Stantours for our LOIs to Uzbekistan. No tour booking was needed and we received the scanned letter by email within a couple of weeks.

Smile! Girl with Shaved Head - Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Girl in Uzbekistan.

We expected this visa application process to be hell, but we surprisingly received the visa the same day we applied in Baku, Azerbaijan. The friendly, English-speaking Uzbek Consul there acted as if he hadn’t seen a tourist in ages and seemed to be happy to have something to do. Without the LOI, the process would have taken us 3-5 business days and would likely have been peppered with perfunctory paranoia.

We heard horror stories from people who applied for visas to Uzbekistan from other countries. “That woman is evil!” is a direct quote from a tourist describing the woman at the Uzbek Embassy in Bishkek. Some people we know gave up and crossed Uzbekistan off their itinerary altogether in order to avoid another trip to the embassy there.

When in Uzbekistan, the game of collecting registration cards from hotels and guest houses begins. We were never asked by the police or border guards to see these chits, but it’s better to err on the side of caution regarding bureaucratic issues in Uzbekistan.

Uzbek Visa Costs:

Uzbekistan Letter of Invitation: $30 per person through Stantours. (2007 Prices
Uzbekistan Visa: $100/person for a 30-day visa, payment at the International Bank of Azerbaijan in Baku. Two trips to the embassy (in the middle of nowhere) are required: one to apply and/or leave your Letter of Invitation and another to bring your bank receipt and collect your visa.

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Comments

  1. Kelly says

    Hello,
    Just wondering when you applied for your Uzbek visa, as the price for the LOI through Stantours is now $70 per person (according to the website).

    thanks
    Kelly

    • says

      I’m not aware of any online application form to “invite” someone to Uzbekistan. I think this typically happens through travel agents and tour operators. However, that does not mean that the possibility does not exist.

  2. Singh says

    Namaste!

    Do the people at stantour expect us to also book hotels and other stuff through them or do they just provide me with the visa and let us explore by ourself. I ask because i wanted to book hotels and other stuff by myself when i reach tashkent.

    • says

      Hi Singh, when we visited Uzbekistan, we did so independently, so we were not on a tour. As such, we booked all of our hotels, guest houses and accommodation directly, including our hotel in Tashkent. If you plan on taking a tour in Uzbekistan (be it with Stantours or another company), we recommend you contact the company directly. I would imagine they offer all-inclusive (visa + tour and accommodation) and visa-only arrangements, but again you’ll have to confirm with them.

      • Singh says

        Thnx for the info!
        I was under the impression that stantour does offer visa only arrangements, but when i contacted the people at stantours, they replied that hotel booking is mandatory with visa arrangement. This has sort of derailed my planning as i was counting on them for providing visa. These days I am literally hunting for agents on internet who can provide me with the visa only services. So far the search has been fruitless. But i am determined on visiting Tashkent so i’m gonna figure it out!

        If you or anybody reading this comment could provide me info on any travel agency that provides visa only services without hotel or tour booking, then please do comment on this thread. I’d be very grateful.

        • says

          Hi Singh, if we find out an agency that can provide an Uzbek visa without the tour and accommodation, we’ll let you know. Please also let us know how you get along and what you find out. We’d be grateful to know what you found out and which decision you ultimately take in visiting Uzbekistan and Tashkent.

          Good luck!

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