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Kazakhstan visa

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A Kazakh visa is date-specific, meaning it starts at the date you specify on your Kazakhstan visa application form, not when you enter the country. Kazakh tourist visas cannot (legally) be extended.

A 1-month Kazakhstan tourist visa is fairly simple to obtain for most travelers. For any other Kazakhstan visa, requirements can be more complicated.

Visa-free regime?

There is no visa-free regime for Kazakhstan. The idea is floated every few months, but so far, no progress has been made on the issue.

Visa support and LOI (letter of invitation)

For a 1 month tourist visa, no letter of invitation is needed if you are a national of one of 47 countries with easy visa procedure (see countries list at the bottom of the article).

If you are not a national of one of these countries, or you want a different type of visa, you will need a letter of invitation (LOI) from a Kazakh tour operator.

You can contact a reliable travel agent based in Kazakhstan directly through our contact form to get started immediately with your visa support.

Visa types and duration

Kazakhstan single entry visa (30 days)

Make your Kazakhstan visa application at the embassy of Kazakhstan in your country. No letter of invitation is needed if you are a national of one of 47 countries with easy visa procedure (see countries list). If you are not a national of one of these countries, you will need a letter of invitation (LOI).

The cost for a 1-month Kazakhstan tourist visa is around 35$, processing time 2-7 days. For Americans, prices have skyrocketed recently to more than 150$. It is valid for 30 days and cannot be extended, except for a limited period in emergency situations. Some nationals can travel visa-free for 1 month. If you make your Kazakhstan visa application outside your country of residence, see ‘embassy reports’.

Kazakhstan multiple entry visa (60 days)

A 2-month Kazakhstan multiple entry visa for tourists is only issued to nationals of one of 47 countries with easy visa procedure (see countries list). Cost is around 60$, processing time 3-7 days. Total duration of the visa is 60 days, and 2 entries are allowed. Duration of the stay cannot be more than 30 days on each entry, at which point you have to get out of the country, for however brief, before you can re-enter. No letter of invitation is required.

Kazakhstan multiple entry visa (90 days)

A 3-month Kazakhstan multiple entry visa for tourists is only issued to nationals of one of 47 countries with easy visa procedure (see countries list). Cost is around 60$, processing time 3-7 days. Total duration of the visa is 90 days, and 3 entries are allowed. Duration of the stay cannot be more than 30 days on each entry (see above). When applying for your visa, you will need to show a letter of invitation.

Kazakhstan visa on arrival

It is possible to get a Kazakhstan single entry visa on arrival in the airports of Almaty and Astana. In theory it is only possible if you are a national of one of the 47 countries with simplified visa procedure (see countries list), but some travel agents say they can issue this no matter where you come from, if you hold a western passport.

The Kazakhstan visa on arrival is valid for 1 month and does not require additional registration with the Migration Police (OVIR) IF you get the two stamps at the border control (see registration chapter). You will in any case need a special letter of invitation for visa on arrival from a tourist agency. This can only be issued 1 month in advance and is quite pricey. It is not possible to get a Kazakhstan visa on arrival at a land border, nor at Aktau sea port.

The transfer desk works Monday-Saturday during office hours. If you arrive outside of these times, you will have to wait. If that takes more than half an hour, you will be questioned by the police and possibly be detained.

If the transfer desk is open, you can show your letter of invitation, pay another 70$ and receive your visa on the spot. Check to see if you have 2 stamps on your registration paper (the little white thing), it means you do not have to register with immigration services again.

Good luck!

Registration

Registration in Kazakhstan

Update: Try not to register in Astana or Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk). It seems the OVIR of Astana and Oskemen only give 10 days registration instead of the 30-day rule.

When entering Kazakhstan, travelers receive a white registration card. You must retain this card throughout your stay in Kazakhstan. Two stamps on the card indicate that the traveler is registered. If the card contains only one stamp, the traveler must register with the Migration Police (OVIR) within 5 days. If you stay less than 5 days, you do not need registration (arriving at 23:55 counts as a full day!).

If you arrive by airplane, you will get two stamps at the airport and you do not need to register with the Migration Police anymore. If you arrive over land or sea, you do need to register. Some travelers have been able to get 2 stamps directly at a land border, but this privilege seems reserved for cute Japanese girls.

