Visas

Visa information for:

  1. Azerbaijan (Batumi consulate)
  2. Kazakhstan (Baku and Bishkek consulates)
  3. Uzbekistan (Baku consulate)
  4. India (Bishkek consulate)
  5. Chinese Visa (Baima Travel agents Bishkek)
  6. Chinese Visa renewal (Xi’an PSB)

Caravanistan has lots of up to date information at www.caravistan.com/visas for visas in central Asia

Where there is no information about a country then you can assume that a British citizen has visa free travel there for at least 30 days.

Azerbaijan

I got my Azeri visa in Batumi as I had heard this was the best place to do it.  I have not heard or experienced anything to disabuse me of this fact.

No Letter of Invitiation (LOI) was needed, apparently this is the only Azeri consulate that doesn’t require one.

The cost was 210 Georgian Lari and the visa was ready in 3 days.

The consul was friendly and helpful.

In order to get the visa I needed 2 passport photos, copies of my passport and to fill out 2 forms.

When collecting my visa, the consul had forgotten I had been before and said that there would be no more visas available for 2 weeks.  I think he has a quota of visas he can issue, so be aware that he may not always have visas to issue.

Kazakhstan

I got my Kazakhstan visa in Baku and the hardest part about it was finding the embassy.

The easiest way is to head north west on Tbilisi Prospekti.  When you are near the large idman v concert complex you are close to the turning you need to take.  The turning is signed and there are signs to the embassy. GPS coordinates are 40.39478 49.82441

At the embassy I just had to fill out a form and hand over one passport photo.  I was able to get a double entry visa for two 30 day entries for $40.

I went on Tuesday and was told I would be able to pick the visa up between 16:00 and 17:00 on Thursday.

On Thursday though they had made a mistake with the visa and given me the wrong dates. This wasn’t a big problem though and I just had to come back the next day.

The staff were nice and the consul spoke reasonable English and was friendly.

Opens Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 to 11:30

I got my second and third Kazakh visas in Bishkek and there were no issues. The embassy can be found at:

95-A Mira prospekt.

You’ll need a passport photo, a copy of your passport and a copy of your Kyrgyz entry stamp from your passport.

I paid $30 for a single entry visa both times and had to get a taxi from the embassy to a bank where I could pay the money into the Kazakhstan consular bank account.  The taxi drivers hanging around outside should know where it is but if you can book a taxi with Namba Cabs for example it will be much cheaper and more efficient..

It took about two working days.

Uzbekistan 

I got my Uzbek visa in Baku and the embassy would be difficult to find if you don’t know exactly where it is.

It is off Badamar Sossesi on the turning before the turning that Citimart Badamar is on.  The GPS coordinates are 40.3513 49.8049.

For the visa all I needed was to fill out a form and supply a passport photo.  The consul asked me if I had a telex number and I looked blank as I didn’t know what he meant.

I think if you have a LOI you can get the visa much more quickly as I applied on Wednesday and wasn’t able to pick up the visa till next Tuesday.

You can only apply for a visa for certain dates.  So you have to know exactly when you want to be in Uzbekistan.  Visas are normally for a maximum of 30 days.

The cost of the visa was $75.

The consulate was operating from 10:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 17:00 Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The consul was a nice guy and spoke English well.

India

Getting an Indian visa is a lot more difficult outside your home country.  I got mine in Bishkek which was a bit of a pain.

The embassy is at Chancery: 15A, Aeroportinskaya Street, which is just off Mira.  Most of the information you need can be found at http://www.embassyofindia.kg/

They required two passport photos, a copy of my passport and hotel bookings for every day that I planned to be in India.s  They also required that I print out an application form myself and that I had printed out another fax form and filled them both in.

And yes that was hotel bookings for every day… I wanted a six month visa in order to give me some leeway while I was there and also a chance to visit Nepal if I wanted to.  This meant I had to make six months worth of realistic hotel bookings.  I then cancelled these as soon as I got my visa.  It was still a massive pain.

The visa also takes a while – they say 10 working days but actually it is a bit quicker. They will call you when it is ready.

The cost was around 6000 som which you pay on collection and I also had to pay 500 som as a fax fee the first time I visited.

English is the language spoken there.

China

I got my Chinese visa from Baima travel agents in Bishkek.  They promised that they would provide a 90day visa but in the end came up with a double entry visa that provided for two entries of thirty days each.  This is not ideal but at least is a visa.

Also using Baima meant that I didn’t have to put much effort in. They just required the passport and some photos, normally in Bishkek a lot more effort is required, including trips to the embassy and possibly beard shaving if the Chinese consul doens’t like the look of you.

More information on using Baima can be found at this blog.

 China Visa renewal – in Xi’an

This was far easier than was expected.  I did it at the Xi’an PSB and applied in the morning on Tuesday and received my visa renewal on the next Friday morning.  My renewed visa was until 20 September and I received it on 15th August, my previous visa didn’t appear to be cancelled meaning I got something like a 33 day extension which seems to be some sort of mistake but one I didn’t complain about.

I used the information from this blog in making my application and it all appeared relevant and the lady on the desk was impressed with my preparation so I guess that following it is a good idea.

My visa was double entry and there was no issues because of that so you can renew a Chinese double entry visa something that I had been very unsure of.  I heard from two PSBs including Xi’an that they will now only give one extension on visas, single entry or otherwise.

 

One thought on “Visas

  1. Pingback: Brief guide to cycle touring in Central Asia (in winter) | Riding ROUND

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