You can only visit Turkmenistan and get a visa through an authorized travel agency or another sponsor. It is one of the least visited countries in the world.
The Turkmenistan visa policy is fairly strict. Everyone has to get a visa and an invitation letter before they travel, except certain holders of diplomatic or service passports. This process can take months, and the tour bookings can often be expensive.
You can find the Turkmen visa policy and application process detailed below.
Who Needs a Turkmenistan Visa?
Everyone needs a Turkmen Visa to visit Turkmenistan, except:
- Holders of diplomatic or service passports issued by:
- Czech Republic
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- Holders of diplomatic passports issued by:
Types of Turkmenistan Visas
The main types of Turkmenistan visas are:
- Turkmenistan Tourist Visa. To visit Turkmenistan as a tourist, you must book a tour with an authorized travel agent.
- Turkmenistan Transit Visa. When you have to pass through Turkmenistan on your way to a third country of destination. This is the only type of visa you can apply for without a sponsor.
- Turkmenistan Business Visa. For short-term business trips.
- Turkmenistan Work Visa. For foreign nationals who have been employed in a Turkmen company. The company acts as a sponsor.
- Turkmenistan Private/Personal Visa. For foreign nationals visiting a Turkmen national or resident.
- Turkmenistan Family Visa. For the family members of foreign nationals who are residing in Turkmenistan on a work visa.
- Turkmenistan Student Visa. For foreign nationals who will study in Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan Visa Requirements
The required documents for a Turkmenistan visa include:
- Turkmenistan Visa Application Form (3 copies). You can download the application form on the Turkmen Migration website.
- Your travel programme
- Copy of your passport and ID
- Cover letter, describing the reason for your trip
- A recent passport-size picture
- Letter of permission for you to travel, obtained by your sponsor
- Requirements for Turkmenistan Business visa:
- Letter of request from the inviting company or government agency/ministry
- Documents proving the inviting company’s main operation
- Requirements for Turkmenistan Work Visa:
- Letter of request from the sponsoring company or government agency/ministry
- Documents proving the inviting company’s main operation
- Documents proving the company’s ability to sponsor you
- Copy of your work contract
- Your health certificate
- List of names of all employees in the company
- Proof of your qualifications, translated and sealed.
- Requirements for Turkmenistan Study Visa:
- A written letter of request by the Educational offices of Turkmenistan
- Requirements for a Personal Visa:
- Copy of the sponsor’s passport
- Copy of a document proving your relationship
- Proof that your sponsor has the right of residence in Turkmenistan
- Requirements for a Family Visa:
- Copy of your sponsor’s passport
- Copy of your sponsor’s visa
- Documents proving your family relationship
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of requirements. Your sponsor and the Embassy in which you will apply will provide you with the requirements based on your specific circumstances, both for the LOI and visa application.
How Do I Get a Turkmenistan Visa?
You can apply for a Turkmenistan visa at an Embassy or Consulate, but before that, you have to get a Letter of Invitation (LOI) from the Turkmen State Migration Service. You must have a sponsor in Turkmenistan who can get the LOI for you. Your sponsor can be:
- A travel agency, if you intend to visit Turkmenistan as a tourist. Check the website of the Turkmen Embassy in your country to see if they have a list available of travel agencies offering tours to Turkmenistan.
- An individual already residing in Turkmenistan, if you are applying for a family or private visa.
- A Turkmen organization or company, if you are travelling for business or employment reasons.
- An educational institution, if you are applying for a student visa.
So, if you are travelling simply for tourism, then your tour agency will handle a lot of your visa application for you. They will have the necessary information regarding documents and requirements for the Letter of Invitation.
The application for a Letter of Invitation can take up to 20 working days, or about a month overall. However, once you have the Letter of Invitation, the application for the visa is much easier, since the LOI is the most important part of the visa application.
After you get the Turkmenistan Letter of Invitation
Once you get the Letter of Invitation, you can apply for a visa at the nearest Turkmen Embassy or Consulate. Find the diplomatic representation offices of Turkmenistan here.
- Contact the Embassy/Consulate to inquire about the application process. Some offices may allow you to apply via mail or online.
- You must submit the Letter of Invitation along with your passport and any other required documents.
