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.
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.
Kyrgyzstan with a Kazakhstan visa?
With the new law on visa-free travel, all citizens of countries who were eligible for the old rule no longer need a visa for Kyrgyzstan. So in practice this law is no longer in effect.
You can cross the border with Kyrgyzstan on a Kazakhstan tourist visa if you are a resident of one of 35 countries (see countries list). In our experience, border guards at the major border crossings are aware of this rule. Just to be sure (and to avoid bribes), you can print out the law and show it to them or other police officers. Be aware that the mutual recognition of tourist visas between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is only valid for the border regions. This means you can go to the Kyrgyz Republic on a Kazakh visa to the region of Issyk-kul, Talass and Chu and with a Kyrgyz visa to the region of Almaty and Zhambyl in Kazakhstan. Single entry visa is theoretically not a problem in this case, as you can fly out from Bishkek. We have not heard of anyone doing it yet, though. You cannot cross into China or Uzbekistan from Kazakhstan on a Kyrgyz visa. You cannot fly into Bishkek on a Kazakh visa. You cannot leave from Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan, China or Tajikistan on a Kazakh visa.
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$, processing time 3-7 days. Total duration of the visa is 60 days, and 2 entries are allowed. Duration of the stay cannot be more than 30 days on each entry, at which point you have to get out of the country, for however brief, before you can re-enter.
Kazakhstan multiple entry visa (90 days)
A 3-month Kazakhstan multiple entry visa for tourists is only issued to nationals of one of 47 countries with easy visa procedure (see countries list). Cost is around 60$, 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 from a tourist company.
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.
Letter of invitation (LOI) and travel agents
The Kazakhstan letter of invitation can be made up for you by most Kazakh tour companies. You should allow at least 1 week for processing. It is not possible to get the LOI from a private citizen in Kazakhstan unless you are directly related to them, in which case you can apply for a private visa.
Registration in Kazakhstan
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 are 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 do NOT recommend registering yourself, but to do it through a travel agent for KZT 3000 – 4000.
There is always a copy shop nearby OVIR. Give this to the migration police officer (locating the correct window might take some time even if you speak Russian) and he will hand you 2 forms to fill in your data. Possibly he 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.
Attention: if you have been to Astrakhan, we want to hear your consulate report!
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 if you want to be first. Outside of the season, it’s generally quiet. Tourist visas are 30$ for 30 days, 60$ for 60 days. Processing time 2-4 working days. Same-day express service is available for a hefty fee (100$ + cost of visas) via the agent/taxi driver hanging around the embassy. Transit visa available next day for the usual 20$.
The bank used to pay for the visa is KazKommerzBank, located at the corner of Sovetskaya and Bokonbaeva. The ATM outside of the bank issues dollars. You can save yourself a hurried trip to the bank and back by paying for your visa in advance. The bank account number is P/C 1051010048300114 .
Kazakh embassy in Tashkent
Opening hours 9-12 Monday to Friday, closed on Wednesdays.
July 2012: Kazakh embassy in Tashkent won’t keep your passport if you just ask for it. But you’ll have to go 3 times at the the embassy to get your visa: 1st for application, 5 working days later in the morning to hand in your passport, then in the evening to pick it up with your visa. The official delay is 5 working days, negotiable to 4 days (3 days if you’re lucky). English is spoken.
March 2012: 30$ 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
December 2010: US passport holder paid 60$ for 2-month visa, processing time 3 days. However, we have heard unconfirmed rumours that it is recently much more hassle to apply for a Kazakh visa in Dushanbe. Unconfirmed.
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
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.
Very relaxed embassy that even issues 90-day visas for Kazakhstan without LOI! 3 working days processing time. Also offers a dirt-cheap Kyrgyzstan visa.
Kazakh embassy in Tblisi
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
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 embassy 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 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: Embassy is only open 0900-1200 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
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.
July 2012: 3 days processing time $30 paid to bank 10 minute walk. Wanted to keep our passport but we needed them so they just took a copy.
Kazakh embassy in Urumqi
Located at 216 Kunming Lu – you can take the #2 or #52 bus from the train station. Open from 9am to 1pm. Prices in October 2011: 30 days costs 30$, 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
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.
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
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.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova (90 days), Mongolia (90 days), Russian Federation, Serbia (30 days), Tajikistan, Turkey (30 days), Uzbekistan, Ukraine (90 days).
Australia, Austria, Belgium, UK, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Israel, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Korea, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, UAE, Portugal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, USA, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Japan
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.
- Business visa Kazakhstan
- Kazakhstan border zone permit
- Kazakhstan private visa
- Permanent residence Kazakhstan
- Transit visa Kazakhstan
- Work permit Kazakhstan
Ministry of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan
Embassy of Kazakhstan in United States
Visa-free travel for Serbians in Kazakhstan