The Interior Ministry has proposed to significantly cut fines for violation of the rules of stay in Uzbekistan. The ministry proposed to modify the article 225 of the Administrative Responsibility Code and to introduce a new wording for the violation of the rules of stay: “living on invalid documents or visas (in the current version there is no word “visa”), failure to comply with the established procedure of movement or choice of place of residence, overstay, as well as non-compliance with the rules of transit".
The administrative penalty for overstay is planned to be differentiated depending on the length of overstay:
- up to 10 days - a fine of 5 times the minimum wages (MW=200,000 UZS, or 24 USD) or expulsion from the country;
- more than 10 but not more than 30 days - a fine of 10 times the MW or expulsion from the country;
- more than 30 days - a fine of 20 times the MW, or expulsion from the country.
The current version of the code provides for a fine in the amount of 50 to 100 MW regardless of the length of overstay.
The draft proposes to relieve foreign nationals and stateless persons under the age of 18 from liability for violation of the rules of stay in Uzbekistan and to delete the Article 225-1 (failure to comply with a court ruling on the administrative expulsion of foreign citizens and stateless persons from Uzbekistan) in its entirety.
In addition, it is planned to delete the article 224 of the Criminal Code, which provides for a fine of 200 to 600 MW or imprisonment from 1 to 3 years for violation of the rules of stay, committed after an administrative penalty.
Round the clock fine cashier desks will be operating at the international airports and train stations.
The regulation review was prompted by a case in early January when a married couple from Switzerland was not allowed to leave the country due to tourist visa overstay of one and two days respectively, and which sparked public outcry. The Uzbek Tourism Committee then stated that the current regulations were failing to meet the modern trends.