Destination: Almaty, Kazakhstan. Do you need visa for Kazakhstan?

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One of the main features of the Kazakh nation is incomparable hospitality. Many local people, young as elder generation, are ready to acquire foreign guests, show and share the best they have. Not everyone speaks languages other than Kazakh or Russian, but there are some of locals, who do speak very well English, French, German and so on. Often, these are students and youth, that would be pleased to spend hours and days by guiding you through the city theaters and night clubs, the surrounding countryside or even inviting you to family dinners.

Read other articles about Almaty on Locefoc.

So, basically, you will not get blocked once you reach the destination. However, it seems to be not that easy to go to Kazakhstan, mostly, due to the lack of information in the Web. In this article, Locefoc tried to gather as much useful information as possible about a tourist visa requirements to Kazakhstan.

General information about a tourist visa for Kazakhstan

First, one should know, that, according to the Constitutional law, the Republic of Kazakhstan has a visa policy, demanding to a visitor to provide a special travel document given by one of the Kazakh diplomatic missions. (See the list of Kazakh diplomatic missions in Wikipedia). A tourist visa determines the duration of the visa validity (up to 90 days), the number of entries (one to three), and allows to stay up to 30 days per entry. The information on the official sites is clear for business category visa, but I am not sure, whether a tourist visa can be prolonged, if one wishes to stay longer. It is better to clarify this question before your departure to Kazakhstan, but even if this possibility exists, I would not recommend doing so. A local administrative staff might simply not to speak or understand foreign languages and without any third-party help it can turn into an issue to achieve your goal. To add in this paragraph, no exit visa is required for departure from Kazakhstan.

A few tourist visa requirements include providing a passport with at least two empty pages valid for at least 3 months after the expected visa expiration date, a correctly completed visa application form, document-size photos and a letter of request, which should state the purpose of a trip, the contact or host in Kazakhstan, the dates of the trip and places that are planned to be visited. Tourist visa fees vary, depending on country of the residence and visa type, and range between 17-160 USD. As a rule, a triple-entry visa fee is around 95 USD, except of USA, where a consular fee for any type of tourist visa is 160 USD. In overall, this list of documents is rather easy to handle, compared to the procedures of the entry determined by, for example, the EU countries or China: one doesn’t need to buy plane tickets in advance, book and pre-pay accommodation fees before arrival, provide bank account statement, etc. to arrive to Kazakhstan. So, this fact tunes a rather optimistic mood, doesn’t it? Now, let’s see a tourist visa requirement for Kazakhstan and find out, whether you need to obtain it.

Kazakhstan tourist visa requirements by country*

Citizens of the several CIS members, which are Armenia, Belorussia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan do not need visa for Kazakhstan. Citizens of Georgia, Moldova, Mongolia and Ukraine can enter the country without visa and stay up to 90 days; citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Serbia – without visa, up to 30 days; citizens of Hong Kong (PRC) – without visa, up to 14 days; citizens of the Balkan Region of Turkmenistan – without visa, access up to 5 days only to Atyrau and Mangystau regions of Kazakhstan.

Starting from the 1st of January 2017 forty-five countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chili, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexica, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, UAE and USA are exempted from visa regime, if their members wish to travel up to 30 days. This exemption aims at increasing the number of foreign investors, business travelers and tourists visiting the country.

For the citizens of all other countries, as well as of the above-listed countries in case of a longer stay, the visa is obligatory.

*This information is provided on the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and updated on the 3rd of June 2017. If you wish to see, click the list of Kazakh diplomatic missions here (in Kazakh or Russian).

Where to find detailed info to obtain visa

Kazakh embassies and/or consulates are present in 64 countries of the world and provide support in migration questions. So, the best way is to directly take enquiries on visa there. You can easily find and access to official, rather complete and safe websites of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in some countries. However, and here the bad news come, many of the Kazakh diplomatic missions have poorly organized websites and it’s quite usual not to find complete information. For the countries, in which Kazakhstan has no diplomatic representatives, it is even more challenging to know to what source one can address.

