We thought we share our Visa-Run experiences for Central Asia for other travellers, as the situation changes all of the time. We obtained them in Tehran March/April 2014:
You need: 1x form filled out and signed (you get it at the Consulate), 1x COLOR copy of passports first page, 1x COLOR copy of Usbekistan visa, 1x passport-size photo, 1x hand written application letter
Location of copy shop (Photo-Shop) close to Usbek Consulate: 35.801434, 51.473780
Location: Google Maps exact coordinates: 35.804760, 51.452429
Address: At the Intersection Berati Street and Shahid Vatanpoor, Phone: 22206731, Fax: 22206732
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 9am – 11am, Sunday 9:30am – 11am
– Show up early as the opening hours seem to be affected by the mood of the personnel
– Shove your way through the knot of people until you reach the small window and ask for the application forms.
– Fill out form and stick your photo to the upper right corner of the paper (beware that you can’t change the date when picking up the visa – choose carefully!)
– Write the request letter on a plain piece of paper (ask if you don’t have one): The text must contain your name, entry and exit dates and points. We also added that we would like to collect the visa in Mashhad.
– Again, find your way to the window and hand in your documents: form, request, copies of passport and Usbek visa. They confirmed that we could pick them up in Mashhad next week (7 days).
Pick-up in Mashhad:
You need: 1x form filled out and signed (you get it at the Consulate), 1x COLOR copy of passports first page, 1x COLOR copy of Usbekistan visa, 1x passport-size photo
Location: Google Maps exact coordinates: 36.283970, 59.599145
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday & Saturday 9am – 11.30am, Friday and Sunday closed. Mondays and Thursdays are reserved for transportation company visa, not for individual tourists, but we got ours on a Monday as well.
– After 5 days, we went to the Turkmenistan Embassy in Mashhad to pick up our visa. Beware of weird office hours: Fridays and Sundays the office is closed!
– As our Hotel was close-by, we got there at 8.30am already, although it officially opens at 9am. We were lucky and the window was open!
– Handed in our passports and got two forms to fill out.
– Handed in the forms, together with the rest of the documents and paid 55$ each.
After 10 Minutes, we got our passports back including the visa. Make sure to check if you got the correct border posts as well as the correct dates and amount of days!
Getting to the Consulate in Tehran on a budget:
Check getting to the Tadjik Embassy below, get off halfway (where the dual lane become one-way) and walk 10mins downhill,
You need: 2x online form printed and signed, 1x b/w copy of passports first page, 2x passport-size photos, 1x letter of recommendation from your embassy (at the moment no LOI is needed), your passport.
Location: Google Maps exact coordinates: 35.804219, 51.475701
Address: 4th Park St, no.10, 2nd floor, Tehran. Phone: +98 21 22291519
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 9am – 11.30am
– Fill out and print online form at your hotel or any copy shop (use exact entry and exit dates – 30 days max.), as you won’t get it at the Consulate. Link here.
– Either organize a letter of invitation (LOI) through an travel agent (i.e. Stantours, takes approx. one week) or go to your Embassy and get a letter of recommendation. (For Swiss, the Embassy is located here: 35.787171, 51.430142. We wrote an short email in advance, asking for timelines, but you can probably just show up there and ring the bell. (Opening hours 8.30 – 12.00, Sun-Thu) Show your passport, pay the amount of 1’320’000 Rials (40$ payable in Rials – for two persons/couple) and wait approx. 30 mins. for the document to be issued on the spot.)
– Be sure to go to the right location, as also many taxi drivers confuse the Uzbek Embassy with the Consulate!
– Show up early to write your name on a list hanging outside the gate. We went directly from a nightbus, arrived there at around 8am and were numbers 6 & 7.
– Wait until its your turn, go upstairs and hand in your documents. The lady told us to come back in 10 days for collecting the visa and pay the fee of 75$ per person. (due to Irans New Years Nouruz in the following week this is probably longer than usual – we didn’t care as we’re collecting the visa in a couple of weeks anyway)
After six weeks we got there around 9.30am and were told that the consul ist at an important Meeting, we should come back the day after tomorrow! We thought it’s worth a try and came back the next day.
This time the consul was there. We were told to write our names at the end of the list next to the entrance, behind all the agency guys with tons of passports. Luckily, after about half an hour, we were called upstairs where we handed in our passports (they even asked us if we would like to change our Entry and Exit dates) and were told to wait. One hour later we got our passports back and paid the fee (75$).
Getting there on a budget:
Check getting to the Tadjik Embassy below, get off before the roundabout and walk 10mins downhill,
Take the metro line number 1 (red), get off at Gheytariyeh Station (one before Tajrish) and try your luck with a shared taxi on the road or one of the shuttle buses with the direction Niavaran. (we were in a hurry and took the taxi directly to the Consulate instead, which cost 100’000 Rials – a Chinese guy said he bargained the taxi driver to 80’000, tough)
You need: 1x online form printed here (some say you can pick them up on site as well), 1x b/w copy of passports first page, 1x passport-size photo, 1x letter of recommendation from your embassy, your passport.
Location: Google Maps exact coordinates: 35.815198, 51.475041
Address: Side street off Zeynali St, Tehran. Phone: +98 2122299584
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 8am-1pm and 2pm-4pm
– Fill out and print online form at your hotel or any copy shop (use exact entry and exit dates – 45 days max.) UPDATE: Seems like Tehran only issues 30 days!
– Organize a letter of recommendation from your embassy. (For Swiss, the Embassy is located here: 35.787171, 51.430142. We wrote an short email in advance, asking for timelines, but you can probably just show up there and ring the bell. (Opening hours 8.30 – 12.00, Sun-Thu) Show your passport, pay the amount of 1’320’000 Rials (40$ payable in Rials – for two persons/couple) and wait approx. 30 mins. for the document to be issued on the spot.)
– Although the opening hours state they are open in the afternoon, we recommend going there in the morning. Hand in your documents through the small window. They told us to come back the day after tomorrow to pay the amount of 35$ each and collect the visa.
We asked for the GBAO permit to cycle the Pamir region, but they said we’d have to organize this in Dushanbe.
We collected the visa after six weeks: Handed in our passports through the little window and were told to wait. We could even shift our Entry and Exit dates a bit. After about half an hour a guy came out, gave us our passports back and collected 35 USD (or 25 Euros). Sadly we only got 30 days instead of 45. (Istanbul is said to be better!).
Getting there on a budget: Take the metro line number 1 (red) to the last station Tajrish (pronounced Tadsh-rish), walk straight out of the metro, past the taxis and shuttle taxis, until you reach a bus station (about 50m), ask for the bus towards Dar Abad (cost: 2000 Rials – pay the driver when exiting the bus). Get off after the big roundabout, next to Niavaran Palace. Check the map for walking the rest.
Note: The same bus in the opposite (Tajrish) direction costs 5000 Rials each! Check the little stickers next to the doors if you can read numbers in Farsi, the price is written in Tomans.
GOOD LUCK TO EVERYBODY!