Starting from February 1 a visa-free regime is introduced for citizens of Israel, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and Japan. Citizens of these countries will be able to visit Uzbekistan without visa and stay for up to 30 days. All they will need is just to have a valid passport and upon arrival to Uzbekistan to pass a border control, procedure that takes on average 1-2 minutes.
In addition, a visa-free regime is introduced for the aircraft crews of airlines carrying out regular flights to Uzbekistan.
The new measure will bring the total number of countries with visa-free regime to 16. Currently, the visa regime is enjoyed by citizens of 9 countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan (up to 60 days).
The decree also envisages the introduction of a simplified procedure for issuing tourist visas for 39 countries (see the list below) starting from February 10, whose citizens will no longer need provide a tourist voucher to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or an invitation from travel agency or physical person in Uzbekistan. Visa processing time for those citizens will take no more than two working days. Thus, the number of countries with a simplified visa regime will increase from 15 to 51.
In addition, the decree obliges to introduce electronic visas system from July 1, 2018.
Another improvement is the introduction of short-term transit visas upon arrival to foreign passengers transiting through Uzbekistan for a period of 72 hours since May 1, 2018. Authorities also plan to provide short-term (from 8:00 to 21:00) controlled (escorted) exit of transit passengers outside the border zone of the airport for a sightseeing tour from approved tourist programs.
The Cabinet of Ministers was instructed to take a decision on the implementation of the innovation within two months. In particular, to approve the list of countries whose citizens will be eligible for short-term transit visas upon arrival.
These passengers must have an air ticket and (if necessary) a visa to a third country, in addition consular fees will be charged.
All these measures are aimed at increasing the tourist flow to Uzbekistan and the transformation of inbound tourism into the significant part of national economy.
Countries with which a simplified visa procedure is introduced:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
China, including the Hong Kong SAR
United Arab Emirates
Countries that already have a simplified mode
* a visa-free regime is introduced