visa policy of tajikistan

Tajikistan Visa Guide: How to Get a Tajik Visa

Tajikistan Visa Guide: How to Get a Tajik Visa was originally published in September 2022

After all these years of traveling to Tajikistan and in light of the fact that Tajikistan made some major changes to its Tajik visa policy, I’ve finally put together this quick guide to Tajik visas to help you better understand the process and what all you’ll need to get yours. 

On January 1, 2022, Tajikistan introduced a majorly expanded visa-free policy for 52 nationalities (though with some caveats, more on that below) in addition to their simplified Tajik e-visa that was introduced in mid-2016. Both of these steps in progress have made visiting Tajikistan easier than ever. Of course, there are still several nationalities that will need to secure full-blown visas prior to traveling in Tajikistan which we will cover toward the end of this Tajikistan visas guide. 

Visa-Free Entry to Tajikistan 

As of right now, 62 nations may enter Tajikistan visa-free. 10 of these countries are former members of the USSR and have varying lengths of stay while the other 52 non-former USSR nations will be granted 30 days visa-free. As such, I have divided the visa-free section into two categories with the corresponding information. Visa-free entry is possible at airports in Tajikistan as well as at all of Tajikistan’s border crossings.

52 Visa-Free Countries 

As of January 1, 2022, the following list of countries may enter Tajikistan visa-free for up to 30 days. This visa-free policy is valid both at Tajikistan airports and at land borders. 

One important thing to consider before opting for visa-free access to Tajikistan is that if you plan to travel in the Pamir at all you will need to get a GBAO permit from the OVIR office in Dushanbe (more about how to do this later in this post), whereas if you do decide to go with the Tajik e-visa you will be able to apply for the GBAO permit on your e-visa AND you will be given a longer stay in Tajikistan (note that all of the nations on the 30 day visa-free list are also eligible for the e-visa too). 

Registering with OVIR for visa-free entries staying over 10 days

Tajikistan MFA Registration
Tajikistan MFA Registration Card

It is important to note that for those entering Tajikistan visa-free and planning to stay in the country for more than 10 days will need to register with OVIR. This must be completed within the first 10 days of arrival.

Registration should cost around 210 TJS if you go over to OVIR and do it yourself. Several hotels/hostels/guesthouses will do this for you if you’d like to skip the OVIR headache for 250-300 TJS.

30 days visa-free entry

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Lichtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America

Former Soviet Republics 

As mentioned before, former states of the USSR are allowed entry to Tajikistan visa-free for varying lengths of time, except for Turkmenistan which is likely due to reciprocity and the fact that Turkmenistan makes their visas a gigantic pain in the ass (and still as of 2022, completely impossible for ordinary passport holders).

Unlimited visa-free entry

  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Russia

90 days visa-free entry

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Ukraine

30 days visa-free entry

  • Uzbekistan

Tajikistan E-Visa

Tajik e-visa
Tajikistan E-Visa with GBAO Permit

On June 3, 2016, Tajikistan introduced its first-ever e-visa program granting 121 nationalities easier than ever before access to Tajikistan. 

The Tajik e-visa will grant 60 day entry to Tajikistan and there is an option to select single or double entry (both are the same cost). The price for the Tajik e-visa is $50 USD and an additional $20 USD if you want to get a GBAO permit added to it (you’ll want this if you plan to visit the Pamir). There is also a small bank fee of $1.75-$2.80 charged as well.

You can pay for the e-visa online by credit/debit card. Using a Visa or Mastercard card adds a fee of $1.75 USD to your total and using an American Express card will add $2.80 USD to your total.

The following nationalities are eligible for the Tajikistan e-visa. 

  • All European Union countries
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Cabo Verde
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Fiji
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Suriname
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

Tajik E-visa Practical Info

The Tajik e-visa is valid at both the airports and land borders. It’s standard practice for the border guards or airport officials to stamp both the visa paper and your passport- so make sure to keep your paper e-visa folded up and in your passport. 

Personally, I’ve gotten grilled exiting to Afghanistan at the Ishkashim Border Crossing over a “missing” stamp on my visa paper. I entered Tajikistan that time at the Khujand Airport and I never noticed that they didn’t stamp it. I argued a bit with the officer at the border pointing out that my passport clearly had a stamp in it (among many Tajik stamps) and he finally backed down and let me go. 

