Includes information on what is needed to travel to the country/economy.
Last Published: 11/3/2017 American citizens must have a valid passport and visa and/or letter of invitation from the Turkmenistan Government to enter and exit Turkmenistan. The passport must have one completely blank page. To apply for a visa, all U.S. citizens must complete an application and have a letter of invitation approved by the State Migration Service (SMS) in Ashgabat. An individual in Turkmenistan must submit the letter of invitation on behalf of an American citizen to the SMS, accompanied by a copy of the traveler’s passport ID page. Each traveler’s passport must be valid for at least six months following the date of the application. The SMS requires at least 15 working days for approval. The U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat does not issue letters of invitation to citizens interested in private travel to Turkmenistan. The U.S. Embassy facilitates business travel to Turkmenistan by applying for a letter of invitation on behalf of employees of American companies.
Under Turkmenistan law, a traveler with a stamped and approved invitation letter may also obtain a visa at the Ashgabat International Airport upon arrival in Turkmenistan; however, some travelers have reported difficulties with airlines not boarding passengers who only have approved invitation letters in lieu of a visa for onward travel to Turkmenistan. Travelers are strongly urged to obtain a visa before traveling.
The price for a visa will vary according to the intended length of stay. For an additional charge, the SMS can extend a visa in Ashgabat beyond its initial validity. Any traveler arriving without a visa or without the documents necessary to obtain a visa will be denied entry and may be held at the airport or border until the traveler has secured transportation out of Turkmenistan. The U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat is unable to intervene with Turkmenistan authorities regarding the admission of private travelers to Turkmenistan. Travelers departing Turkmenistan must have a current valid visa or they will be denied exit until they have extended the validity of the visa through their departure date.
In addition, U.S. citizens traveling in Turkmenistan should be aware that they need special permission from the SMS to travel to areas of the country that have been restricted by the government, including nearly all border areas.
Upon arrival at an airport or border entry point with a valid letter of invitiation, the bearers of official passports will be charged USD 19 to cover the government’s actual expenses in issuing the visa. Bearers of regular/tourist passports will be charged USD 99 for a ten-day visa. The visa fees for regular/tourist passport holders may vary depending on the length of stay in the country. Those seeking a 20-day visa, for example, will be charged USD 109. In addition to the immigration requirements mentioned above, foreigners are subject to local registration requirements. Americans who plan to stay more than three working days in Turkmenistan must register and de-register with the SMS. SMS offices are located in all of Turkmenistan’s five major cities: Ashgabat, Dashoguz, Mary, Turkmenabat and Turkmenbashy.
One day prior to their departure from Turkmenistan, foreigners must return to an SMS office to register their departure. Foreigners should be registered and deregistered at the SMS office in the city in which their sponsoring organization is located. Foreigners who fail to register their departure may be prevented by immigration authorities from leaving the country until they have done so. The penalties for remaining in Turkmenistan with an expired visa or for failing to register with the SMS include fines, arrest, and/or deportation. Foreigners who are deported for these violations may be prohibited from returning to Turkmenistan for up to five years.
American citizens in Turkmenistan are strongly urged to ensure that their visas do not expire and that they register with the SMS upon arrival and upon departure. Visitors holding tourist visas organized by a travel agency must stay in hotels; other visitors may stay in private accommodations whose owner must register the visitor’s presence. Visit the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Washington, DC website for the most current visa information.
U.S. companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States should be advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the links below.
Turkmen Citizenship Law generally prohibits dual citizenship for its citizens. If travelers have dual U.S.–Turkmen citizenship, they may be denied exit from Turkmenistan until they renounce their Turkmen citizenship, a process that can take between six months and a year to complete. If you are a dual U.S.–Turkmen citizen wishing to travel to Turkmenistan, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat prior to your arrival in Turkmenistan.
State Department Visa Website
U.S. Embassy Ashgabat
Turkmen Embassy website
State Migration Service of Turkmenistan
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