Visa – Turkmenistan
Transit visa from an embassy without a letter of invitation
Citizens of all countries need a visa for Turkmenistan. For a transit visa (valid for between 3 and 7 days) you do not need an invitation letter. However, regardless of your nationality or the place where you apply for it, getting the transit visa is a lottery. Your chances of getting one on average are around 50:50. You need to apply for a transit visa at a Turkmen consulate and in most cases, you are required to show up in person. Please note: The approval process for a transit visa takes up to three weeks. Find your nearest Diplomatic Mission of Turkmenistan and plan your visa application process.
Tourist Visa upon arrival – with letter of invitation
Even if your stay in Turkmenistan is short enough to qualify for a transit visa, it is safer to apply for a tourist visa. However, you should be aware that although such visas are more likely to be approved than a transit visa, rejection rates are still quite high especially for applicants from “non-western” countries.
To have a chance of being issued with a visa, you need to have booked a tour. You will need to provide personal information including your nationality, age, gender, marital status plus your field of study and/or occupation to your travel agency. They will apply on your behalf for an invitation letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan. The ministry takes the decision to issue a letter (or not) based on the information that you provide. Three months before you plan to leave Turkmenistan you may start the application process for your invitation letter. It then takes the ministry another three to four weeks to approve the letter. The good thing is, you do not need to apply for the visa at the embassy. If your invitation letter is approved you can just take it with you and get your visa upon arrival at Ashgabat Airport or at an international land border. So, the difficult and time-consuming part is getting the invitation letter approved.
Please check with your travel agency prior to booking flights
Your travel agency can tell you based on the information you provide, how high your chances are to get the invitation letter for Turkmenistan visa approved and whether you can proceed and book flights already or better wait for the letter first. If you book a tour with us that includes Turkmenistan we will always provide an alternative route without Turkmenistan for those whose visa applications are rejected. If you prefer, you may also decide to cancel the tour altogether. If the reason for cancellation is a rejected visa application, we will refund your deposit payment in full. However, for our travelers from western countries rejection rates have been very low (ca. 1-2%). So far, based on the information the people provided, in every single case of rejection we were able to “warn” these individuals in advance that there is a high chance of rejection for them.