The OVIR offices are generally loud, busy and confusing. Try to go with a local if you do not speak Russian. All registrations should be free and valid for three months, regardless of where they are issued. This means that you can keep your registration card when you leave and enter Kazakhstan again in case you have a multiple entry visa. Many border guards however tend to take your registration card, in which case you will have to register again on re-entering Kazakhstan.

The process: you will need a copy of your passport and your Kazakh visa and the address of the hotel where you are staying at (if you are staying at a private flat things might be more complicated and additional documents from your hosts may be needed – in this event we are told to NOT recommend registering yourself, but to do it through a travel agent for KZT 3000 – 4000. We always do it ourselves though, it has never been a problem.

There is always a copy shop nearby OVIR. Give your papers to the migration police officer (locating the correct window might take some time even if you speak Russian) and she will hand you 2 forms to fill in your data. Possibly she might tell you that you need to get these forms from the copy shop as well. Hand in the forms, together with your passport. You get one form back, stamped, with which you should return later (the officer will tell you when) to pick up your passport and registration. Later usually means 1 or 2 days later. Sometimes, 15 minutes is all they need.

Update: Since March 2013, it seems possible to register online. You will need the help of a Kazakh citizen. We have not tried it yet, and don’t know if and how it actually works.

Embassy reports

Kazakhstan visa application on the road

Kazakh embassy in Bishkek

Adress: Mira 95. On the main avenue going south from Bishkek, it is Manas that changes into Mira. From the centre, different marshrutkas ply this route.

Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 to 12. Pick-up of visas is at 18.30 in the evening.

Summertime is very busy, and you should get there early, more than 100 people a day is not unusual. Outside of the season, it’s generally quiet. Tourist visas are 30$ for 30 days, 60$ for 60 days. Processing time 3-4 working days. Same-day express service is not possible. Transit visa available next day for the usual 20$ (Americans 160$).

The bank used to pay for the visa is KazKommerzBank, located at the corner of Sovetskaya and Bokonbaeva. The ATM outside of the bank issues dollars.

Kazakh consulate in Osh

Address: Michurin Str. 7, Osh Tel. 3 2222 7777

June 2013: This consulate has recently opened. Visas processed in the usual 3 business days.

Kazakh embassy in Tashkent

Opening hours 9-12 Monday to Friday, closed on Wednesdays.

June 2013: New embassy has opened, so old address probably useless. Let us know if you find out where the new one is!

July 2012: Kazakh embassy in Tashkent won’t keep your passport if you just ask for it. But you’ll have to go 3 times at the the embassy to get your visa: 1st for application, 5 working days later in the morning to hand in your passport, then in the evening to pick it up with your visa. The official delay is 5 working days, negotiable to 4 days (3 days if you’re lucky). English is spoken.

March 2012: 30$ for 1 month single entry visa. Issued in 4 working days. They keep your passport, so make sure they stamp your copy.

Kazakh embassy in Dushanbe

June 2013: 3 day turnaround for French passport holder.

Kazakh embassy in Baku

Opening hours: application: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30-11.30 Collecting visa: same days: 16-17.00.

Address: Embassy not easy to find: 40.39478°N / 49.82441°E. There’s confusion about the adress, the embassy itself writes it this way: ул. гасана алиева, проезд 15, дом 8 (see route description).

June-September 2013: 4 working days processing time.

September 2012: 3 days and 30$ for French passport holder.

June 2012: A traveler reports: Info is all up to date, but the address moved next to this weird concert hall.

Kazakh embassy in Tbilisi

Located at 23 Shatberashvili. Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 11:00 – 13:00 and passports could be collected Tuesday, Friday 15:00 – 16:00. +995 32 299 76 84

September 2013: 4 working days processing time.

April 2013: Superprofessional woman dealing with the visas. Procedure as in theory, got private visa in 4 days for 60$. Payment can be made in the bank or in cash if you bring the exact amount, in US dollars only.

November 2012: 40 US$ for 1 month. Handed in on Wednesday, picked up on Tuesday. Bus 66 ( costs one 50T coin on the bus or you can use a metro card )from the central train station stops right outside the embassy ( 2nd last stop on the bus … the last stop is only 2 minutes up the hill on the same street ), bus takes 20 to 30 mins to get there.

September 2012: A good place to get the Kazakhstan visa. We collected ours today (Friday) after handing in the application on Monday. Number 66 bus from the city drops you at the front door.

The lady told us she didn’t need the hotel booking confirmation or a letter saying why we wanted to visit but she seemed happy that we took the time to do it anyway.

