Our Uzbekistani office

Inter Relocation Group Ltd.
1068 Budapest,
Felsőerdősor u.
12-14. I. em. 4.
Hungary (Group Partner)

Contact
Stuart McAlister – Managing Director
Tel.: +36 1 278-5680
Fax: +36 1 278-5688
Email: info@interrelo.com
Responsible for: Operations in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Relocation Guide

Key Facts

Government type: Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Capital: Tashkent
Total Area: 448,978 km2
Population: 32,979,000

GDP Per Capita (PPP) $ 2,238
Official languages: Uzbek
Religions: Islam (mostly Sunnis) 88%, Eastern Orthodox 9%
Country code: +998
Currency: Som (UZS)
Voltage: 220 V

Brief Overview

Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia bordered by five countries: Kazakhstan to the North, Tajikistan to the Southeast, Kyrgyzstan to the Northeast, Afghanistan to the South and Turkmenistan to the Southwest. Uzbekistan is officially a democratic, secular, unitary and constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The country’s official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written with the Latin alphabet that is spoken by about 85% of the population – Russian is still in widespread use. Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians (5,4%), Tajiks (4,0%), Kazakhs (3,0%), and others (6,5%). The majority of locals are non-denominational Muslims. Uzbekistan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United Nations, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The country has a vibrant local economy largely based on export. It is one of the largest exporters of cotton in the world and is also famous for its thriving coal, gas, and oil industries. Many energy and export companies have their headquarters or main offices in the capital.

The central location at the heart of the Eurasian continent allowed Uzbekistan to play a key role in the Great Silk Road that passed through its territory and spurred on the growth of its cities. Today Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are leading tourist attractions in Uzbekistan.

Culture

The culture of Uzbekistan has a wide mix of ethnic groups and cultures, with the Uzbeks being the majority group. Modern Uzbeks hail not only from the Turkic-Mongol nomads, but also from other Turkic and Persian peoples living inside the country’s borders. The Soviets, in an effort to divide the Turkic people into more easily governable subdivisions, labeled Turks, Tajiks, Sarts, Qipchaqs, Khojas, and others as Uzbek, doubling the size of the ethnicity to four million in 1924. Today the government is strengthening the Uzbek group identity, to prevent the splintering seen in other multiethnic states.

In ancient times the cities of Samarkand and Bokhara were regarded as jewels of Islamic architecture, thriving under Amir Timur and his descendants the Timurids. They remain major tourist attractions. During the Soviet period, cities became filled with concrete-slab apartment blocks of four to nine stories, similar to those found across the USSR. In villages and suburbs, residents were able to live in more traditional one-story houses built around a courtyard. These houses, regardless of whether they belong to rich or poor, present a drab exterior, with the family’s wealth and taste displayed only for guests.

During the Soviet period, the government gave extensive support to the arts, building cultural centers in every city and paying the salaries of professional artists. With independence, state funding has shrunk, though it still makes up the bulk of arts funding. Many dance, theater, and music groups continue to rely on the state, which gives emphasis to large productions and extravaganzas, controls major venues, and often has an agenda for the artists to follow.

Other artists have joined private companies who perform for audiences of wealthy business-people and tourists. Some money comes in from corporate sponsorship and international charitable organizations—for example UNESCO and the Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute. Yet many artists have simply been forced to find other work.

At the heart of Uzbek culture is its wonderful hospitality. The Uzbek Tea Ceremony, a formal and graceful ritual, demonstrates in a very practical way the high priority given to hospitality. When a guest arrives, the hostess will serve tea, usually accompanied by a traditional snack.

Immigration

All foreign nationals except citizens of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, are required to have business or tourist visas to enter the Republic of Uzbekistan. Before applying for a tourist visa, foreign nationals need a Letter of Invitation (LOI) delivered by a local licensed travel agency.

Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Switzerland and Japan do not need LOI, but they can be requested to obtain one if they apply for a visa outside of their country of citizenship. It is also possible to obtain a visa in the international arrivals lounge of Tashkent International Airport. Foreign workers must have a license and work permit submitted by their employer. After receiving the license, the employer can apply for a permit. These documents are valid for up to one year with the option to extend them.

When they are ready, the territorial labor department notifies the Consular Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan (MFA Consular Department) and provides all necessary information on the arriving foreign employee. For a foreign citizen to obtain a work visa (type E), they should have an invitation issued by a company registered in Uzbekistan as well as an employment contract concluded for a period of more than 3 months. Recently arrived foreign nationals should register with Uzbek authorities within three working days (excluding weekends and national holidays).

Rental market

Uzbek real estate market rapidly grew over the years through 2008. However the global financial crisis has adversely impacted the real estate sector of Uzbekistan and now leads to a drop of demand on house rent market.

The majority of expatriates who relocate to Uzbekistan are living in the country’s capital Tashkent, the largest Central Asian capital . It is also the largest city of Uzbekistan, as well as the most populated city in Central Asia.

Most expatriates live in downtown apartments in Tashkent. This fascinating city at the economic and cultural heart of Uzbekistan has spent much of the 21st century transforming itself into a vibrant cosmopolitan hub, with ambitious new-builds sharing space with soviet-era architecture and more modest farms and townhouses. Downtown apartments would mostly be offered in modern buildings, as there are not many historic residential buildings that meet international standards.

Below you can find a table reflecting average housing prices for different types of property in Tashkent*:

1 bedroom 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4+ bedrooms / townhouse
$600-$2,000 $1,300-$3,000 $1,500-$2,800 $3,000-$5,000

* These are average rental prices which are applicable only for long-term rent, vary on location and apartment type/class and does not include utilities or other expenses applicable.

Health Care

According to the constitution, the citizens of Uzbekistan enjoy the right to free medical service rendered via the network of state medical establishments – polyclinics, first aid stations, and state hospitals. Over 3000 polyclinics operate in the country. For the development of the market of medical services and increasing their quality, the state promotes the development of paid medicine and supports the development of private clinics network. At present 59 private hospitals with a total number of 15 thousand beds are functioning on the basis of self-repayment. Approximately three thousand physicians have a license for a private practice.

Expats seeking medical treatment should go to a private hospital like the Tashkent International Medical Clinic. However, decent private clinics are few and far between outside of the capital. It is also common for expats living in Uzbekistan to travel abroad for more complex medical procedures. With this in mind, expatriates should ensure that their health insurance covers medical evacuation as well as the whole of Uzbekistan.

International medical centers in Uzbekistan:

Schools

Expats moving to Uzbekistan with children should be aware that there are only two international schools in the entire country, both of which are in Tashkent: the Tashkent International School, a K-12 international curriculum school, and the British School, which was founded in 2010. Here, children of all nationalities are taught the British key stage curriculum. The school also complies with the requirements of the Uzbek Board of Education. If you are staying in Uzbekistan for an extended period of time, it is highly advisable to enrol your child in a Russian language course, as this will make settling in a lot easier.

There are some international schools available in Uzbekistan: Tashkent International School, The British School of Tashkent, Tashkent Ulugbek International School and others. Many English speaking expatriates send their children to Tashkent International School, a not for profit, community owned and run school in the city that offers international style schooling and the International Baccalaureate. Established in 1994, it has grown alongside the expatriate community, and now has over four hundred students in total. The British School of Tashkent, founded in 2010 and teaching the English curriculum, is also very highly regarded.

Admission and enrolment procedures vary from school to school. Availability is often limited and preference may be given to students based on nationality.

Schools most popular with expats:

Infrastructure

A great system of modern roads and highways provides unhindered movement throughout Uzbekistan. In addition, in Uzbekistan there is a widely developed network of shopping centers, exhibition halls, museums and other places for cultural recreation of citizens and visitors to the city.

