How To Apply Visas For Central Asia, Iran & Armenia

Our experience on applying for visas to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Armenia using a Singapore passport. Includes useful tips, the location of the embassy, documents needed, how long it took and the difficulty level of applying for the visa.

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Kazakhstan Tourist Visa

Difficulty Level ★★
Only troublesome thing is that you have to take a bus or taxi out to the bank to make payment, about 30 minutes journey.

Type of Visa
Tourist visa

Where we applied
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Mira (Tynchtyk) 95A
0312-69 20 95

Opening Hours
9am to 12pm, Mon- Fri (closed on Wed)

Documents needed
1 application form
1 passport photo

Cost
30USD
Payment to be made at the bank (can either take a taxi or a bus from the main road at the cross junction)
Additional 20som for bank administration fee

Time needed
2 working days (collect at 6pm only)

Additional information
Despite reaching promptly at 6pm to collect our visas, and there weren’t many other people, we had to wait an hour before we can get our passports back. No idea why it took so long when the other people could just enter the embassy and get their passport on the spot.

Tajikistan Visa

Difficulty Level
By far the easiest visa to get for Central Asia, minimal documents needed, short working time and payment can be made directly at the embassy 

Type of Visa
Tourist visa

Where we applied
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Sanatornaya 16, Mikrorayon Baganashyl
727-269-7059

Opening Hours
9am to 12pm, Mon to Fri

Documents needed
1 application form
1 passport photo

Cost
55USD
Pay directly at the embassy

Time needed
2 working days (collect visa at 9am)

Additional information
GBAO permit included for free, but you have to ask for it.

Uzbekistan Visa

Difficulty Level ★★★★
Only difficult thing is that you have to apply for your LOI and wait for at least 2 weeks before getting it. Once you have your LOI, it’s very easy to get the visa.

Type of Visa
Tourist visa

Where we applied
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Baribaev 36
727-291-02 35

Opening Hours
2pm to 6pm, Mon to Fri (closed on Wed)

Documents needed
1 application form
1 passport photo
1 photocopy of passport data page
1 print out of the LOI

Cost
89 USD (Visa)
80 USD (LOI)
Payment at the bank (short 10 mins walk away from the embassy)

Time needed
Collected visa on the same day
Reached the embassy around 5pm on a Thursday (embassy closes at 6m) and it was super packed with locals. But somehow we got to skip the queue and went right up to the front to submit our documents. Proceeded to make payment at the bank and returned to the embassy at 5.30pm to collect our visas which were ready already. Very efficient process despite the crowd at the embassy!

Additional information
We got our LOI from Stantours, reliable and reputable agency, fast email replies, got our LOI in 13 days. Cost 80USD for the LOI, additional 15USD for processing fee by our bank.

Turkmenistan Visa

Difficulty Level ★★
Contrary to our guidebook and online resources, it was actually quite easy for us to get the transit visa for Turkmenistan. Tour agencies will tell you that it’s very difficult to get the transit visa and that most will get rejected. Met 2 other Japanese tourists who also applied for the transit visa same time as us and all of us got it successfully.

Type of Visa
Transit visa

Where we applied
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Afrosiab 19 (10 mins walk from the metro station “Kosmo”)
256 94 01

Opening Hours
10am to 12pm, Mon to Thurs

Documents needed
1 application form (the form available online was outdated, had to fill up a new form at the embassy)
1 passport photo
1 coloured photocopy of your passport data page, Uzbekistan visa & onward visa

Cost
55USD (urgent, 1 week processing time) or 35USD (normal, 2 weeks processing time)
Pay directly at the embassy

Time needed
7 working days (collect visa at 10am)
You can take your passport with you after submitting your documents for the visa application. For us, we went ahead to travel to Bukhara and Samarkand during the 1 week and came back to collect our visa after that.

Application of visa – arrived at 9am on Monday, wrote our names down on a piece of paper at the table. At 10am when the embassy opened, we were called in and everything was very fast. Got out by 10.15am. Staff was very friendly and helpful too.

Collection of visa – we arrived at the embassy at 9.45am on the following Wednesday and gave our names to the guy behind the gate. Long queue (we were 16 on the list) and managed to enter only at 11.15am. Once inside, we only had to pass our passport to the embassy staff and then return again on the same day at 4pm to collect our passport.

Additional information
You will need to have your itinerary prepared and they will also ask you for your entry and exit point. Once confirmed, you cannot change your entry and exit points. Professional coloured scanning shop available near the embassy. From the main road facing the embassy, turn right and walk straight till you reach the end of the embassy, there’s a photocopy shop around the corner

Iran Tourist Visa

Difficulty Level ★★★★
Relatively difficult as there’s an additional step of having to apply for the authorization number from the local tour agency in Iran. But once you have the authorization number, it’s easy. Troublesome because you also have to print out your insurance policy. Some other travellers that we met complaint that they had to wait a very long time for the visa! (One Japanese traveller waited 40 days for his visa!)

Type of Visa
Tourist visa

Where we applied
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Razzakov 36
0312-62 12 81 (after dialing press 2 then 0)

Opening Hours
9.30am to 12pm, Mon to Fri

Documents needed
1 application form (the form available online was outdated, we had to fill up a new form at the embassy)
1 passport photo (for ladies, better to wear a head scarf in the photo)
1 photocopy of passport data page
1 copy of insurance policy (print out of email confirmation will suffice)
Authorisation number (we got ours from Uppersia for US$35 in 10 working days, )

Cost
64USD for Visa (for Singaporean Citizens)
Payment to be made at the Bank of Pakistan, short 10 mins walk from the embassay.
35USD for Authorisation Number (payment to be made in cash when we arrive at Tehran)

Time needed
3 working days (collect visa at 4pm)

Additional information
If you need to print out your insurance policy, there’s a Fujifilm shop opposite the Bank of Pakistan which allows you to print. If you only need to photocopy your passport, you can do it at the bank.

Armenia Visa

Difficulty Level
By far the cheapest and easiest visa so far. We got our visa directly from the border of Armenia and Iran.

Type of Visa
Tourist visa

Where we applied
Iran-Armenia border (Norduz border in Iran)

Opening Hours
Everyday, available as long as the border’s opened.

Documents needed
1 application form (available at the border)

Cost
10USD (or 3,000drum per person)
Pay cash directly at the border (note that they do not have small change for US dollars)

Time needed
Immediate

Hope you found our post useful! If your experience was different from ours or if there are any changes to the visa requirements, do drop us a comment below and we will update our post to make it more relevant to other travellers. Thank you!

Do also check out our guide on travelling to Central Asia!