Kazakh consulate in Istanbul

New address: http://goo.gl/maps/0c1zi Basak Sokak 35, Yesilyurt, Bakirkoy Tel: +90-212 6625347 Opening Times: Mon-Fri 09.30 -12.00 submit docs, Mon-Fri 15.00 – 16.30 collect docs. Transport: It can be reached by 72T bus from Taksim or by suburban train from Sirkeci to Yesilyurt station. Taxi from airport is about 15 lira.

October 2013: More negative news from Istanbul. American inquired about transit visa, was told it was ‘problematic.’ Best to avoid this embassy if possible: Ankara, Tbilisi, Baku are much better.

October 2012: British passport holder applied for a press visa but they were most unhelpful. Charging $200 for the visa and making him wait a week to issue it. Colleagues got their visas free of charge (one at Istanbul). Anzor, a visa officer, is a nightmare.

Embassy of Kazakhstan in Ankara

Address: Open 9-12 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri (not weds if I remember correctly) and can be found here: N39.85149 E032.82650> 100m from Tajik embassy.

Payment is made at the Ziraat Bank down the road here: N39.84756 E032.82870

July 2013: Kazakhstan consulate in Ankara a pleasure to deal with. Form, passports, brief covering letter, and money deposited at bank about 300m away. Visas issued in four days.

May 2013: Friendly guy, spoke English. Applied Monday, filling out form at embassy (which has a Tennis court!), gave 2 photos and a copy of my passport, picked up Friday. $160 (American passport), no visa support, 30 days single entry (double etc. not possible, he said).

April 2013: for British nationals: $30 USD – 1 month single entry processed in 5 working days/no LOI required. Very straight forward, spoke excellent English, took copies of our Passport and supplied application forms.

Kazakh embassy in Urumqi

Located at 216 Kunming Lu – you can take the #2 or #52 bus from the train station. Open from 9am to 1pm. Prices in October 2011: 30 days costs 30$, 60 days 60$. Processing time 5 working days. Could be quicker if you ask for it. Traveler experiences of this embassy range from absolute madness to piece of cake…Use your foreigner status to skip the line.

Beijing embassy of Kazakhstan

February 2013: American passport holder was charged 200$ instead of 160$ like it said on the website.

Visa application form, passport, picture and done, right? According to a report from August 2011, Beijing likes to make it a bit harder for you than most other embassies. This is confirmed by other similar reports. At your own risk.

Kazakh embassy in Shanghai

Address: Room 1003, Orient International Plaza, 85 Loushanguan Rd, Shanghai. Opening hours: 9.30 – 12.30 for visa applications. Open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Get there by at least 9 as the process is extremely slow and you will want to be at the front of the line.

Directions: Catch the Metro, Line 2 to Loushanguan station. Come out of Exit 2 and turn left immediately and walk for about 10 minutes. Take no notice of the numbers as the building appears on the other side of the road just after about 411. The name of the building is quite visible so look for that rather than numbers.

As you go in the front doors you will see 4 lift entries. Take the third one from the left and go to level 10. Go through the glass doors and line up outside of room 1003. The security guard will probably tell you to do this anyway.

Visa requirements: 1 passport photo, 1 copy of your passport and your passport, 1 copy of your Chinese visa. There is a copy centre to the left as you come in the main entrance of the building on the ground floor if you need to make copies.

May 2012: single entry tourist visa is 140 Y that must be paid at the Bank of China around the corner and the receipt brought back before they will process. The bank is difficult to find with no visible signs. Go down to the ground floor, exit the building to the road and turn left. Turn left at the next corner and walk for about 100m. You should see twin buildings across the road. The nearest one has a Starbucks sign on the outside. Go to the other building on the far side. The Bank of China is directly ahead on the ground floor. There are a set of stairs to the left. Go up these to the next floor and you will find the office where you need to pay.

You can pick your visa up the following week at 3pm. Express service for twice the price but not sure on the timing of this. You can ask to keep your passport.

Omsk embassy of Kazakhstan

Single entry visa was the only possibility in April 2011 without invitation. 5 business days processing time, 40$.

Kazakh embassy in Ulan Bator

Opening hours: Mon Tue, Thu and Fri. Submit paperwork from 10-12, collection between 16-18.

July 2013: Two NZ travellers plus motorcycle dropped off forms on Tuesday, collected the following Tuesday. You may be able to get it faster – we think the embassy was closed for a couple of days around the Mongolian election.