I’ve heard reports of travelers having just the visa stamped and not their passport, which I would imagine may cause some problems upon exit. Try to make sure both are stamped to avoid any conflict at the border/airport on exit. So moral of the story: make sure both the passport and the e-visa paper are stamped. 

Tajik E-Visa Applications that are “Stuck” in the System

Sometimes applications get ‘stuck’ in the system and this has been the case since the Tajik e-visa was introduced in 2016. Once the pandemic kicked off in 2020 that seemed to be the case with all applications through mid-2021 when it appeared that the e-visa system began working normally again (with occasional applications getting stuck). 

There are a couple of ways to try and remedy this. The first way is to try the following e-mail addresses

  • kmuhamadulloev@consular.tj
  • info@visa.mfa.tj
  • evisa@visa.mfa.tj

From personal experience with a ‘stuck’ visa application, the first email listed above is the only one I’ve ever gotten a reply from.

Next, if you still have received no response from any of those is to contact a Tajikistan tour operator and request them to ‘push’ your visa through the system. Most will do this for a fee (expect a quote somewhere around $70 USD). I actually had to do this in early 2021 to get an e-visa to process.

Tajik E-Visa Denials

Sometime e-visas do get denied. If this is the case in your situation you’ll need to apply the old-fashioned way through an embassy.

Using a Visa Agent to get a Tajik E-Visa

You can use a visa agent such as iVisa to assist you in your e-visa application. They do charge an additional $20 fee in addition to the visa cost for this. 

Tajik Visa on Arrival 

You can get a Tajik visa on arrival if flying into Dushanbe International Airport. This comes with a risk of being refused, which does happen on occasion, however, I have met and traveled with several people who have come to Tajikistan with a visa on arrival and had no issues whatsoever. 

Note that they do not issue GBAO permits at the airport with the visa on arrival. You will have to apply for a GBAO permit (should you need one) at the OVIR office in Dushanbe. 

Visa on arrival is available to the following nationalities

  • All European Union countries 
  • Algeria 
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Oman
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

Full Tajikistan Visa from an Embassy

If you have to get a traditional Tajik visa from an embassy, it’s a pretty simplified process to do so. Most embassies will issue 30-45 day tourist visas with the option of single or double entry (both are the same price) and most embassies will also issue GBAO permits along with them.

To expedite the process, Tajikistan created an online Tajikistan visa application center (this is a different website than the one for the e-visa!) where you can fill out the application and upload your documents and send them to the embassy you plan to pick your visa up at. This website can also be used to apply for business, permanent resident, private, student, etc. visas too. 

Of course, you can still go visit the embassy in person and ask for an old-fashioned application and fill it out there. Once your application is submitted most embassies will issue visas within a few days and offer an additional fee for expedited service (usually same day or next day). 

What you Need to Apply for a Tajikistan Visa

  • Passport with at least 6 months validity and a minimum of 2 empty pages
  • Passport photos. I’d have serval on you as most embassies seem to request 1-3 in most cases
  • A completed Tajikistan visa application form
  • Bring photocopies of your passport with you too, sometimes embassies ask for them and others may not. 

Letter of Invitation

Long gone are the days of requiring a letter of invitation, though you may run into some embassies that still require it for whatever reason (probably cause they haven’t gotten with the program). A Tajik tour operator can usually issue these for a fee if you happen to find yourself needing one of these. 

Tajik Migration Slips

When you enter Tajikistan, regardless of what type of visa you have entered on, you will need to fill out a migration slip. When you clear immigration they will rip it in half and give you one copy that you will need to retain and hand over when you exit the country. This is a stupid formality that disappeared in 2016 and 2017 and reappeared in 2019 and has been in practice ever since. 

Make sure that you have filled out your migration slip! I was traveling in the Pamir in 2021 with two guys that had entered Tajikistan at Dushanbe Airport with the visa on arrival and they had not filled out their retained copy of the migration slip. They never were checked anywhere not once when we had to show passports and GBAO permits until we were headed back into the Pamir for a second time after a return to Dushanbe when we were stopped at the Shurubod Pass checkpoint (this is the first GBAO checkpoint you go through if coming from Dushanbe) where the officer stated that the two men had failed to fill out their migration slips and that they would need to return to their point of entry (Dushanbe Airport) to fill them out. Luckily for them though, they had taken a selfie with this same officer at his request a few days prior when we returned to Dushanbe and were stopped at this checkpoint. We showed him the photo and said jokingly “you let us through last time, see, we have a photo with you” and he sheepishly let the guys fill out their migration cards there and continue on into the Pamir. TLDR; fill out those migration cards and keep them somewhere safe!

