Here is one really good reason to start your Kazakhstan trek in Paris- if you haven’t already thought about it. And if you’re wondering, what does Paris have to do with Kazakhstan, it has to do with visas. If you thought airfare was an expensive part of travel these days, you should start looking at the cost of visas. It seems like everyone wants a part of the travelers’ budget – and visas are becoming an increasingly high ticket item.
Because we plan on starting our Fall Silk Road trek beginning in Paris (then flying to China and backtracking via train to Russia) in October, I thought I’d check into applying for visas in Paris.
According to my phone call to the Kazakhstan embassy this morning, a visa costs 35 Euros and you can get one in three days.
That in itself is a very good reason to consider going to Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan, on the other hand, wants 100 Euros. Rather than three days turn around time, it takes about two weeks for your Uzbekistan visa to be processed.
If I were to apply for these visas in the US through a Visa agency, it will probably double or triple in price. The Republic of China requires a Carte de Sejour so if you are not a full time resident in France, you may want to consider applying for a visa for China in your home country first.
I tried calling the Turkmenistan embassy. The first person who answered asked me to call back the following morning. The e-mail address doesn’t work and this morning when I called back, no one answered. Is anybody home?
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The Russian embassy transferred me to another number but apparently the visa offices stay open only until noon. So no one answered. (Maybe that’s the same for Turkmenistan). We have had some experience with the Russian visa application. Basically, they would like to know every country you’ve visited in the past ten years. This is quite a challenge for people who travel most of the time.
There is no visa necessary at this time to go to Ukraine.
Several years ago, when we traveled from Paris to India via Nepal, we obtained our visa at the Indian embassy. in Paris. It took about ten days for the visa to be processed.
For Nepal, we obtained our tourist entrance visa at the airport – the same was true for Uganda (which cost about $30 US at the time).
Here are some handy addresses if you’re looking some of these embassies in Paris:
Ambassade de la Republique du Kazakhstan
59 Rue Pierre Charron
Tel. 01 45 61 52 02
Ambassade de la Federation de la Russie en France
40-50 blvd. Lannes
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9 am -12 noon.
Ambassade du Turkmenistan
Tel. 01 47 55 05 36
22 Rue d’Aguesseau
Tel. 01 53 30 03 53
Ambassade de la rep de la Chine (PRC)
20 Rue Washington
Tel. 01 53 75 88 31