Updated: Nov 23, 2019
In accordance with the law, citizens of all countries require a visa to visit Turkmenistan, unless they have special passports or are from certain parts of Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan.
Getting a Turkmenistan tourist Visa is not possible without booking a tour. Transit visas are able to be obtained without booking a tour, which is explained below.
Getting a Turkmenistan tourist Visa is a process. Not only do you need to go through lengthy wait times, but you also need to make a booking for a tour through a tour company, which includes a guide, driver, accommodations and sometimes food.
But don't let this discourage you, when applying for a Turkmen Visa, you are essentially applying to go on an all-inclusive trip to Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is one of the most unique destinations in the world today and makes for an unbelievable experience.
Turkmenistan Tourist Visa
When joining a tour with Political Holidays, your Visa process will begin through our partners in Turkmenistan.
In order to begin the Visa process, follow the instructions of Political Holidays when beginning to book your tour. Firstly, you will need to obtain a 'letter of invitation' (LOI) - which is explained below.
Turkmenistan Letter of Invitation (LOI)
Turkmen regulations are very strict. Even if the rules seem quite ridiculous, they have been made by the government of Turkmenistan and must be followed in order to obtain a Turkmen Visa.
If you want to get an LOI to stay more than 5-7 days in Turkmenistan (i.e. not entering with a Transit Visa), you need to book a tour. When booking a tour with Political Holidays, you will be able to receive an LOI through us and most of the process will be taken care of for you.
Turkmenistan Transit Visa
The Turkmenistan Transit Visa is issued for 3-7 days. How many days you get is essentially up to the whims of the official granting the visa, but 5 days is standard.
Transit Visas are not available on arrival at Ashgabat airport, however, there is a transit area in the airport for passengers in transit for which no special visa is required.
The cost is around $55-$75, depending on a variety of factors. Make sure you have clean, fresh, new dollar bills to pay both at the embassy and at the border.
Processing times differ drastically and can take up to six weeks or more. You can keep your passport, only a copy of your passport is needed by the embassy.
Please note, that this type of Visa is in fact a Transit Visa. This means that while you are allowed into the country, you need to go from one country to another through Turkmenistan (3rd country). You cannot go back to the same country you came from on a transit visa. In that case, you will need a Tourist Visa.
Your entrance to and exit points from Turkmenistan is also predetermined and cannot be changed.
Turkmenistan Visa on Arrival
It is possible to get a Turkmenistan Tourist Visa on arrival to the airport in Ashgabat, as well as on the land borders. Although this still means going through the same processes, you just pick it up physically on arrival.
You will need a letter of invitation (LOI) obtained through booking a tour. The Turkmenistan Visa on arrival is valid for 10 days, with extensions possible based on the duration of the booking.
Turkmenistan Visa Requirements
Visa requirements for Turkmen Visa application:
Completed Turkmenistan Visa application form.
Copy of your main passport page.
Passport with minimum 6 months validity after the expiry of the Turkmen Visa.
Turkmen Visa Rejections
Rejections for obtaining a Turkmenistan Visa are commonplace. There is a reason why this Visa is considered one of the hardest to obtain in the world.
Seemingly, the rejection rate (even when booking a tour) has historically been over 50% and no official explanation is provided for the rejection. This rejection rate does not discriminate between nationalities as all passports seem to get rejected on a regular basis.
Good news is that travellers are able to apply again if they are rejected. In addition, travellers who are lucky enough to be dual-citizens, can easily try their luck immediately after being rejected with their second passport and hope for better results.
Recently, it seems that the rejection rate had lowered drastically - although they still happen, of course.
Turkmen consulates and embassies also tend to take long holidays around the New Year and Nowruz - a national holiday in Turkmenistan. Keep in mind that when planning a tour, long waiting times should be expected for all Visa process.
Registration in Turkmenistan
Travellers on a Turkmen tourist visa need to be registered with OVIR. If travelling with Political Holidays, all of this will be handled for you.
More information can be obtained by emailing us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: November, 2019