Uzbekistan postpones visa-free travel regime for foreign tourists until 2021
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has modified an earlier order, 'On Measures towards Accelerated Development of the Tourism Industry', which, in particular, envisaged a visa-free travel regime for tourists from a number of countries starting from April 1, 2017.
The chief of state postponed the visa-free travel regime for tourists from 27 countries from April 1, 2017, till January 1, 2021. The document was published on Monday.
The 'green corridor' customs regime for foreign tourists, which liberalizes customs control, baggage clearance and transport services, has also been postponed until January 2021.
In early December 2016, Mirziyoyev signed an order introducing a visa-free travel regime for tourists from Australia, Austria, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, Finland, Switzerland and Japan, as well as for citizens of Belgium, Indonesia, China (travelling in tourist groups), Malaysia, the United States, France, Vietnam, Israel, Poland, Hungary, Portugal and the Czech Republic older than 55 and visiting Uzbekistan for tourism purposes for a period of less than 30 days.
The new document ordered "to consider future liberalization of the visa regime with particular countries, the list of which might be reviewed, depending on the dynamics of their relations with Uzbekistan, the global tourism market situation and international and regional security levels."
The document's preamble said that the visa-free travel regime had been postponed because of the need "to create relevant material and technical infrastructures, to ensure safety of the lives and health of foreign tourists and citizens of the republic, and to develop equal foreign economic cooperation with other countries."
Appropriate ministries and departments were ordered to prepare proposals on the issue of single-entry 30-day tourist visas and the liberalized issue of work permits to foreign tourism industry professionals.