Registering with OVIR

For those that enter Tajikistan on the new visa-free scheme that began in January 2022 and planning to stay in the country for 10 days or more will need to register with OVIR within the first 10 days after their arrival. As mentioned earlier, many accommodations will send someone with your passport to take care of this for you for a cost of 250-300 TJS, though if you don’t mind paying a visit to OVIR your can handle this on your own.

I’ve only dealt with the OVIR office in Dushanbe for GBAO permits and the registration since I was staying more than 10 days on a visa-free entry which has been super easy every time. There are also OVIR offices in Khujand, Khorog, and Murghab.

Tajik OVIR Addresses & Hours

  • Dushanbe: 5 Mirzo Turzunzade Street, open 8 am to 5 pm
  • Khujand: 120 Firdosi Street, open 8 am to 5 pm
  • Khorog: 115 Lenin Street, open 8 am to 5 pm
  • Murghab: I’ve not had to visit OVIR in Murghab, but I would try the government building next to the Lenin Statue on Tashkurgan Road

Tajik Visa Extensions

You cannot extend Tajik tourist visas. If you would like to stay in Tajikistan longer you should just exit the country and re-enter with a new visa or e-visa. 

If you are in Tajikistan on a different type of visa (basically anything other than a tourist visa) you likely can file an extension. You’ll want to visit the Tajik MFA in Dushanbe at 33 Sheroz Street in order to gather the necessary documents and what fees must be paid to do this.

What Happens if you Overstay your Tajik Visa

Don’t

Overstaying a Tajik visa is an expensive nightmare from what I have heard and usually requires going to court in Dushanbe, assistance from your embassy (which some embassies be quite unhelpful), and some hefty fines that usually total to a few hundred dollars. 

It’s pretty easy to figure out when you need to leave the country (simple math), so do so before that date. Do note that the day you enter Tajikistan counts as day 1 so if you enter Tajikistan on August 15 and you receive a 60 day visa, you need to exit the country by October 13 at the latest (August 15 is counted as day 1 and October 13 is day 60).

If you do overstay and get lucky, you may be able to bribe your way out of the country at a border crossing. Or they haul you out to Dushanbe to take care of it the official way. I can’t state this enough: do not overstay your visa.

What Happens if I Exit Tajikistan at a Land Border but the Next Country Denies My Entry?

This is an interesting situation to be in but I saw it happen last year (2021)! Okay, I didn’t physically see it happen but it happened to a friend. But full-disclosure: this situation would really only happen now (2022 onwards) to those not on the visa-free entry list.

If you exit Tajikistan at a land border and have been denied entry to the next country here is what to do:

  • Don’t freak out, stay calm
  • Get a ride or walk back to the Tajik side of the border (more on this if you have to hitch a ride in the story below)
  • Plead your case to the border officers about what happened.
  • They (border officers) may ask for a bribe, they may not. If they do ask for a bribe and you are willing to pay it, start low
  • After many a cup of chai, you will get a cancellation stamp stamped over your exit stamp
  • Voilé, you’re back in Tajikistan
  • When you finally do exit the country for good elsewhere, plan to have some explaining to do

Mike’s story about getting denied entry to Kyrgyzstan and having to re-enter Tajikistan

Tajikistan canceled exit stamp
Mike’s sweet Tajikistan exit cancelation stamp (the dark blue one)

So let’s go back to the fall of 2021. I met two guys traveling around the Pamir together in September, Nico and Mike. In early October, Mike had decided to attempt the Kyzyl Art Border Crossing to Kyrgyzstan as we had all read reports of some people being turned around (at the Tajik side of the border) and told to exit elsewhere while others (almost exclusively cyclists) were allowed to peddle through and into Kyrgyzstan without much problem. Well, Mike was a few days late and had quite the experience.

Mike took a shared taxi from Khorog, and another to Murghab, and then went on to get dropped off at the Tajik side of the Kyzyl Art Border Crossing where he received his exit stamp on his e-visa and was released to continue on to Kyrgyzstan. The border crossing is atop a 4,280 meter mountain pass with the Tajik checkpoint being at the top of the pass and the Kyrgyz checkpoint 20 kilometers away and almost entirely downhill at Bördöbo. His plan was to walk the 20 kilometers down to the Kyrgyz checkpoint and continue on from there.

