Turkmen embassies in the world
Application of visa : what do you need
Letter of invitation - Visa support
As always with invitations, the most important thing for an independent traveller is to find an agency which does not requires you to take any extra services (hotel bookings, transport, tours,…) which limit your freedom and cost you lots more. Also the way of payment is important, as bank wire or Western Union payments are not as practical as VISA or payment on arrival. The following selection is what I have found, feel free to send me details of other agencies who offer cheap invitations without further obligations. This selection is purely based on these criteria, it does not takes in account the quality of their service.
· Journalists are not welcome anymore in Turkmenistan. Because travel agencies cannot be sure if the individual traveler who applies is really a tourist or a disguised journalist, they are not very willing to offer individual travelers invitations and prefer tour groups. If they allow a journalist to enter the country on their invitation they risk losing their licence. Also providing someone an invitation means for the travel agency that they are responsible for you.
· Normally an invitation is always needed, although if you apply in a different country than your home country, you could try to use a letter of recommendation of your embassy instead. A Belgian traveler got his Turkmen visa in Mashad, Iran with a letter of recommendation of the Belgian embassy in Teheran in august 2001.
· For the invitation you must provide where you will enter – exit the country and the cities you will visit. It is important to make a copy of the invitation once you receive it. If you have any problems afterwards (as I had on the train to Turkmenbashi because at the airport they had only written “Dasoguz” as “points of destination” on my visa), you can try to convince the police with the cities listed on the copy of your invitation. There are many checkpoints in the country, but fortunately the police is also very corrupt, so they sometimes drop the very rigid rules for 1 or 2 US dollars.
· It generally takes about two weeks for your invitation to be ready (after you had a positive response of the travel agency !! They don`t accept every application.), but it is better to apply longer in advance to be sure to get your invitation in time. You can apply starting from 3 months in advance.
· To apply for the invitation you must provide points of entry/exit (Ashabat, Dashoguz, Gaurdan-Badzgiran, Gushgi, Konye-Urgench, Saraghs, Turkmenabat, Turkmenbashi), and the cities you will visit. Check when you get the visa if they have listed them all on the visa or if you are lucky and they let you go just with no more names on the visa.
· Rules and prices of agencies change fast, check their websites or their email addresses for up to date prices and conditions.
Travel Agencies :
If you have more questions