Uzbekistan, officially Republic of UzbekistanUzbek Ŭzbekiston or Ŭzbekistan Respublikasicountry in Central Asia. It lies mainly between two major rivers, the Syr Darya (ancient Jaxartes River) to the northeast and the Amu Darya (ancient Oxus River) to the southwest, though they only partly form its boundaries. Uzbekistan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest and north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east and southeast, Afghanistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest. The autonomous republic of Qoraqalpoghiston (Karakalpakstan) is located in the western third of the country. The Soviet government established the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic as a constituent (union) republic of the U.S.S.R. in 1924. Uzbekistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union on August 31, 1991. The capital is Tashkent (Toshkent).

Nearly four-fifths of Uzbekistan’s territory, the sun-dried western area, has the appearance of a wasteland. In the northwest the Turan Plain rises 200 to 300 feet (60 to 90 metres) above sea level around the Aral Sea in Karakalpakstan (Qoraqalpog’iston). This terrain merges on the south with the Kyzylkum (Uzbek: Qizilqum) Desert and farther west becomes the Ustyurt Plateau, a region of low ridges, salt marshes, sinkholes, and caverns.

Southeast of the Aral Sea, small hills break the flatness of the low-lying Kyzylkum Desert, and, much farther east, a series of mountain ridges partition Uzbekistan’s territory. The western Tien Shan includes the Karzhantau, Ugam, and Pskem ranges, the latter featuring the 14,104-foot (4,299-metre) Beshtor Peak, the country’s highest point. Also part of the western Tien Shan are the Chatkal and Kurama ranges. The Gissar (Hissar) and Alay ranges stand across the Fergana (Farghona) Valley, which lies south of the western Tien Shan. The Mirzachol desert, southwest of Tashkent, lies between the Tien Shan spurs to the north and the Turkestan, Malguzar, and Nuratau ranges to the south. In south-central Uzbekistan the Zeravshan valley opens westward; the cities of Samarkand (Samarqand) and Bukhara (Bukhoro) grace this ancient cultural centre.

Marked aridity and much sunshine characterize the region, with rainfall averaging only 8 inches (200 mm) annually. Most rain falls in winter and spring, with higher levels in the mountains and minimal amounts over deserts. The average July temperature is 90 °F (32 °C), but daytime air temperatures in Tashkent and elsewhere frequently surpass 104 °F (40 °C). Bukhara’s high summer heat contrasts with the cooler temperatures in the mountains. In order to accommodate to these patterns, Uzbeks favour houses with windows facing away from the sun but open to porches and tree-filled courtyards shut off from the streets.

Although more than 600 streams crisscross Uzbekistan, the climate strongly affects drainage, because river water rapidly escapes through evaporation and filtration or runs off into irrigation systems.


Since independence, the economy of Uzbekistan continues to exist as a Soviet-style command economy, with a slow transformation to a market economy. The progress of governmental economic policy reforms has been cautious, but cumulatively Uzbekistan has shown respectable achievements. Its restrictive trade regime and generally interventionist policies continue to have a negative effect on the economy. Substantial structural reform is needed, particularly in these areas: improving the investment climate for foreign investors, strengthening the banking system, and freeing the agricultural sector from state control. Remaining restrictions on currency conversion capacity and other government measures to control economic activity, including the implementation of severe import restrictions and sporadic closures of Uzbekistan’s borders with neighboring KazakhstanKyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan have led international lending organizations to suspend or scale back credits.

Working closely with the IMF, the government has made considerable progress in reducing inflation and the budget deficit. The national currency was made convertible in 2003 as part of the IMF-engineered stabilization program, although some administrative restrictions remain. The agriculture and manufacturing industries contribute equally to the economy, each accounting for about one-quarter of the GDP. Uzbekistan is a major producer and exporter of cotton, although the importance of this commodity has declined significantly since the country achieved independence. Uzbekistan is also a big producer of gold, with the largest open-pit gold mine in the world. The country has substantial deposits of silver, strategic minerals, gas, and oil.


Uzbekistan is a country with potential for an expanded tourism industry. Many of its Central Asian cities were main points of trade on the Silk Road, linking Eastern and Western civilizations. Today the museums of Uzbekistan store over two million artifacts, evidence of the unique historical, cultural and spiritual life of the Central Asian peoples that have lived in the region. Uzbekistan attracts tourists with its historical, archeological, architectural and natural treasures.