Well, Mike ended up SOL on this one, as he reached the Kyrgyz checkpoint he was told that he could not enter Kyrgyzstan, period. After a little pleading, the Kyrgyz officers referenced an official decree that had been signed only a couple of days prior stating that absolutely no foreign passport holders were to enter Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan at Kyzyl Art (this all dates back to the ongoing Vorukh Conflict that flared up in spring of 2021).

At that point me and my friend Maija were back in Khorog and ran into Nico where we all decided to go have dinner together, that’s when he got the phone call from Mike. Nico speaks Russian fluently so was able to communicate to the Kyrgyz border guards the situation, in which they agreed to let Mike camp out at the border office and catch a ride back to the Tajik side of the border the next morning.

The following day after much ado and a little baksheesh, the Tajiks finally gave Mike a cancelation stamp over his Tajikistan exit stamp and let him back in, and caught a ride back to Murghab (border officers called a friend that came to the border and picked him up, for a fee of course). Mike then traveled back to Dushanbe where he caught a flight up to Kyrgyzstan to continue on, though he did have some issues exiting at the Dushanbe Airport over this, but nothing a little baksheesh didn’t fix 😉

Later on, I found out that Mike has a blog called Chasing the Real World… where he said he’ll eventually write out this entire story.

GBAO Permit Information

GBAO Permit
A GBAO Permit issued by OVIR in Dushanbe

Most likely, if you’re coming to Tajikistan as a tourist you’re probably planning to take on the legendary Pamir Highway. So, in order to do this, you’ll need to get a GBAO Permit.

As mentioned previously in this post, GBAO Permits are easy to acquire. They can be issued either online with e-visas, at embassies, or in person at an OVIR office. 

Here is a list of OVIR offices where it’s possible to get GBAO Permits

  • Dushanbe: 5 Mirzo Turzunzade Street, open 8 am to 5 pm
  • Khujand: 120 Firdosi Street, open 8 am to 5 pm

If you do apply at an OVIR, it’s usually a simple process- they will just need to take a copy of your passport and make you pay a 20 TJS fee per permit. In the Fall of 2021 we had to do this and they first told us to come back in 2 hours for them and we asked if it was possible to get them sooner and the guy at the window said, “ok, come back in 20 minutes”, and voilé, 20 minutes later they were ready to go. The guy who helped us did speak a little English.

The following is the info you’ll need to get your GBAO Permit depending on what type of visa you will be traveling to Tajikistan on.

GBAO Permits for Visa-Free Entry

You will need to go to the OVIR office in either Dushanbe or Khujand to get your GBAO permit. I was told 2 hours but got it in 20 minutes upon request, some travelers report 24 hours, so I would budget a day to get one.

GBAO Permits for the Tajik E-Visa

Check the box on your Tajik e-visa application for the GBAO Permit, this will add $20 USD to your total. Your e-visa will be issued with a GBAO Permit on it.

GBAO Permits for Visa on Arrival

If you’ve gotten a Tajik visa on arrival at Dushanbe or Khujand Airports you will need to go to the OVIR office in Dushanbe or Khujand to get your GBAO Permit.

GBAO Permits for Tajik Visas

If you’ve applied for a traditional Tajik visa from an embassy you may be able to get a GBAO Permit for an additional fee of anywhere between a few dollars and up to $20 USD directly from the embassy as many of them do issue them. If you apply at one that won’t issue them or you just plain forgot, just go to either the Dushanbe or Khujand OVIR offices. 

Have Any Questions About Tajik Visas?

Ask in the comments section below.

Need Travel Insurance for Tajikistan?

Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.

More posts from Tajikistan

4 thoughts on “Tajikistan Visa Guide: How to Get a Tajik Visa”

  1. Hello! thanks for the informative article,

    I cant for the life of me see where to check the GBAO box on the e-visa application. Is there anyway you could screenshot or point me to the spot
    huge thanks in advance

    W

    1. I just went and checked and the option to select GBAO permit is totally gone- so you’re not crazy! For the past couple of months they have been denying e-visas of those that ticked the GBAO box (I’ve read several cases of this on Caravanistan). So ultimately it looks like you will need to pay a visit to the OVIR office in Dushanbe in order to try and get a permit.

  2. You’ve really answered all the questions one could think of, thank you very much!
    Sounds rather easy, smooth and not even expensive. One thing less to worry about.

    1. Haha, I think I’ve seen just about every visa situation there at this point! Though this visa-free access for so many nationalities is making it even easier

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