There’s two forms to complete and you need some sort of itinerary. You pay at the Golomt Bank around the corner. There’s a bit of back and forth, so it would pay to get to the embassy early so you don’t have to run to the bank and back (as we did). Staff are helpful enough.

March 2012: A British passport holder tells us: very nice service. 1 photo, passport, 10-1200 for visa application, 16-1700 for pick up, not wed, sat, sun. Got application form at embassy, handed in paperwork and passport (no loi, just listed a few places for itinerary. No bookings needed) picked up next day. $70 deposited into their account – just showed deposit slip next day when returned to pick up visa – pretty sure they issued visa after this (5-10 min wait) then bye bye. Simple pleasant nice. 30 days.

Embassy of Kazakhstan in Tokyo

July 2012: The consulate will keep the original passport for entire length of time (drop off Monday and pick up the following Monday afternoon at 15:00).

Cost for Americans: $30 USD for 1 month single entry, $60 for 2 month double entry (30 days per entry max). Payable at time of pickup via wire transfer (ATM) receipt in JPY (get them to write down what they expect the cost to be at drop off time, their conversion rate might be lower than the day’s rate).

Kazakhstan embassy in Seoul

Adress: #53, Jangmun-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-809, Republic of Korea Tel: 02-394-9716, 02-379-9714, Consular section: 02-391-8906, 02-379-7876 email: seoul at mfa dot kz Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9-12

April 2013: French passports, 3 months double entry with LOI, no problems. 5 days waiting. English is spoken, need to leave the passports. Might be able to get it in 3 days. Price: 90$ per person.

Kazakh consulate in Hong Kong

Opening hours: Monday-Friday from 10am-1pm (come before 12!)

April 2013: 6-day turnaround for Canadian. Payment has to be made as a bank transfer or cash deposit at any local branch of HSBC.

Embassy of Kazakhstan in Kuala Lumpur

Office hours for submission and collection are 0900-1300 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

April 2013: 50 US$ for double entry tourist visa for Australian passport holder. Paid at the counter, no bank transactions involved. Took one week. Obtained without LOI only because I was able to provide my flight itinerary that showed I needed two entries (before and after my visit to Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan). Without these documents, I would have needed a LOI. Despite the printed itinerary, I still had to convince the person accepting the documents that I didn’t need a LOI, so there were a few interesting moments.

Kazakh embassy in Bangkok

January 2012: The Kazakh embassy in Bangkok has changed location. They have not yet updated their new location on their website. The new address is GPF Witthayu Towers, Suite 804, 93/1, Wireless (Wittayu) Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok, 10330.

Consular section opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10 to 12am. You can avoid having to rush to the Bangkok bank on Silom Road by paying for the visa before you go to the embassy. Location of the bank and visa fees listed on the embassy website are still correct. The bank charges 500 baht processing fee, which makes applying in Bangkok pricey. If you’re going overland, Urumqi is cheaper. Processing time 5 business days, 3 if you show up every day to ask if it’s ready.

Visa requirements

Kazakhstan visa requirements

  • a valid passport with expiry date 6 months after the end of your stay in Kazakhstan and 2 empty pages
  • a copy of Kazakhstan LOI (if you need one)
  • the completed visa application form
  • 1 passport-size photo
  • Money to pay for the visa

List of countries

List of countries

Citizens of the following 47 countries are eligible for the simplified visa procedure (countries in bold are often left out in embassy lists):

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Northern Ireland, USA, United Arab Emirates.

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to visit Kazakhstan:

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova (90 days), Mongolia (90 days), Russian Federation, Serbia (30 days), Tajikistan, Turkey (30 days), Uzbekistan, Ukraine (90 days).

Overstaying Kazakhstan visa

Overstaying your visa in Kazakhstan can result in heavy penalties. How much you will have to pay depends on your ability to talk yourself out of things and the mood of the border guards. Kazakh tourist visas can not be extended. If you want to stay longer in Kazakhstan, you will need to apply for a new visa in a neighbouring country.

Other visas

sources:
Ministry of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan
Embassy of Kazakhstan in United States
Visa-free travel for Serbians in Kazakhstan
Zakon.kz

Comments are closed. If you have questions or embassy reports, head over to our forum’s visa section.

45 Comments

  1. May 2013 bishkek: swiss passport. Applied on thursday. They told me to hand in my passport and the proof of payment on monday. Could pick up the visa on tuesday evening.

