STANTOURS Turkmenistan Adventure Trips
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Visa Services / Letters of invitation (LOI)
Detailed Information and Conditions

updated May 30, 2006

Booking Personal Data Visa Application Travel Pass & Arrival Tax
Permits Transit Registration / OVIR Foreign Vehicles
Visa FAQ

1 Travel routing and schedule / Booking

Before we proceed with your visa enquiry you need to confirm your intended route and travel dates by e-mail or Fax. For ideas for your trip you can easily refer to our interactive map and our service pages for ticketing, transport and accommodation. If you can indicate your interests & length of stay we will send you a suitable suggestion depending on your requirements and budget.

We cannot go ahead with your visa support without a preliminary travel itinerary.

2 Personal Details

Together with your travel requirements please provide us with the following personal details:
1. Full Name
2. Date of Birth
3. City and Country of Birth
4. Citizenship
5. Passport Number
6. Date of passport issue and expiration
7. Gender
8. Occupation and Place of Employment
9. Address and phone number of place of work
10. Previous visits (year/month)
11. Port of Entry
12.Date(s) of Entry and Departure
13.Cities and Sites you wish to visit
14.City/country where you will obtain visa
3 Invitation Approval

Once we submit your documents to the Turkmen Ministry of Foreign Affairs obtaining official government approval of the invitation currently takes up to 3 weeks and you need to allow time accordingly. Urgent approval is no longer possible. STANTOURS cannot guarantee approval of your application.

Please note that travel to Turkmenistan is officially restricted around the holidays in February (19/02), mid August and in October (27/10). Unfortunately we cannot provide accreditation required for invitation letters for journalists or travellers wishing to engage in missionary or propaganda activities.

4 Visa Application

With a faxed or e-mailed copy of the invitation letter you can apply for your Turkmen visa at any Turkmen Consulate worldwide by yourself.

Alternatively - for stays up to 10 days you can obtain the visa at Ashgabat airport @ USD 61 payable in cash (needs to be arranged in advance, please bring change). Further extensions depending on your letter are USD 31 + service fee. Upon request there are options for visa issuance at the Dashogus / Khiva, Turkmenbashi and Turkmenabat / Bukhara borders.

Actual visa fees and issuance times vary between 40-120 USD and 1-5 working days. Normal visa processing usually takes 3 working days, urgent issuance can be done within a day at an extra fee of around USD 50. Some Embassies can issue the visas by mail using courier services at your cost.

Click here to download an English Turkmen Visa Application form in PDF format (48 kb) Anyhow - usually each Consulate has its own application form which you should request by mail or fax when you make your enquiries.

Please note that some Turkmen Consulates and the Consular Office at Ashgabat airport require the original of your invitation letter as well as a direct confirmation by the inviting organisation. It is therefore important that you keep us informed about your plans for the visa application.

5 Travel Pass and Arrival Tax / Travel Card

Additional to your visa entry to Turkmenistan on a Tourist visa is subject to a Travel Pass, a green document, which is delivered to the relevant border post by your guide, stamped by the passport control upon entry and exit. The cost of the Travel Pass or Travel Voucher is USD 10 per Person and is included in the document package. Delivery of the Travel Pass by other means is not possible.

Please note that without the Travel Pass the Tourist visa is invalid and you may be refused entry to or exit from Turkmenistan.

As of 01/03/2003 all foreign visitors are subject to a further USD 10 arrival tax based on which a beige colour Travel Card will be issued. This charge is usually NOT included in your document package and payable in cash upon arrival by each individual traveller.

6 Police / OVIR Registration

All travellers with a tourist or business visa are now requested Police / OVIR registration with no regards to the length of their stay in Turkmenistan. We will handle this for you and a USD 10 fee per person for registration will be included in your document package. The registration process takes 1/2 working day. Please note that the OVIR offices are closed Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

7 Nature Reserves / Border Zones

For travellers intending to visit Turkmenistan's fascinating Nature Reserves and the relevant border zones please note that as a rule these have to be specified in your invitation letter prior to your arrival.

If properly indicated in your invitation letter Border permits can then be obtained through us upon arrival in Ashgabat against a USD 40 fee. Anyhow upon request the issuing Embassy will include the border areas (eg Dashogus) in your visa free of charge.

Permits to visit the Nature Reserves and protected areas (Zakazniks) of Turkmenistan are subject to approval by the Ministry of Environment and are subject to a USD 30 fee and up to 14 days processing. Please note that especially in the summer months most reserves cannot be visited because of the increased fire hazard.

8 Transit Visas

Transit visas for 3-7 days are available at all Turkmen Consulates upon presentation of valid onward visas or relevant ticketing where applicable. Anyhow, similar to tourist visa, transit visa issuance is subject to an approval process of 10-14 days.working days. Most of the time the application must be made in peroson, but the Consulate will not request you to give up your passport during the approval period.

Important notes:
  1. No transit visa are available at any Turkmen border points including Ashgabat airport.
  2. The transit period starts the day the visa is endorsed at the border and is NOT calculated by the hour. (i.e. the entire arrival day is counts as a whole day, so is the departure day leaving you one day to cross the country)
  3. It is not possible to travel to restriced areas and areas aside the the transit route on transit visa unless they are specifically indicated on the visa (this also concerns the border areas of Kunyaurgench and Dashogus and the routings leading towards them).
  4. For international trains passing Turkmenistan's eastern periphery no transit visas are officially required if a through ticket can be shown. (there are currently no international trains along the Turkmenabat - Dashogus route)
  5. It is not possible to extend transit visas under normal conditions.
  6. Ashgabat's Saparmurad Turkmenbashi Airport has a transit area for passengers on international flights not requesting any transit visa.
9 Foreign Vehicles

Travellers on their own vehicles should indicate their intention when making the arrangements for the visa support letter. Although the car is not included in the visa, significant transit and entry fees are payable upon entry to Turkmenistan at the Transport Department for both Tourist and Transit visa holders. The amount of these fees varies between USD 65 for motorcycles and 250 for larger 4WD and Minibuses depending on your vehicle and routing and is payable in cash upon arrival.

Important Notes:
  1. It is usually not possible to know in advance how much exactly the fee will be.
  2. The key factor in the calculation of the fees is usually whether your vehicle is categorised as a private car or a truck. Unless you have a serious loading area you can insist on the lower fees for a private vehicle.
  3. In case of doubt the documents can be extended / amended in Ashgabat and at the Transport department in other Turkmen cities.
  4. The 3rd party liability insurance fee charged is mandatory even if relevant international documents are presented.
  5. A "Carnet de Passage" is usually not required for entry to Turkmenistan.
  6. Approval for off-road routings need to be applied for in well advance.
  7. Even if in transit we highly recommend border assistance for the documentation which is avaialble starting at USD 40-50.
10 Visa - Frequently asked questions:
  1. Q: How flexible is the Turkmen tourist visa? A: The invitation we send you is usally valid for 3 months from the date of approval and the visa can be issued for the number of days indicated in the approval Anyhow - any change of dates of travel MUST first be agreed with your Turkmen travel agent. Once the visa is issued the dates on your visa are fixed.
  2. Q: How early can the visa process be started. A: The Turkmen invitation and visa can be applied for as early as 4-6 months prior to arrival.
  3. Q: What are the implications of a transit visa? A: The transit visa permits you to travel along the main route between the two countries you have proper visa for. Detours and extensions are mostly not allowed, travel through border zones is only possible where this is along your transit route.
To be continued...


General Note:

Unfortunately we cannot provide accreditation required for invitation letters for journalists or travellers wishing to engage in missionary or propaganda activities.


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