According to the Statistical Internet Survey, carried out from May 7 to August 27, 2008, the largest proportion of those surveyed (39%) visit the country because of their interest in the architectural and historical sites of Uzbekistan. The next-largest group (24%) visit Uzbekistan to observe its culture, way of life and customs.

Cultural Tourism is the only major product Uzbekistan is providing to visitors since its independence. Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are hot spots of tourism.

Tourist activities in Uzbekistan range from outdoor activities, such as rock-climbing, to exploration of its rich archeological and religious history.

In 2005, 240,000 tourists from 117 countries visited Uzbekistan. The industry earned US$30 million (90.9% of forecast). Overall, the tourism sector served 621,700 people and rendered services for 40.6 billion soums (73.1% of forecast). The industry earned 598.4 million soums. Each autumn, the Uzbek travel industry holds an International Tourism Fair.

Uzbekistan is located on the Great Silk Road and many neighboring countries (including KazakhstanKyrgyz RepublicTajikistan and Turkmenistan) promote their countries based on their location along the Great Silk Road.

The World Tourism Organization‘s Silk Road Office was opened in 2004 in Samarkand. This office was commissioned to coordinate the efforts of international organisations and national tourism offices of countries located on the Silk Road. Uzbekistan is also a member of The Region Initiative (TRI), a tri-regional umbrella of tourism related organisations. TRI functions as a link between three regions—-South Asia, Central Asia, Caucasus and Eastern Europe which is also by Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Ukraine.


In Uzbekistan, secondary education is divided into two stages. The first stage includes nine years of compulsory schooling with the same programs all over Uzbekistan. The second stage covers education and vocational training after nine years. It includes general secondary education and specialized secondary education. Young people receive general secondary education while staying in school for the tenth and eleventh grades. Upon successful completion, they get a Certificate of Complete Secondary Education.

Specialized secondary education is provided through a network of schools:

  • Professionalno-Tehnicheskoye Uchilishe (PTU or Professional Technical School). Graduates receive a Junior Specialist Diploma equal to a Certificate of Complete Secondary Education.
  • Tehnikum (Technical College). Graduates receive a Junior Specialist Diploma equal to a Certificate of Complete Secondary Education.
  • Lytsei (Lyceum) or various training courses offered by higher education institutions or industry. Graduates receive a Junior Specialist Diploma or Diploma of Academic Lyceum equal to a Certificate of Complete Secondary Education.

In 2017, education reforms in Uzbekistan changed from 12-year program to 11 years after a previous reform disappointed and troubled parents and children. Eleven years of primary and secondary education are obligatory, starting at age seven. The rate of attendance in those grades is high, although the figure is significantly lower in rural areas than in urban centers. Preschool registration has decreased significantly since 1991.

The official literacy rate is 99 percent. However, in the post-Soviet era educational standards have fallen. Funding and training have not been sufficient to effectively educate the expanding younger cohorts of the population. Between 1992 and 2004, government spending on education dropped from 12 percent to 6.3 percent of gross domestic product.[1] In 2006 education’s share of the budget increased to 8.1 percent. Lack of budgetary support has been more noticeable at the primary and secondary levels, as the government has continued to subsidize university students.

Between 1992 and 2001, university attendance dropped from 19 percent of the college-age population to 6.4 percent. The three largest of Uzbekistan’s 63 institutions of higher learning are in NukusSamarkand, and Tashkent, with all three being state funded.

Private schools are forbidden as a result of a government crackdown on the establishment of Islamic fundamentalist (Wahhabi) schools. However, in 1999 the government-supported Tashkent Islamic University was founded for the teaching of Islam.

Among higher educational institutions, the highest rated at domestic level are Tashkent Financial Institute and Westminster International University in Tashkent. The first one was established by the initiative of the first president of Uzbekistan in 1991. Later in 2002, in collaboration with the University of Westminster (UK) and “UMID” Foundation of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Westminster International University in Tashkent was established. Currently these universities are regarded as the best in its sphere of education both in Uzbekistan and Central Asian countries.

In 2007, Uzbekistan Banking Association (UBA) had a joint venture with Management Development Institute of Singapore, Singapore and set up MDIST university in Tashkent.

In 2009, Turin Polytechnic University in Tashkent was established from the collaboration among Polytechnic University of Turin, UZAVTOSANOAT, and the Uzbek Ministry of Higher Education. TTPU offers bachelor’s programs in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architecture and Computer Engineering.