In Uzbekistan you can also stay in well-known hotels like Hyatt or Radisson, and the beautiful surroundings on the street will make your stay here interesting and comfortable.

Key Facts

Government type: Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Capital: Tashkent
Total Area: 448,978 km2
Population: 32,979,000

GDP Per Capita (PPP) $ 2,238
Official languages: Uzbek
Religions: Islam (mostly Sunnis) 88%, Eastern Orthodox 9%
Country code: +998
Currency: Som (UZS)
Voltage: 220 V

Brief Overview

Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia bordered by five countries: Kazakhstan to the North, Tajikistan to the Southeast, Kyrgyzstan to the Northeast, Afghanistan to the South and Turkmenistan to the Southwest. Uzbekistan is officially a democratic, secular, unitary and constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The country’s official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written with the Latin alphabet that is spoken by about 85% of the population – Russian is still in widespread use. Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians (5,4%), Tajiks (4,0%), Kazakhs (3,0%), and others (6,5%). The majority of locals are non-denominational Muslims. Uzbekistan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United Nations, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The country has a vibrant local economy largely based on export. It is one of the largest exporters of cotton in the world and is also famous for its thriving coal, gas, and oil industries. Many energy and export companies have their headquarters or main offices in the capital.

The central location at the heart of the Eurasian continent allowed Uzbekistan to play a key role in the Great Silk Road that passed through its territory and spurred on the growth of its cities. Today Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are leading tourist attractions in Uzbekistan.

Culture

The culture of Uzbekistan has a wide mix of ethnic groups and cultures, with the Uzbeks being the majority group. Modern Uzbeks hail not only from the Turkic-Mongol nomads, but also from other Turkic and Persian peoples living inside the country’s borders. The Soviets, in an effort to divide the Turkic people into more easily governable subdivisions, labeled Turks, Tajiks, Sarts, Qipchaqs, Khojas, and others as Uzbek, doubling the size of the ethnicity to four million in 1924. Today the government is strengthening the Uzbek group identity, to prevent the splintering seen in other multiethnic states.

In ancient times the cities of Samarkand and Bokhara were regarded as jewels of Islamic architecture, thriving under Amir Timur and his descendants the Timurids. They remain major tourist attractions. During the Soviet period, cities became filled with concrete-slab apartment blocks of four to nine stories, similar to those found across the USSR. In villages and suburbs, residents were able to live in more traditional one-story houses built around a courtyard. These houses, regardless of whether they belong to rich or poor, present a drab exterior, with the family’s wealth and taste displayed only for guests.

During the Soviet period, the government gave extensive support to the arts, building cultural centers in every city and paying the salaries of professional artists. With independence, state funding has shrunk, though it still makes up the bulk of arts funding. Many dance, theater, and music groups continue to rely on the state, which gives emphasis to large productions and extravaganzas, controls major venues, and often has an agenda for the artists to follow.

Other artists have joined private companies who perform for audiences of wealthy business-people and tourists. Some money comes in from corporate sponsorship and international charitable organizations—for example UNESCO and the Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute. Yet many artists have simply been forced to find other work.

At the heart of Uzbek culture is its wonderful hospitality. The Uzbek Tea Ceremony, a formal and graceful ritual, demonstrates in a very practical way the high priority given to hospitality. When a guest arrives, the hostess will serve tea, usually accompanied by a traditional snack.

Immigration

All foreign nationals except citizens of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, are required to have business or tourist visas to enter the Republic of Uzbekistan. Before applying for a tourist visa, foreign nationals need a Letter of Invitation (LOI) delivered by a local licensed travel agency.

Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Switzerland and Japan do not need LOI, but they can be requested to obtain one if they apply for a visa outside of their country of citizenship. It is also possible to obtain a visa in the international arrivals lounge of Tashkent International Airport. Foreign workers must have a license and work permit submitted by their employer. After receiving the license, the employer can apply for a permit. These documents are valid for up to one year with the option to extend them.

