Official Global Travel Advisories
- Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice
- Avoid all cruise ship travel outside Canada until further notice
Mandatory COVID-19 testing
To be allowed to board a flight to Canada, all air passengers 5 years of age or older, including Canadians, are required to show a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours of their scheduled time of departure to Canada. If the traveller has a connecting flight to Canada, the pre-departure test must be conducted within 72 hours of the last direct flight to Canada. This means they may need to schedule a COVID-19 test at their transit city within 72 hours of their direct flight to Canada.
All travellers 5 years of age or older, including Canadians, arriving to Canada by land are required to show a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours prior to crossing the border into Canada.
Alternatively, travellers can present a positive COVID-19 molecular test taken between 14 and 90 days prior to departure.
More information on measures in place to enter Canada – Government of Canada
Turkmenistan Register Travel insurance Destinations
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COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
Turkmenistan - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Turkmenistan due to heightened tensions throughout the region and crime.
Safety and security
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
Preventative measures and restrictions are in place and could be reassessed on short notice.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities related to physical distancing
- Avoid crowded areas
Border areas with Afghanistan
The Turkmenistan–Afghanistan border has transit points for drugs and other smuggled goods. The security situation in Afghanistan is extremely unpredictable due to ongoing insurgency, terrorist attacks, kidnapping and a high crime rate. You should not travel near or attempt to cross the border.
Street crime, such as mugging and pickpocketing, occurs. Acts of banditry occur in remote areas. Remain vigilant and ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure. Don’t travel alone, and avoid showing signs of affluence. Alcohol-related incidents, including bar fights and drunk driving, are common. At nightclubs, drinks should never be left unattended, and drinks should never be accepted from unknown people.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
Also avoid minority religious gatherings, whose participants have been the target of police raids, arbitrary arrests and beatings.
Curfews may be imposed, and areas may be cordoned off on short notice. The violation of a curfew can result in immediate deportation and a ban against returning to Turkmenistan for five years.
Women should not travel alone in Turkmenistan.
There are sensitivities around relationships between foreign men and local women, and Turkmen authorities are known to take action against both.
Driving standards are poor. Rural roads are often in disrepair and unlit. Animals frequently wander onto the road. Random traffic police checks and roadblocks are common.
There is no roadside assistance in Turkmenistan.
Don’t travel or use public transportation after dark.
Use only officially marked taxis and pre-negotiate the fare. Avoid shared taxis.
Avoid travel by train, as service is slow and crime is prevalent. If you must travel by train, store your personal belongings in a safe place and do not leave the compartment unattended. Secure your door from the inside.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
The border between Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan is currently closed to traffic.
General safety information
There is a significant police and military presence throughout Turkmenistan. Carry your original passport, a photocopy of the passport or other photo ID at all times, as officials frequently request proof of identity. Cooperate with police authorities if stopped for questioning. Leave a photocopy of your passport with a relative or a friend at home.
Security personnel maintain checkpoints on major roads and may place visitors under surveillance. Foreigners are often subjected to questioning and car and home searches. Hotel rooms, telephones, e-mail and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. Some foreigners have been detained.
Tourist facilities are limited, especially outside Ashgabat. Many goods and services are not available.
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
In an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.
These could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- exit bans
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- proof of a negative COVID-19 test result
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
- border closures
- airport closures
- flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
- suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Monitor the media for the latest information
- Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Foreign Representatives in Canada – Global Affairs Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Turkmen authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date on your letter of invitation.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Turkmenistan.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Letter of invitation
You must present a letter of invitation in support of your visa application. Obtain this letter from the person you intend to visit, from the company for which you will be working, or from an authorized travel agency in Turkmenistan. The person/organization inviting you must submit a request to the State Migration Service of Turkmenistan (SMS).
You must complete a migration card and pay a migration fee upon arrival at an airport or border crossing. Border officials will provide you with a copy of this card, which you must carry with you and return to border officials upon departure. Failure to produce the card or return it on exit can result in fines and departure delays.
If you plan to stay for more than three working days, you must register your arrival with the SMS. You must also deregister with the SMS prior to departure. Failure to register properly can result in fines, arrest and/or deportation. If you are deported for these violations, authorities will bar your return to Turkmenistan for up to five years.
Areas bordering Iran, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, including the city of Dashoguz and areas of the Caspian coast, are restricted zones. You must obtain permission from the Government of Turkmenistan to travel to these areas. Submit applications to travel to these areas at least 10 working days before your intended date of travel. See the Government of Canada’s travel advisory for travel to the border with Afghanistan.
Health entry requirements
You must produce a negative result on an HIV test certificate if you intend to remain in Turkmenistan for longer than three months.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - April 22, 2021
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in Central Asia, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing
Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.
Avoid medical clinics as they often lack basic drugs and equipment and have poor hygiene standards. Most health-care providers only accept cash payments.
If travelling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Turkmenistan to ensure that the medication is legal in Turkmenistan. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2021, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 12.
You should carry an international driving permit.
Foreigners residing in Turkmenistan must apply for a local driver’s licence with the Road Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan.
Drinking and driving is strictly forbidden. Drivers may be fined or jailed if any amount of alcohol is detected.
Illegal or restricted activities
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.
It is against the law to smoke outside in Turkmenistan, except in designated smoking areas.
Prostitution is illegal. Authorities will generally consider any Turkmen woman leaving a club with a foreign man late at night to be a prostitute. On that basis, the foreigner may be detained.
Avoid publicly discussing politics or criticizing the country’s current and previous leaders.
Photography of military installations, police stations, airports, government buildings and other sensitive sites may result in a penalty. Seek permission from local authorities before taking photographs.
The laws of Turkmenistan prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Turkmenistan.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Turkmenistan.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Turkmenistan, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
Canadians with Turkmen citizenship may be subject to national obligations, such as taxes. Check your status with the Embassy of the Republic of Turkmenistan in Washington, D.C., prior to departure.
Dual Turkmen–Canadian citizens are likely to have a difficult time returning to Canada after visiting Turkmenistan, and it might be necessary for them to renounce Turkmen citizenship in order to be allowed to depart. The renunciation process can take six months or longer.
Declare all foreign currency you bring into the country.
Cultural objects, such as woven carpets and artefacts, must be authenticated by the Ministry of Culture prior to departure. Failure to do so will result in confiscation and/or a fine that may be greater than the value of the item in question.
The currency is the new Turkmenistan manat (TMT). The economy is primarily cash-based. A few hotels and restaurants in Ashgabat accept credit cards (specifically American Express and Visa) and traveller’s cheques in U.S. dollars. U.S. currency and euros can be exchanged into the local currency at banks and exchange bureaus. Since there are few international ATMs in the country, you may find it difficult to obtain cash.
Satellite phones and other forms of communication are illegal. Cellular reception is poor outside of major cities. Internet connections outside the larger hotels can be unreliable and many social media sites, including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, are blocked. Some messaging Apps, such as WhatsApp, are also blocked.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Turkmenistan is located in an active seismic zone.
Heavy rains may trigger floods and landslides.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 02 (002 from mobile)
- medical assistance: 03 (003 from mobile)
- firefighters: 01 (001 from mobile)
There is no resident Canadian government office in Turkmenistan. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada to Turkey in Ankara.
Ankara - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Ankara, Turkey, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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