Passport and exit visa regulations in Uzbekistan

From 1 July 2014 citizens of Uzbekistan are required to apply for biometric passports to exit the country. Citizen who exited the country before July 1st 2014 will still have their old-style passport remaining valid.
Uzbekistan is still among few countries keeping communist-era travel restriction on their citizens.
Uzbek citizens who intend to travel abroad must apply for an exit visa (commonly called “sticker”) from the Interior Ministry’s local Office of Visas and Registration (OVIR).
The exit visa cost equals one minimal monthly salary established by the state.

The procedure of application for passport and the exit visa takes two week based on official rules, however in reality it can take 3 to 4 weeks and sometimes months. Most often the delays are explained by OVIG representative as a result of high volume during “rush seasons”. So it is recommended to apply in advance. However, some people reported using unofficial ways to expedite the process by finding the right “contact man”. However this becomes increasingly difficult due to a very high pressure imposed on OVIG bureaucrats by “anti-corruption” measures. This result in cases when people get scammed paying (often several hundred dollars) to someone who claims they have “connections” in OVIR (where the passport is issued) or in National Security Service (where the sticker is processed).
Leaving the country without the sticker can lead to heavy fines and up to 10 years in prison.

The legal grounds for refusal of the sticker are specifically listed point-by-point marked by alphabet letters here those include possession of state secrets, contractual obligations, criminal proceedings, and non-fulfillment of a court order.  The list of grounds for restricting the right to travel abroad is not subject to broad interpretation. Denial of the right to travel abroad, delayed response over the deadline may be appealed to a higher national authority that must reply no later than one month, and in case of disagreement with his decision – in court. So know your rights!

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are just two former Soviet republics that still require exit visas.
However, Tashkent has eliminated such requirements for Uzbek nationals visiting fellow members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). No sticker required for Uzbek citizens traveling to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan (up to 60 days), Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, which established a visa-free regime. However if the listed countries are not the final destination of the travel, the citizen is still required to obtain the sticker before leaving Uzbekistan. Transit via those countries without the valid sticker is a criminal offense according to Uzbekistan Law. In cases when sticker got expired while staying abroad, Uzbek citizen has right to return to Uzbekistan (repatriation) without any restriction. Traveling with expired sticker to any third country where Uzbekistan does not have visa agreement, however is a criminal offense.

Uzbek citizens aged from 15 to 18 years old (minors) can travel abroad unaccompanied if they possess a notarized consent of parents, guardians (trustees).

Based on article published here

About Ahmed Islamov

I was born and raised in Uzbekistan and lived in that country for about two thirds of my life. I left the country about 14 years ago but sustained tight bonds with my family and friends living there. I know and communicate personally with hundreds of people including blue-, white- or pink-collar workers. I am naturally very attached to and concerned with everything that is going on there.
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