When they are ready, the territorial labor department notifies the Consular Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan (MFA Consular Department) and provides all necessary information on the arriving foreign employee. For a foreign citizen to obtain a work visa (type E), they should have an invitation issued by a company registered in Uzbekistan as well as an employment contract concluded for a period of more than 3 months. Recently arrived foreign nationals should register with Uzbek authorities within three working days (excluding weekends and national holidays).

Rental Market

Uzbek real estate market rapidly grew over the years through 2008. However the global financial crisis has adversely impacted the real estate sector of Uzbekistan and now leads to a drop of demand on house rent market.

The majority of expatriates who relocate to Uzbekistan are living in the country’s capital Tashkent, the largest Central Asian capital . It is also the largest city of Uzbekistan, as well as the most populated city in Central Asia.

Most expatriates live in downtown apartments in Tashkent. This fascinating city at the economic and cultural heart of Uzbekistan has spent much of the 21st century transforming itself into a vibrant cosmopolitan hub, with ambitious new-builds sharing space with soviet-eraarchitecture and more modest farms and townhouses. Downtown apartments would mostly be offered in modern buildings, as there are not many historic residential buildings that meet international standards. Below you can find table reflecting housing prices for different types of property in Tashkent.

Below you can find table reflecting average housing prices for different types of property in Erevan*:

1 bedroom 2 bedrooms
$600-$2,000 $1,300-$3,000
3 bedrooms 4+ bedrooms / townhouse
$1,500-$2,800 $3,000-$5,000

* These are average rental prices which are applicable only for long-term rent, vary on location and apartment type/class and does not include utilities or other expenses applicable.

Health Care

According to the constitution, the citizens of Uzbekistan enjoy the right to free medical service rendered via the network of state medical establishments – polyclinics, first aid stations, and state hospitals. Over 3000 polyclinics operate in the country. For the development of the market of medical services and increasing their quality, the state promotes the development of paid medicine, supports the development of private clinics network. At present 59 private hospitals with a total number of 15 thousand beds are functioning on the basis of self-repayment. Approximately 3 thousand physicians have the license to hold their private practice.

Expats seeking medical treatment should go to a private hospital like the Tashkent International Medical Clinic. However, decent private clinics are few and far between outside of the capital. It is also common for expats living in Uzbekistan to travel abroad for more complex medical procedures. With this in mind, expatriates should ensure that their health insurance covers medical evacuation as well as the whole of Uzbekistan.

International medical centers in Uzbekistan:

Schools

Expats moving to Uzbekistan with children should be aware that there are only two international schools in the entire country, both of which are in Tashkent: the Tashkent International School, a K-12 international curriculum school, and the British School, which was founded in 2010. Here, children of all nationalities are taught the British key stage curriculum. The school also complies with the requirements of the Uzbek Board of Education. If you are staying in Uzbekistan for an extended period of time, it is highly advisable to enrol your child in a Russian language course, as this will make settling in a lot easier.

There are some international schools available in Uzbekistan: Tashkent International School, The British School of Tashkent, Tashkent Ulugbek International School and others. Many English speaking expatriates send their children to Tashkent International School, a not for profit, community owned and run school in the city that offers international style schooling and the International Baccalaureate. Established in 1994, it has grown alongside the expatriate community, and now has over four hundred students in total. The British School of Tashkent, founded in 2010 and teaching the English curriculum, is also very highly regarded.

Admission and enrolment procedures vary from school to school. Availability is often limited and preference may be given to students based on nationality.

Schools most popular with expats:

Infrastructure

A great length of modern roads and highways provide unhindered movement for the Uzbekistan. In addition, in Uzbekistan there is a widely developed network of shopping centers, exhibition halls, museums and other places for cultural recreation of citizens and visitors of the city.

In Uzbekistan you can also stay in well-known hotels like Hayat or Radisson, and the beautiful surroundings on the street will make your stay here interesting and comfortable.

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