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All About the Visa for Turkmenistan
Are you intending to visit the fascinating Central Asian country of Turkmenistan? All the world’s nationalities require a visa to enter this nation, whether for tourism, business, to study or to work. In particular, for tourists, there are Single and Multiple-Entry travel documents available valid for visits from 10 days up to 1 month.
If you wish to visit Turkmenistan, you will likely need to make arrangements through a travel agency who can help you arrange the necessary documents. Namely, there’s the Letter of Invitation required for all foreigners visiting, as well as a fixed itinerary and a guide.
Moreover, there is currently no option to get a Turkmenistan visa online and any visas on arrival require preauthorisation. In fact, statistically speaking, Turkmenistan is one of the most closed countries in the world and getting authorisation to visit isn’t all that simple. As such, it is essential you find out all the requirements before you start your application!
- 1 What Is the Difference Between the Turkmenistan Tourist Visa vs the Turkmenistan Transit Visa?
- 2 Turkmenistan Visa Application Process
- 3 Turkmenistan Visa Requirements and Eligibility
- 4 Turkmenistan Visa Application Form and Documents
- 5 Visa for Turkmenistan Status Check
- 6 Cost of a Visa for Turkmenistan
- 7 More Turkmenistan Visa Questions and Information
What Is the Difference Between the Turkmenistan Tourist Visa vs the Turkmenistan Transit Visa?
If you are visiting for a short period, you may be wondering if you should get a transit or tourist visa, so here are the main differences between the 2 documents.
- For those visiting for tourism purposes.
- Allows you to stay longer in the country.
- Requires a Letter of Invitation.
- You need to be booked on a tour and accompanied by a guide.
- It takes 10 days to process.
- Only for the purpose of passing through the country.
- Allows you to stay for 5 days.
- Doesn’t require a Letter of Invitation.
- You don’t need to be booked on a tour.
- It takes several weeks to process.
The transit visa is the only type of permit that does not require a Letter of Invitation from the Turkmen State Migration Service. However, when you apply you should take into account that it takes longer to process.
Moreover, it is not possible to extend a transit permit once you are in the country. So if you believe you may need more than 5 days, you would be better off getting a tourist permit.
Turkmenistan Visa Application Process
To get any kind of entry authorisation for Turkmenistan, whether it is for tourism or to study or work, in most cases you will need to apply in person at your nearest embassy or consulate.
Recently, some embassies have started accepting applications by post or email, so the best thing to do is check with the consulate in your country to find out what application methods they accept.
In any case, there are 3 main steps you must take in order to visit Turkmenistan.
1) Get a Letter of Invitation
Before submitting your application, you must obtain a Letter of Invitation (LOI). This is generally considered the most important document in your application and it can take up to 1 month to get, so make sure you apply well in advance.
2) Apply for the Visa
Once you have the LOI and all the supporting documents (listed below), you can visit your nearest Turkmen embassy to apply.
It generally takes around 10 days for your application to be processed. However, it’s always a good idea to allow extra time for any unexpected events.
It may be possible to request an express service at a fee if you require the visa urgently. Please be aware that the surcharge for the rapid service will be around 150 USD, so it’s best to use it only if strictly necessary.
3) In-country Procedures
On arrival, you will need to pay 14 USD for an immigration card, and you must register at the State Migration office in the capital Ashgabat within 3 days of your arrival. The agency in charge of your tour will likely take care of this, but it’s a good idea to check.
How to register at the State Migration Service
The office is located at 57 Azadi Street, Ashgabat. If you are going yourself, you must bring all your travel documents, as well as a letter declaring your departure date from the country and 2 passport size photos.
Turkmenistan Visa Requirements and Eligibility
Anyone visiting Turkmenistan, no matter if it is for tourism, work, study, or business, will need to get permission before arrival.
However, diplomatic passports from the countries listed below are exempt:
- Czech Republic
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
Diplomatic passport holders of the following countries can get a free visa on arrival:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
Moreover, holders of a United Nations laissez-passer passport are allowed to stay in Turkmenistan without an additional permit for 30 days.
