Uzbekistan - Consular Information Sheet
January 4, 2001
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
issued at the airport only as a rare exception and only through
prior arrangement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at least
four business days before arrival.
Note: 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.
All travelers, even those simply transiting Uzbekistan for less
than 72 hours, must obtain an Uzbek visa before traveling to Uzbekistan.
Further visa information is available at the
Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, located at 1746 Massachusetts
Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20036; telephone (202) 887-5300; http://www.uzbekistan.org;
Uzbek Consulate in New York, located at 866 United Nations
Plaza, Suite 327A, New York, NY 10017; telephone (212) 754-6178
or (212) 754-7403; http://www.uzbekconsul.org.
REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS: All travelers present in Uzbekistan
for over 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
SAFETY AND SECURITY: American citizens are urged to be
aware of an increased threat of terrorist violence in Uzbekistan
and the heightened activity and vigilance by the security forces
responding to that threat. Restricted personal movement, including
the closing of roads to traffic, and frequent document, vehicle
and personal identification checks should be anticipated. 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, Kyrgyzstan
and Kazakhstan were subsequently closed to civilians and tourists;
such closures can be expected if IMU activity recurs in the summer.
The IMU has been responsible for several hostage-taking incidents
in Kyrgyzstan directly targeting foreign citizens, including Americans.
U.S. citizens should remain vigilant with regard to their personal
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 developments.
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 taxi cabs is a common practice
in Uzbekistan, Americans, especially women and those traveling
alone, should not consider this a safe practice. Americans are
encouraged to use clearly marked taxi cabs, 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
A Safe Trip Abroad, for
ways to promote a more 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 existing health problems may be at particular
risk due to inadequate medical facilities. Most resident Americans
travel to the West for their medical needs.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. 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.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
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
Centers 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
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 are lit; 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. Foreign drivers
may face harassment from road police, among whom minor corruption
in the form of solicitation of bribes is commonplace.
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
the Uzbek Embassy in Washington, D.C. at (202) 293-9633 or the
Consulate General in New York at (212) 838-9812.
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
1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. 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
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 for the U.S. Embassy to be contacted 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 only into som at the National Bank of Uzbekistan.
Travelers may wish to bring sufficient U.S. currency to exchange
into som to cover their expenses. Importation of currency exceeding
U.S. $10,000 is subject to a 1 percent duty. 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,
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
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. Current information may also be obtained from the
Embassy web site at: http://www.usis.uz/wwwhcon.htm.