Tajikistan has ratified its agreement with Uzbekistan on visa-free travel next week.  The deal enables citizens of each country to visit the other for up to 30 days without obtaining a visa.

A regular sitting of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower house of parliament), presided over by its head, Shukurjon Zuhurov, took place on March 19.

The Majlisi Namoyandagon ratified a government-to-government agreement between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on visa-free travel that was singed in Dushanbe on March 9.

The agreement enables nationals of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to visit each others’ countries for up to 30 days without obtaining a visa.      

The Majlisi Namoyandagon Speaker ordered the Foreign Ministry of Tajikistan to official notify Tashkent of ratification of the agreement today so that nationals of neighboring Uzbekistan could visit Tajikistan without a visa beginning on March 20.     

The Tajik Foreign Minister had earlier noted that that now all Tajik nationals need foreign passport (passport for international travels) to travel to Uzbekistan.  

Before that, residents of districts bordering Uzbekistan could use the Tajik internal passport to travel to Uzbekistan and they could stay in Uzbekistan for up to five days without visa. 

As it had been reported earlier, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree on approval of the mentioned agreement on March 14.    

The Uzbek foreign ministry was ordered to send an appropriate notification about the fulfillment of all intrastate formalities necessary for entry into force of the mentioned agreement.

The provisions of this decree are reportedly applied to nationals of Tajikistan entering, temporarily staying in or transiting through Uzbekistan from March 16, 2018 until the mentioned agreement enters into force.

Recall, Tashkent introduced visas for Tajik citizens intending to visit Uzbekistan on May 16, 2000 in 2000, creating major complications for ethnic Tajiks living on the Uzbek side and ethnic Uzbeks on the Tajik side, many of whom have relatives or other connections in the other country.