During the research and googling for this article, I analyzed a range of different web sources. Unfortunately, poor information on Kazakhstan can be profitable for scammers and unscrupulous travel agencies. There are certain sites that propose “help with visa” or even fake sites, that asks to pay visa fees beforehand, etc. So, beware and don’t pay, don’t transfer money, don’t insert any personal data without careful consideration of the source in question.

      Good news, here is some useful information about visa requirements to Kazakhstan I could acquire:
  • 1) I would recommend you make your first enquiries on visa by the following links, although you might not to find more detailed information about your country. These official websites provide useful information about general visa procedures for Kazakhstan and other necessary information. Click and proceed to the following links: As you can see, the data on the sites are not uniformed neither in quality, nor in terms of page interface. Nevertheless, certain sites of Kazakhstan embassies are being moved to the mfa.gov.kz service now and we hope for improvements, although much information is still in lack, especially, in English.
  • 2*) Citizens of the countries, in which Kazakhstan has no diplomatic representatives, can contact the Embassy or Consulate of Kazakhstan that supervises their region. For example, an Algerian citizen can address to the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Egypt for visa support. Here you can find contacts and information on interchangeability of embassies and consulates of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
  • 3) Finally, as Wikipedia says: “Pre-arranged visa for a stay of up to 1 month can be obtained on arrival for nationals arriving from a country without a Kazakh diplomatic mission. The fee is approximately 80 USD, and they must hold an invitation letter and obtain an approval from the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They must enter via one of the following ports of entry: Aktau Airport, Almaty International Airport, Astana International Airport, Atyrau Airport, Oral Ak Zhol Airport”. Please, check for the official information in your home country.

In addition, I found other web sources like Embassy-finder or EmbassyPages, that provide contact details of all embassies of the world by country. However, these websites are not official and sometimes are not complete, nor updated recently enough. You can google, if you wish.

Yellow Pages

Briefly, always verify and thoroughly analyze the information. I would strongly recommend you using the latest paper versions of telephone directories of your country such as “Yellow Pages” and directly ask official diplomatic representatives for a real-time consultation.

*This information is provided on the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and updated on the 3rd of June 2017.

Temporary registration of stay in Kazakhstan

Remember, all foreign citizens, arriving to the land of Kazakhstan for more than 5-day stay, need to register their stay. For the maximum 30-day visit, the registration is automatic at the border cross. Thus, a migration card with two stamps is given and the entry and must be hold until the country exit. For the maximum 90-day stay, the registration should be done within 5 calendar days from the entry day in the offices of the Migration Police or at the border cross. You may ask for the registration at the border cross. Certain big hotels can register your stay in Kazakhstan as well. Enquire about this question early enough to avoid violations due to simple negligence.

If I would be at your place, independently of visa requirements, I would address to an official Kazakh representative to ask about registration conditions. Probably, you can obtain a form to fill in, or get some tips about it, or need to fulfil other formalities, that are not discussed anywhere in the web sources.

Additional information

Independently of visa requirements, for 48 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sultanate of Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and USA, there’s no need for the letter of invitation from the Kazakh part, when it concerns maximum 30-day trip to Kazakhstan.

It is not clear about a letter of invitation, but, apparently, you might need it for non-tourist purpose trip to Kazakhstan or a stay, exceeding 30-day limit. An inviting organization from Kazakh part or a Kazakh travel agency can help and provide such invitation, respectively to both cases.

Conclusion

Locefoc tried to facilitate your way to Kazakhstan by analyzing and gathering the web-scattered information about a tourist visa for Kazakhstan. We are sure, that everything about a trip to Kazakhstan will be easier, once you accomplish visa formalities. Then, you will just need to organize your arrival and stay. So, we wish you a nice journey to Kazakhstan, (hoping you come to Almaty ☺), and invite you to read our articles about essential points of the first visit to Almaty and how to choose accommodation.

Important: The information provided in this article is not an official document and serves only to help to clarify some points of tourist visa requirements for Kazakhstan. Locefoc recommends to directly contact embassies and/or consulates of Kazakhstan by phone or e-mail for further details in your local area.

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