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XYZ Consular Info: Uzbekistan
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
For recorded travel information, call 202-647-5225
Internet Address: http://travel.state.gov
For information by fax, call 202-647-3000 from your fax machine
Consular Information Sheet
April 18, 2002
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Uzbekistan is a newly independent nation in the midst
of profound political and economic change. Tourist facilities are not
highly developed, and many of the goods and services taken for granted in
other countries are not yet available. Internal travel and travel to other
New Independent States (NIS), including both air and land routes, can be
erratic and disrupted by fuel shortages, overcrowding and other problems.
The capital is Tashkent.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required; official invitations
from a sponsoring organization or individual are no longer required for
American citizens. Visas are issued by Uzbek embassies and consulates
abroad. Visitors coming from countries where Uzbekistan does not have
diplomatic or consular representation should obtain visas in a third
country. Visas are not available upon arrival at any Uzbek airport.
Importantly, Uzbek visas indicate not only the validity of the visa, but
also the period of time a person is allowed to stay in Uzbekistan on a given
trip. Although Uzbek visas given to private American citizens are generally
valid for four years with multiple entries, a visitor will have to leave the
country after the number of days indicated as the duration of stay on the
visa. Therefore, it is important to indicate your intended period of stay
when applying for your Uzbek visa.
Further visa information is available at the Embassy of the Republic of
Uzbekistan, located a
1746 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036; telephone (202)
887-5300; http://www.uzbekistan.org; or the Uzbek Consulate in New York,
located at 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 327A, New York, N.Y. 10017;
telephone (212) 754-6178 or (212) 754-7403; http://www.uzbekconsul.org.
Note 1: All travelers, even those simply transiting Uzbekistan for less
than 72 hours, must obtain an Uzbek visa before traveling to Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan has suspended the 72-hour transit rule that allowed travelers
with visas from other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States to
transit Uzbekistan without an Uzbek visa.
Note 2: On December 1, 2001, the Uzbek Government imposed travel
restrictions on large parts of the Surkhandarya Oblast region bordering
Afghanistan, including the border city of Termez. Foreign citizens
intending to travel to this region must obtain a special permission card
from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs or
Uzbek embassies and consulates abroad.
Registration after Entry: All travelers present in Uzbekistan for more than
three days must register with the Office of Entry, Exit, and Citizenship.
Hotel guests are registered automatically, but all other travelers are
responsible for registering themselves. Visitors without proper
registration are subject to fines and possible harassment by local
authorities. Uzbek law mandates that visitors carry a medical certificate
attesting that they are not infected with HIV. However, this requirement is
only sporadically enforced.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have
initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring
documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel
from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation
on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: On December 1, 2001, the Uzbek Government imposed
travel restrictions on large parts of the Surkhandarya Oblast region
bordering Afghanistan, including the border city of Termez. Please keep in
mind that the border between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan remains closed to
all but official traffic.
In August 2000, fighting broke out on the Tajikistan-Kyrgyz and
Tajikistan-Uzbekistan borders in response to insurgency activity by the
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). As a result of operations by
government security forces, portions of the Uzbek borders with Tajikistan,
the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan were subsequently closed to civilians and
tourists; such closures can be expected if IMU activity recurs in the
summer. Restricted personal movement, including the closing of roads to
traffic, and frequent document, vehicle and personal identification checks
should be anticipated. The IMU has been responsible for several
hostage-taking incidents in the Kyrgyz Republic directly targeting foreign
citizens, including Americans. U.S. citizens should remain vigilant about
their personal safety.
Americans traveling to or residing in Uzbekistan are urged to contact the
Consular Section of the
U.S. Embassy in Tashkent for up-to-date information on security
Note: U.S. citizens should check the Consular Information Sheets and
current Travel Warnings or Public Announcements for nearby countries,
including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and
Turkmenistan on a regular basis. The U.S. Embassy in each of those
countries can provide up-to-date information about local crime and safety
issues. Information about how to contact each Embassy directly is available
on the Internet at the Consular Affairs home page, http://travel.state.gov,
or by calling the U.S. Embassy, Tashkent.
CRIME: Uzbekistan has a relatively low rate of violent crime, but recent
attacks against foreigners, including American citizens, indicate that it is
increasing. Also, common street crime has increased, especially at night.
In urban areas, travelers are urged to take the same precautions against
crime that they would take in a large American city.
