By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Uzbekistan introduces a visa-free regime for German citizens visiting Uzbekistan for tourist purpose for 30 days from January 15, 2019, press service of the State Committee for Tourism reports.
This decision was made in order to strengthen cultural, scientific, educational exchange between countries, improve the investment climate and increase the tourist flow.
The relevant amendments were made to the decree of the Uzbek President “On measures to ensure the accelerated development of the tourism industry of Uzbekistan” dated December 2, 2016.
According to the amendments, visa-free visits to Uzbekistan for 30 days for tourist purposes will be introduced for citizens of Germany from January 15, 2019. Earlier the introduction of a visa-free regime was scheduled for January 1, 2021.
According to the Uzbek State Committee for Tourism, about 4,890 German citizens visited Uzbekistan in 2016, 7,200 - in 2017, and 18,090 - in 2018 (2.5 times more than in 2017).
As many as 1,089 Germany citizens were issued entry visas through the e-visa system as of December 28, 2018, taking the 10th position among the countries whose citizens used the program.
Uzbekistan has established a bilateral visa-free regime with Kyrgyzstan (up to 60 days), Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
A visa-free regime has been introduced for a period of 30 days for citizens of 7 countries: Israel, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and Japan since February 10, 2018.
The visa-free regime applies to citizens of these countries, holders of all categories of passports (diplomatic, official and civil), who plan to visit Uzbekistan for up to 30 days, regardless of the purpose of their trip. To enter the country, a person must have a valid national passport or other replacement document used when traveling to foreign countries.
The visa-free regime does not apply to stateless persons permanently residing in the territories of these countries.
The visa-free regime is valid for 30 days from the date of entry into Uzbekistan. Before the end of the 30-day visa-free stay, a foreign citizen must leave Uzbekistan. Exceeding the 30-day visa-free stay is a violation of the rules for the stay of foreign citizens in Uzbekistan.
If it is necessary to stay in Uzbekistan for more than 30 days, a foreign citizen must receive, in the prescribed manner, an entry visa to Uzbekistan corresponding to the purpose of his or her trip.
A simplified procedure for issuing visas was introduced for citizens of Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, France, Switzerland, Thailand, the Czech Republic and Poland.
Tourists in these countries are issued multiple-entry visas for up to 1 month, and business representatives up to 1 year without a tour voucher or an application from an inviting legal or natural person in Uzbekistan to the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Visas are issued within 2 business days, not counting the day of receipt of documents.
With Hungary, China and Tajikistan (up to 30 days), Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (up to 60 days), Brazil, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Estonia, Kuwait and Turkey (up to 90 days), a visa-free regime is established for holders of diplomatic passports. Citizens of these countries who own diplomatic passports and are accredited as employees of diplomatic missions or consular offices of their countries located in Uzbekistan, as well as members of their families have the right to enter and stay without a visa for the entire period of work.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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