Below you will find information regarding the processes of applying for the Iranian and Central Asian visa on the road in Ankara and Tehran. We found the process of applying for visa fairly simple and we didn’t encounter any problems during the applications. The only thing is to be well prepared regarding documents and they will always cost money. See map end of post for locations of Embassy’s.

Visa for Iran, applied in Ankara June 2014:

For requesting the visa at the Iranian embassy some nationalities need a reference number. For the reference number we used the agency Touran Zamin (we did not mention being on the bicycle). To get the number we had to contact this agent a few times, not always getting complete reply to our questions. We received the reference number in time and just before we arrived in Ankara. After receiving the number you need to wait 3 days until the number is processed by the embassy. Expect at least 3 weeks of processing time and price per person was 50€ (more than the normal 35€ because the pick up was in Ankara).

The process at the Iranian embassy in Ankara is straight forward as long a you have all documents ready. Location see map.

Reference number from agent
2 x Passport photos
2 x Copy of passport
1 x Application form (Entry point, Exit point, places to visit)

We needed to come back the next day to pick up our visa. When you have the visa you can enter from any border and go anywhere in Iran.

Visa for Uzbekistan, applied in Tehran July 2014:

An LOI ”Letter of invitation” will shorten the process from 8 days to 1hour, we got our LOI from StanTours which took 16 days to process and price was 50$ per person. For this letter you need to state the dates for entering and exiting the country.

The Embassy of Uzbekistan in Tehran is well hidden in a side street, see map for details. We had some difficulties finding it as our taxi driver dropped us of near the Turkmen Embassy and we didn’t know this so had to figure out where we were. If you have a GPS bring this!

Documents required :

1 x LOI
2 x Application form (Prefilled by Stantours)
2 x Photos
1 x Copy Passport

Be there in time and sign up on the list, because there are agents going by the embassies with a bag of passports. We were there at 9.00 and were 8th on the list waited for 1 1/2 hour and then handed in our papers waited 20min and had a visa for Uzbekistan. The Uzbekistan visa costs 75$ for us.

Transit Visa for Turkmenistan Applied in Tehran July 2014:

It is required to have the visa for your onwards travels from Turkmenistan, in our case the Uzbekistan visa. Processing time for Turkmenistan visa is one week and can be picked up and paid in Mashhad (we have not been to pick up this visa yet).

Documents required :

1 x Color Copy Uzbekistan visa
1 x Passport photos
1 x Color copy of passport
1 x Application form (entry point and date, exit point and date, places to visit)

It is important to know that it is only possible to acquire a transit visa for five days with exact days of entering and exiting the country.


We picked up our Turkmenistan visa from the Consulate in Mashhad on the 16th of August, three weeks after applying for the visa in Tehran. We went to the consulate which was supposed to open at 8:30 but opened at 9:00. We needed once again a copy of our passport, Uzbekistan visa, one passport photo and 55 US dollars (crisp). Also we needed to fill in the application form again. We waited for 15 minutes and had the visa in our passport.

At the guesthouse there are a few people still waiting for their visa. They applied only shortly ago, but also the embassy in Tehran lost their papers (their application was in the computer system). Their application never reached Ashgabat for the clearance so they had to apply again with express service. Just to notify that it doesn’t always go smooth…

Visa for Tajikistan, applied in Tehran July 2014:

The Embassy of Tajikistan is relatively quiet. We had time left on our first day so went their swell. They are open till 5 pm. When we got there we heard we needed a letter of Introduction from our own embassy. First up we went to the Dutch embassy. They said I could have it in 2 days, but when asking if it was possible sooner I could pick it up the next day. Then we went to the Danish embassy. Here Martin was helped straight away by the Consul himself who came down to have a chat with us as well. Within 20 minutes Martin was fixed for free. Going back to the Dutch embassy the next day we needed to wait an hour because the Consul was in a meeting and needed to sign the document. After paying 30€ (more than the Tajik Visa) there was a result.

We went straight away to the Tajikistan embassy and were helped directly. After 20 minutes and for 25$ we had our Tajikistan visa.

1 x Letter of Introduction from your own embassy
1 x Passport photos
1 x Copy of passport
1 x Application form (entry point and date, exit point and date, places to visit)