Although using private cars as taxicabs is a common practice in Uzbekistan,
Americans should not consider this a safe practice, especially women and
those traveling alone. Americans are encouraged to use clearly marked
taxicabs, such as those at hotels.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately
to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S.
citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet,
"A Safe Trip Abroad," for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The
pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at
http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care in Uzbekistan is below Western standards,
with severe shortages of basic medical supplies, including disposable
needles, anesthetics, and antibiotics. Elderly travelers and those with
pre-existing health problems may be at particular risk due to inadequate
medical facilities. Most resident Americans travel to North America or
Western Europe for their medical needs.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the
U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical
services outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals often expect
immediate cash payment for health services. Uninsured travelers who require
medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their
medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their
policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as
a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health
costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is
purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide
payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many
travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover
health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider
that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to
providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may
cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical
care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your
insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to
the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for
expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for
psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of
Consular Affairs brochure, "Medical Information for Americans Traveling
Abroad", available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or
autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Travelers are advised to drink only boiled water,
peel all fruits and vegetables, and avoid undercooked meat. Due to
inadequate sanitation conditions, travelers should avoid eating dairy
products and most food sold in the streets. Information on vaccinations and
other health precautions may be obtained from the Center for Disease Control
and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP
(1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC- FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's
Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S.
citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those
in the United States. The information below concerning Uzbekistan is
provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a
particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Uzbekistan has a developed but deteriorating traffic infrastructure.
Although roads in Tashkent are relatively well-maintained, many roads
outside Tashkent, and particularly those in the Tien Shan and Fan Mountains,
are in poor condition and may be passable only by four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Driving at night can be quite dangerous because only the main roads in
Tashkent have streetlights; rural roads and highways generally are not lit.
Visitors are strongly urged to avoid driving at night outside Tashkent.
Livestock, farm equipment and carts drawn by animals are found on both urban
and rural roads at any hour. Local drivers are not familiar with safe
driving techniques. Pedestrians in cities and rural areas cross streets
unexpectedly and often without looking for oncoming traffic. Uzbekistan has
a large road police force, which frequently stops drivers for minor
infractions or simple document checks. There have been reports of
harassment of foreign drivers by the road police, with reported minor police
corruption in the form of solicitation of bribes.
For additional general information about road safety, including links to
foreign government sites, please see the Department of State, Bureau of
Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For
specific information concerning Uzbekistan driver's permits, vehicle
inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please fax your question to
Uzbek Embassy in Washington, D.C. at (202) 293-9633 or the Consulate General
in New York at
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
has assessed the Government of Uzbekistan's Civil Aviation Authority as
Category One -- in compliance with international aviation safety standards
for oversight of Uzbekistan's air carrier operations. For further
information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within
the United States at telephone
(800) 322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet web site at
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For
information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may
contact the DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Uzbek customs authorities may enforce strict
regulations concerning temporary import or export from Uzbekistan of items
such as armaments and ammunition, space technology, encryption devices,
X-ray and isotope equipment, nuclear materials, poisons, drugs, precious and
semi-precious metals, nullified securities, pieces of art and antiques of
historical value. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Uzbekistan in
Washington, D.C. or the Consulate of Uzbekistan in New York for specific
information regarding customs requirements.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject
to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly
from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available
to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be
more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons
violating Uzbek laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled. Penalties for
possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs in Uzbekistan are strict,
and offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
CONSULAR ACCESS: Travelers to Uzbekistan are subject to frequent document
inspections. Therefore, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to carry a
copy of their U.S. passport and their Uzbek visa with them at all times so
that they may more readily prove that they are U.S. citizens. In accordance
with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and certain bilateral
agreements, local authorities must grant a United States consular officer
access to any U.S. citizen who is arrested. U.S. citizens who are arrested
or detained should ask to contact the U.S. Embassy immediately.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Most transactions are conducted on a cash-only,
local currency (som) basis. Credit cards are accepted only at the main
hotels and a few shops and restaurants; traveler's checks can be cashed into
dollars at the National Bank of Uzbekistan. The commission fee is two
percent. Importation of currency exceeding $10,000 (US) is subject to a one
Foreigners must complete a customs declaration upon entering Uzbekistan and
may face fines upon departure if unable to produce certificates verifying
legal conversion of foreign currency. Old U.S. dollar bills (prior to 1990)
and/or those in poor condition (with tears, writing or stamps) are not
acceptable forms of currency in Uzbekistan. Although payment in U.S.
dollars is required for certain hotel charges, plane tickets, and visa fees,
other dollar transactions, as well as black market currency exchanges, are
DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Uzbekistan is an earthquake-prone country. General
information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the
Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of children
and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet
site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202)
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans are encouraged to register at the
Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on
travel and security in Uzbekistan. The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, is located
at Ulitsa Chilanzarskaya, 82. The main Embassy telephone number is (998 71)
120-5450, fax (998 71) 120-6335; the Consular Section's direct line is
(998 71) 120-5444, e-mail address: email@example.com. Current
information may also be obtained from the Embassy web site at
* * *
This publication replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated January 4,
2001 to update the sections on Entry Requirements, Crime, Safety and
Security, Medical Insurance and Registration/Embassy Location.