In 2010 the British School of Tashkent was established to provide a high-achieving British school where children learn in a secure and stimulating environment and children of all nationalities are exposed to the English National Curriculum. The school is also able to deliver all local Uzbek curriculum requirements.

Higher private and entrepreneurial education is developing in Uzbekistan. In 2020 TEAM University was established as private entrepreneurial university by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. 241 dated April 18, 2020. TEAM University operates under license No. OT 0007.


The application for an Uzbek visa at the Embassy/Consulate is in two parts:

  1. First, you need a sponsor in Uzbekistan to get visa confirmation on your behalf at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The letter of confirmation is the most important part of the application process. Your sponsor can be the person or organisation/company inviting you to Uzbekistan or an authorised tour agency.
  2. After receiving the letter of confirmation, you can apply for the visa at the Embassy/Consulate. You can apply in person or by post, depending on the requirements of the specific consular office.
Documents Required for Uzbekistan Visa Application

When your sponsor applies for visa confirmation, they have to submit the following documents:

  • Uzbekistan Visa Application Form. Available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    • If an organisation/company is inviting you, the form must be printed on the company’s letterhead.
  • Completed electronic visa form. Accessible here. This is not the same as the eVisa.
  • Copy of your passport.
  • Copy of your airline ticket (if arriving at Tashkent airport)
  • If the sponsor is an individual:
    • Copy of the host’s passport.
    • Proof of relationship with the guest.
  • If the sponsor is a company/organisation:
    • Copy of the passport of the head of the company or the authorised person submitting the application.
    • License and certificate of the company/organisation.
    • A copy of the “Power of Attorney” for the authorized person.
    • Guest’s employment certificate.

After the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan issues the visa confirmation, you have to submit the following documents to the nearest Uzbek Embassy/Consulate:

  • Your passport
  • Two passport-size pictures
  • Two completed Uzbekistan Visa Application Forms
How Long Does It Take to Get an Uzbekistan Visa?

As long as all the documents are correct, you can receive your Uzbekistan visa confirmation letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within ten working days. Once you have the confirmation letter, you apply at the Embassy to receive a visa. In this case, the processing time depends on the specific consular office, but it should be less than the initial application at the MFA.

Is It Possible to Get an Uzbekistan Visa on Arrival?

Yes, you can get a visa on arrival at Tashkent airport if you already have a Visa Confirmation issued by the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is useful if there is no Uzbek Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Please note: Before you travel, you should consult with your sponsor and the Uzbek MFA to confirm that you will be able to receive the visa on arrival.

Uzbekistan Visa Cost

The cost of Uzbekistan visas changes depending on the visa duration:

  • eVisa – $20
  • Single-entry visa up to 7 days – $40
  • Single-entry visa up to 15 days – $50
  • Single-entry visa up to 30 days – $60
  • Single-entry visa up to 3 months – $80
  • Single-entry visa up to 6 months – $120
  • Single-entry visa up to 1 year – $160
  • Multiple-entry visa up to 6 months – $150
  • Multiple-entry visa up to 1 year – $250
  • Single-entry transit visa up to 72 hours – $40
  • Double-entry transit visa – $50
What Is the Duration of an Uzbekistan Visa?

An Uzbekistan tourist visa allows you to stay in the country for up to 30 days. The duration of other Uzbekistan visas changes depending on the reason you are travelling. Visas are issued for:

  • A single entry. Permitted stay is from seven days to six months.
  • Multiple entries. Permitted stay is from six months to one year.
Can You Extend an Uzbekistan Visa?

If you need to extend your visa, you will have to get in touch with the Department of Diplomatic Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You will likely need a letter detailing the reason why you need the visa extension.


Uzbekistan General Information
Books, Articles, Reports of Uzbekistan
Guide Books on Uzbekistan
Map of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan Embassies
Foreign Embassies in Uzbekistan
  • British Embassy in Tashkent |
    Provides information from commercial, consular, press and public affairs, and development sections of the Embassy.
  • German Embassy in Uzbekistan |
    Find general information, contacts, working hours, and useful links.
  • U.S. Embassy in Tashkent |
    Details of visa, commercial and consular services provided by the Embassy, plus a range of information on the U.S. including news, events and trading matters.
  • Embassy of the Czech Republic in Uzbekistan |
    Provides information about the embassy, news, bilateral relations, economy and trade, and visa and consular section.
Uzbekistan Airways
Railways of Uzbekistan