The necessary Tajik visa, GBAO and more


Once you have made the great decision of boarding the great adventure rally the Central Asia Rally is, let’s get prepared with what you will need to enter these amazing countries. Acquiring the necessary visa for these countries is fortunately something the Travel Scientists will happily help you with.

Photo by upyernoz

During the amazing adventure trip that is the Central Asia Rally, you get to see places only National Geographic showed you before. Starting from Russia, we pass and discover Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgizstan. The authentic and unspoiled adventure unfortunately has some drawbacks. If you are used to travelling within Europe, or to popular tourist destinations you might get around without acquiring visa every time, but in the Central Asia Rally countries it is not the case. But how do you get, say, a Kyrgiz visa?

Acquiring Russian, Kazakh, Uzbek,Kyrgyz and Tajik Visa

Russian visa in passport
It all starts with the Russian visa. We’ll help you with the application of course Photo: Antonis Gkekas

Obviously, you can get a Tajik visa from a Tajik embassy, Russian from a Russian foreign representaton, and so on. Finding a Russian embassy should not be too difficult, they are represented in basically every country in the world. The application is in an electronic format, with applications done online, only the ready visa needs to be collected in person. It is possible to get a 3-day transit visa, however that’s cutting it a little tight. It’s a technical sport, after all. If anything should hinder you beyond this, leaving the country can be very complicated.

A visa to Kazakhstan can also be applied for online. In countries where there is no Kazakh embassy, the Russian embassy or consulate will generally help with this. The other, smaller countries, which unfortunately fewer foreign representations, may prove a little trickier.

Kyrgyzstan Visa

Kyrgyzstan visa can also be applied for online. However Kyrgizstan provides a 60-day stay without a visa for citizens of a list of countries. You can check if it applies to your country on their list. Being on the list can save a lot of trouble, because Kyrgyz embassies are scarce. An embassy or consulate usually serves a number of countries, meaning there is a big chance you need to travel even to pick up a visa with no complications.

Tajik visa invitation letter
Most of the countries require a letter of invitation, like this one from our CAR partners for a Tajik visa

Visa to Uzbekistan

Similarly, Uzbekistan has few foreign representation offices around the world. You can apply for a visa online, but will have to pick it up personally. The main reason for this is, of course, that they have to stamp it in your passport.

The Special Tajik Visa

Tajikistan requires visa to enter from but a handful of countries’ citizens. Citizes of select states can also acquire the visa at the border, but that’s always a gamble. To complicate things even more, the Central Asia Rally takes the route through the Pamirs, administratively known as the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. This special autonomous oblast requires an additional stamp on top of the regular Tajik visa.

If you have any doubts, the territory is beautiful, and as authentic as Central Asia can get. Why else would the Central Asia Rally take the trouble to go that way every year? You can get this GBAO stamp together with your Tajik visa, and depending on the country costs about 20 euro extra. Seeing Badakshan is worth a lot more than that.

GBAO Tajik visa stamp for the Pamirs in Gorno Bakshan
The Pamirs are definitely worth the special GBAO Tajik visa Photo: Paul

How to get your Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tajik visa then?

Well, getting your Uzbek, Kyrgyz and Tajik visa will take a lot of organization and good timing. The visas are time sensitive, and expire in a relatively short period, so you can’t prepare a long time in advance. So how is it the best to go about it?

Leave it to us! Even our basic package includes assistance with acquiring your Uzbek, Kyrgyz and Tajik visa, not to mention the others. With the Standard or Deluxe packages we will take care if it completely. We will hand back your passport ready to go! We’ve been doing it for most of our Central Asia Rally racers for years. You can save yourself the time and trouble, and for us it’s no problem at all.

About Your Passport and Other Requirements

Countries on the Route of the Central Asia Rally require your passport to be valid after the trip for 3-6 months more, check it beforehand! If necessary, the whole process has to be started by applying for a new passport. Similarly, these visas (and stamps) require two empty pages in them each, so make sure there is enough room in your passport for the trip.

Most of these countries also require letters of invitation to issue the visas. Some confirmation of accommodation, too. Our informative materials give help about acquiring these, but the Standard or Deluxe packages mean we will take care of them, too.
Central Asia is a different world. Not only the people, the culture, the landscape, but bureaucracy, too. Hey, that’s part of the experience, right? That’s why we ned to go prepared. But don’t worry, racers of the Central Asia Rally are in good hands with the experienced Travel Scientists, and you are in for the adventure of your life.

Liked this story? Are you getting that itch to travel and go on an adventure? Then join us on the next Central Asia Rally. Find a team of like-minded crazies and we’ll see you at the starting line. If you want to join us in the virtual world then drop us a like on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up with our latest antics.

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