- Pay the visa fee.
- Wait for the visa to process.
If there is no Turkmen representation in your country, you can also apply for a Visa on Arrival at the airport of Ashgabat or land borders.
Applying for a Visa to Transit Through Turkmenistan
You can apply for a Turkmenistan Transit Visa at a Turkmen Embassy or Consulate, without having to book a tour or obtain a Letter of Invitation. However, the Turkmen Transit Visa is only valid for 3 to 7 days, with the average being a 5-day transit visa.
In addition, you must have a ticket or visa valid for a third country of destination, since the purpose of this visa is to allow you to transit through Turkmenistan on your onward travels. You cannot go back to your home country.
Registering a Transit Visa: Once you enter Turkmenistan, if you will be staying longer than 3 days, you have to go to the Migration Police (OVIR) in Ashgabat to register your stay. You will need your a copy of your passport, a valid address (your hotel), and a visa for your next destination, if applicable.
Documents Required for Turkmenistan Transit Visa
The documents you need to apply for a Turkmen Transit Visa are:
- Completed Visa Application Form. You can download the application form the Turkmenistan Migration website.
- Your passport. It must be valid for at least another six months after your visa expired, and have two blank pages.
- Copies of your passport pages which include any visas for the previous and next country you will travel to. If visas were not required for those countries, write a statement explaining it.
- A recent passport-sized picture.
- A cover letter, which states the reason for requesting the visa. The letter must include your travel route and itinerary.
- Photocopies of your airline ticket/s, if applicable.
Note: You do not need a transit visa is you don’t intend to leave the international transit area of Ashgabat International Airport.
Turkmenistan Visa on Arrival
If you have booked a tour, and you get a Letter of Invitation from the Turkmen Migration Services, then you can obtain a Visa on Arrival at Ashgabat International Airport or one of the land borders.
You must show your passport, the Letter of Invitation, as well as any other required documents.
The Visa on Arrival is valid for a maximum of 10 days, with the possibility of extension depending on your tour booking. The Turkmenistan Visa on Arrival at the international airport of Ashgabat costs USD 50 more than an average visa.
It is always advisable to get a visa beforehand, rather than on arrival. Although the Letter of Invitation issued by the Turkmen Migration Services is the most important entry authorization, the Immigration Services in Turkmenistan may decide not to issue a visa on arrival, or you may be unable to board a plane without a visa.
Again, because a lot of the visa application process is handled by your sponsor (i.e. the travel agency), please consult with them or an Embassy regarding how to proceed.
Registering Your Turkmenistan Visa
After you enter Turkmenistan with your visa, you have to register your stay at the Migration Police (OVIR). If you are travelling with a tour agency, they will handle the process on your behalf.
Turkmenistan Visa Fees
The fees for Turkmenistan visas are:
- 10-day single-entry visa: USD 20
- 20-day single-entry visa: USD 30
- One-month single-entry visa: USD 40
- USD 30 per month for stays longer than one month (single-entry)
- One-month multiple-entry visa: USD 60
- USD 40 per month for long-term stays (multiple-entry)
- Single-entry 5-day transit visa: USD 20
- Double-entry 5-day transit visa: USD 40
Note: In addition to the price of the Turkmenistan visa, you also have to pay a processing fee. This changes from country to country.
How Long to Process a Turkmenistan Visa?
The processing time for a Turkmenistan visa is 10 days from the date the Embassy receives your completed application. However, it can take up to one month for you to receive a Letter of Invitation from the Turkmen State Migration Service.
Therefore, if you intend to visit Turkmenistan, you have to contact a travel agency and start planning your tour well in advance.
Note: Because there is no LOI for a Turkmenistan Transit Visa, it may take several weeks for your visa to be processed.
What Is the Duration of a Turkmenistan Visa?
The duration of a Turkmenistan visa depends on the reason for travelling, the duration of your tour as well as your nationality. They can be issued for single-, double-, or multiple entries and have a duration ranging from 10 days and up to one year.
Can You Extend a Turkmenistan Visa?
Although it is not a common practice, you may be able to extend your Turkmen visa for another 3 to 5 days if you apply to the Turkmen State Migration Services. You will need a letter explaining why you seek the extension and payment of the visa extension fee.