  2. This site is very helpful. Thank you so much!

    I have a comment on registration. Although you said “All registrations are free and valid for three months”, I received 1-month valid registration certificate. (I have 90 days valid tourist visa with 3 entries)
    Some travel agencies adviced me to go to police station again when I re-enter this country after 30 days.

    • Thanks for the response. Seems like things have changed again then. Will update soon. In any case, most likely they take your registration and you will have to go again.

  3. Update on applying for Kazakh visa in Urumqi, China (May 2013):

    Process still the same as above. We were one UK passport holder and one Irish passport holder. Cost for our visas was 130 RMB each. Now the embassy is taking a bit longer to process tourist visas – seems that one week is now the norm. Applied Monday morning and told to return following Monday at 3pm. Not available any earlier.

    We got there before 9am. Big queues but knock on left hand side door after 9am and guard will let you in. A lady filled out and printed out the application form on the computer (40 RMB each). After that you’ll be shown through to another office where the consular staff check the application and give you an invoice for China Construction Bank and you have to exit the consulate and go to the bank (about 500 metres away, west across the park – near Xinjie building). Pay them there. Take receipt back and get it photocopied in the first room you entered and then bring all the papers back to the other office.

    We applied for a single entry, thirty day visa. Asked if a double entry was possible and was told no. Be careful to note the entry date you want as some people applying here got an entry date from the date they applied at the embassy.

    Told to come back in one week’s time to collect passport and visa.

    BRT line 1 (northbound) brings you close to the visa office.

  4. The link to the visa application form no longer works, this one does: http://kazakhembus.com/sites/default/files/documents/visa_anketa.doc

  5. Hi, great site.

    I was hoping you or someone here might have an input on this:

    I have a Brazilian girlfriend, but only girlfriend. I am an expat and my next project is in Kazakhstan (Kokshe). She would like to come with me.

    She will not be working and she needs to be able to stay at least 3 months but will be able to shortly exit the country (to Russia) and re-enter.

    I am thinking the 3 months tourist visa. My company can make an invitation letter. But we will be staying in houses so do not have any hotel booking.

    Do you have any great solutions that springs to mind?

    After reading that guy here in the comments with the langue school I also am considering getting her a student visa, but it get’s a little sketchy I think…

    • tourist visa or business visa is fine, you dont need hotel bookings. business visa will be better since you dont need to exit the country every month. you dont need an actual business.

      • Thanks Steven

        Things are in motion now. The business VISA is much more attractive for her. Great hint there. Also for the 2 months it can be extended.

        I have been reading very many forums and webpages and it does not seem like the rules are that rigid. What seems most important is to have all the documents on the checklists. Not so much that everything written in them have to be absolutely perfect.

        I guess I will know in a months time if that assessment holds up…

        • Good luck!

  6. I’ve just obtained a dual-entry tourist visa for Kazakhstan at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I used my Australian passport. Cost US$50 or payable in equivalent Malaysian Ringgits (single entry is US$25) and this is paid at the counter, no bank transactions involved. Took one week. Obtained without LOI only because I was able to provide my flight itinerary that showed I needed two entries (before and after my visit to Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan). Without these documents, I would have needed a LOI. Despite the printed itinerary, I still had to convince the person accepting the documents that I didn’t need a LOI, so there were a few interesting moments. Single entry tourist visa does not require LOI at all. I also provided my travel insurance certificate as required on the form. Office hours for submission and collection are 0900-1300 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Great website, been very useful in planning my Central Asia journey. Thanks! Shane

  7. Is it possible to get a 60-day single entry tourist visa for an American? I’m going to study language at a school in Almaty from June 20 to Aug 14 (56 days in country) and the school just gave me a letter of acceptance, no official invitation letter, and told me to apply for a tourist visa. What are my options? Double entry and day-trip to Bishkek in the middle?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Indeed, if they didn’t want to give you a student visa, you are going to have to go to Bishkek for a day. Not a big deal, doesn’t cost much in terms of transport and accommodation.

      • Thank you so much for your advice. Unfortunately for me, I already applied for a single-entry tourist visa (without an invitation letter, just a letter of intent) for the 56 days. I had been told that this was possible, if indeed it is, I will report back. Thanks again!

  8. Update on bishkek:
    Information is still correct, good advice also to pay in advance at kazcommercbank.
    We (two belgians) applied on tuesday morning and got it on friday evening. You can keep your pasport if you ask for it.

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