Obtaining my tourist visa for Uzbekistan was a remarkably swift experience.
First of all, at the time of writing, Belgian citizens don’t need a letter of invitation (LOI) to apply for a visa. This makes the procedure not only faster, but also a little less expensive.
Secondly, it’s possible to apply for the visa through a web-form and e-mail, so you only need to go to the embassy once (to collect the actual visa in your passport). This is a big win, since the Uzbek consulate is located outside central Brussels and getting there without a car is time consuming (although not impossible).
Here’s how things go down:
1. Fill in the online application form
through this website: http://evisa.mfa.uz/evisa_en/
Save the PDF on your computer, print it out, date and sign it.
Then scan the form, completed with your signature and your passport photo attached (I’m not actually sure if this is necessary, but I did it anyway) and save it to your computer again.
Side note: It is not entirely clear to me if your stay in Uzbekistan has to fall before the Expiration date of the visa application form. For example: I completed my e-form on 06-07-2017 and it came with an expiration date on 04-10-2017 (roughly three months). My stay in Uzbekistan will be between these dates, so I figured I was on the safe side. I’m not sure though if the expiration date on the application forms is related only to your application, or also to the validity period of the actual visa…
2. E-mail the PDF of your application form to the embassy
Their e-mail address is email@example.com and the people there are the most friendly and helpful consulate staff I’ve ever dealt with. They replied to all my questions fast and consistently, and confirmed the registration of my form pretty much right after I send it to them.
3. Check back with the embassy after 5 working days
When the embassy confirmed the registration of my application, they told me to check back the next Wednesday (I applied on a Thursday morning). Sure enough, when I contacted them again, I was told that my visa had been approved. It took only 5 working days for them to get it ready!
In their emails, the embassy had suggested me to expect a 10 day waiting period. So in busy times perhaps the procedure takes a little longer.
4. Pick up your visa at the embassy
For the collection of your visa, you will need to bring the following documents:
- your valid passport (valid six months after your return from Uzbekistan)
- one recent picture (international passport quality)
- two copies of your application form (although when you apply by e-mail as described above, this isn’t necessary)
- Cold hard cash
I paid 80 EUR for a 15 day visa (a 30 day visa costs 90 EUR I think)
It’s not possible to pay by card but there is an ATM nearby
The address of the Uzbek embassy and consulate in Brussels is:
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 99
Without a car:
You can take the (slow) train to Etterbeek station and walk the 3km or so (there might be a bus or a tram. I didn’t check as it’s only a 30min walk).
On my way back I took tram 94 to the Legrand stop, changed to tram 93 there and rode it all the way to the Royal stop at the top of Kunstberg. I did this mainly because I wanted to get some Neuhaus white chocolate mousse in the Gallery 🙂 (and because I was looking forward to catching a fast train home), but if you plan on going to/coming from the city centre, this might be a good transport option. Line 94 goes all the way to Louise and there are metro connections there.
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt is a pretty street.
The entrance to the consular section is through a separate little gate to the right of the charming embassy building.
I was told to come and pick up my visa from Monday to Friday between 9u30 and 13u00. No appointment necessary.
When I arrived around 11u00 there were two people waiting, but the “queue” moved fast and the man issuing the papers was super helpful and friendly. He spoke French as well as English.
5. Inspect your visa to make sure all is correct
I was happy to see the visa has flexible dates (they printed a period starting 4 days earlier than the arrival time I had indicated on my application, and ending 4 days after my departure date).
So for example, in my case when you have a 15 day visa, you can enter any time after the start date of your visa, stay for up to 15 days inside the valid time slot, as long as you leave before the end date of the visa. It allows a little space for unplanned delays or last minute schedule changes, which is great!
Applying for a visa is always a pricey affair. Often however, it’s also a bit unpleasant, unfriendly or time consuming. Uzbekistan’s procedure is definitely not like that. Upon leaving the consulate, I was given a tourist map of the country, showing the historic centres of Tashkent, Samarkant, Khiva and Bukhara, and was wished a warm and heartfelt “happy travels”.
The whole experience made me look forward to my journey in Uzbekistan even more. 10/10 would apply again!
Some important notes
As always, of course, make sure you have a valid passport which doesn’t expire for at least six months after your return from Uzbekistan.
Also make sure the pictures you provide are less than six months old (if you use the same picture as in your passport, for example, and your passport is older than six months, people will know your picture is “outdated” and it might be refused).
The information provided here was valid on 13 July 2017. Always check the most current regulations and do contact the embassy whenever in doubt.
I am a Belgian citizen with a Belgian passport, applying for a one entry tourist visa.
I am not to be held accountable for any incorrect or incomplete information provided. This post is to be helpful and informative, but is in no way an official source of information.