In addition, residents of certain regions and cities of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are allowed short visits of 3 days.
Visiting on Holiday
To visit the country as a tourist, it is mandatory to be accompanied by a guide at all times. Therefore, if you wish to visit the White City and experience the kindness of the locals, you will need to book a tour. The only exception is if you are crossing the country on a transit visa.
In any case, all passports must be valid for at least 6 months and have at least 1 blank page for the entry stamp. There is no exit stamp in Turkmenistan, but you will need to show a document confirming your exit date.
Turkmenistan Visa Application Form and Documents
If you are planning to visit Turkmenistan, the first step would be to find an agency to book your trip with. A great advantage of this is that they can help you with all the admin involved in gaining access to the country. In this section, you will find all the documents you will need to provide, so you can be prepared.
As part of your application, you will need to present:
- A letter of Invitation.
- A completed application form.
- Your passport (valid for at least 6 months with 1 blank page).
- A copy of the personal information page of your passport (at the top of an A4 piece of paper).
- A cover letter outlining the purpose of your trip.
- Receipt showing the fee has been paid.
- A pre-stamped envelope with your address on the front (if you would like your document posted to you).
The Letter Of Invitation must be from an individual or company and must be certified by the State Migration Service of Turkmenistan. Are you going here on holiday and don’t know anyone in the country? No problem! Your travel agencies can also provide this document for you.
The application form must include a passport-size photo attached to the front page as well as your day-to-day itinerary.
It is important to note that some areas require special permits. If you are wishing to visit Kerki, Hazar, Sashoguz, Seraks or Serhetabat, you will need to acquire prior authorisation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For short business trips, you can get a visa with the documents outlined above, but instead of an itinerary, you must provide a Letter of Invitation from the company and a document showing the company’s main operation.
If you are wishing to enter Turkmenistan for the purpose of transiting through the country, you can get a special transit visa which grants you up to 7 days in the country. Although you will still need to apply at the embassy, the advantage of a transit permit is that you don’t require a Letter of Invitation or a prearranged tour.
Visa on Arrival (VoA)
You may purchase a VoA at Ashgabat airport and some land borders. However, you will need to present your approved Letter of Invitation, along with all the required documents listed in the following section. The VoA costs 50 USD, which is more than the standard visa, and it is valid for a maximum of 10 days. In any case, we always recommend obtaining the visa before you arrive in the country when possible.
Visa for Turkmenistan Status Check
Have you submitted your application and you are eager to find out at what stage it is? Chances are you have applied through the travel agency that has organised your trip, so the best thing to do is to check in with them to find out if it has been approved. You could ask them to keep you updated on any progress for your peace of mind.
If you have applied for a transit visa or the travel agency you have booked doesn’t include assistance with the application, you can try contacting the embassy directly.
At the time of your application, you were probably given a code or reference, so have a look for this in your documents before you reach out. It’s likely they will need it to be able to locate your application in the system. Embassies in some countries may even offer an online service where you can check the progress of your application yourself.
Cost of a Visa for Turkmenistan
The costs can vary depending on how many days you are spending in the country, and there are both Single and Multiple-Entry options. In addition, the service fees can be very different from country to country, so please bear in mind that these are just the baseline rates.
Price for a standard tourist visa:
- Single-Entry valid for 10 days – 20 USD
- Single-Entry valid for 20 days – 30 USD
- Single-Entry valid for 1 month – 40 USD
- Multiple-Entry valid for 1 month – 60 USD
Meanwhile, a transit authorisation is at the lower price range at 20 USD for 5 days. On the other hand, if you require the visa to be processed quickly, you will need to pay a premium, which is generally around 150 USD.
More Turkmenistan Visa Questions and Information
We hope you have found this page useful and that it answered all your doubts about travelling to Turkmenistan. Please find below some of our most frequently asked questions with more essential information you need to know before you travel.