Kazakhstan has a diverse set of visa rules for people of different nations: visa-free, 1 month visa, 2 month visa, 3 month visa, 5 year visa, visa only with a letter of invitation. Which one is for you? Read on.
Important: when entering the country over land or sea and staying longer than 5 days, you need to register within 5 days at the Migration Police. Since April 2016, a new law has come into effect for visa-free travelers: they do not need to register anymore.
Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to visit Kazakhstan: Argentina (30 days), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ecuador (30 days) Georgia, Hong Kong (14 days), Kyrgyzstan, Moldova (90 days), Mongolia (90 days), Russian Federation, Serbia (30 days), South Korea (30 days), Tajikistan, Turkey (30 days), Uzbekistan, Ukraine (90 days).
Kazakhstan dropped visa requirements for visitors from 10 countries for a one-year test period from July 15, 2014 until July 15, 2015. Near the end of the test period, President Nazarbayev announced (ru) that nationals of all 34 OECD countries + UAE, Malaysia and Singapore would be able to enter Kazakhstan visa-free for 30 days soon. It seems this will not happen in the foreseeable future.
Instead, an expanded version of the visa test phase will last from July 16th 2015 until December 31st 2017. 20 countries got visa-free for 15 days: United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany, France, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, South Korea (stupid, they already have 30 days – who makes these laws?!), Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Monaco, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Japan. This information can be found on the websites of the Kazakh embassies of London, Washington and Berlin. Updates and questions can be posted in this forum topic.
Visa runs: You can enter and re-enter visa-free as many times as you like. It is best to enter the next day, rather than the same day, to avoid trouble with the border guards, but it is possible to re-enter the same day. Every time you re-enter, you get a fresh 15 days. You can keep doing this for months.
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.
Kazakhstan single entry visa (30 days)
A Kazakh visa used to be date-specific, meaning it starts at the date you specify on your Kazakhstan visa application form, not when you enter the country. Now, things have changed. Tourist visas now have a 90-day time frame within which you can use your 30 days in-country (or 2×30 days). The 90 days start from the date you fill in on the form, not the date you receive the visa.
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$, processing time 2-7 days. For Americans, the price is 160$ with 5 year validity on the visa. It’s unclear how often you can re-enter, but it seems infinitely as long as you are out of country for at least a day.
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$, processing time 3-7 days. Total duration of the visa is 90 days, and 2 entries are allowed. Duration of the stay cannot be more than 30 days on each entry, at which point you have to get out of the country, for however brief, before you can re-enter. No letter of invitation is required.
Kazakhstan multiple entry visa (90 days)
A 3-month Kazakhstan multiple entry visa for tourists is only issued to nationals of one of 47 countries with easy visa procedure (see countries list). Cost is around 60$, 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.
Registration in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan visa application on the road
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.
Opening hours: application: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30-11.30 Collecting visa: same days: 16-17.00.
New address: On NcƏfqulu Rəfiyev Street. In front of the Catholic Church, and near the Amay shopping center. Bank to pay is in the Amay shopping center.
Embassy not easy to find: 40.39478°N / 49.82441°E. There’s confusion about the address, the embassy itself writes it this way: ул. гасана алиева, проезд 15, дом 8 (see route description). Instructions to find embassy are complicated on site. Easiest way to find embassy is to get a bus to Hotel Europe (aka Grand Hotel Europe or Hotel Auropi). Walk up the steps from the main road and then keep going straight hotel on right hand side). You will walk passed UAE and Egyptian embassies, probably able to see the light blue Kazakh flag c 100/200m straight ahead. The embassy has two entrances. If you get the wrong one just walk around until you find consular side. Payment is at Beynelxalq bankindaki, approx 20 min walk from embassy. Apparently the embassy sometimes gives maps out to find it. It is easy enough. Go back to Hotel Europe and turn left down the hill, passed the sports centre on left hand side. As the road forks stay left on Tbilisi avenue. At the big roundabout/flyover go straight under flyover but take the right hand road with traffic heading in same direction (the other side will be coming towards you). If I doubt ask for the Caspian Plaza. The bank is on the left just after Caspian Plaza. They charge a $1 service fee, payable in dollars or manat. Bank details AZ921BAZ39050018409415968120
2016: 20$ for 1 month, 40$ for 2 months.
2012-2015: Stays the same: 30$, 3-4 days turnaround (occasionally 5), no need to leave passport.
January 2012: The Kazakh embassy in Bangkok has changed location. They have not yet updated their new location on their website. The new address is GPF Witthayu Towers, Suite 804, 93/1, Wireless (Wittayu) Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok, 10330.
Consular section opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10 to 12am. You can avoid having to rush to the Bangkok bank on Silom Road by paying for the visa before you go to the embassy. Location of the bank and visa fees listed on the embassy website are still correct. The bank charges 500 baht processing fee, which makes applying in Bangkok pricey. If you’re going overland, Urumqi is cheaper. Processing time 5 business days, 3 if you show up every day to ask if it’s ready.
February 2013: American passport holder was charged 200$ 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.
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 18.00 in the evening.
2012-2015: 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 3-5 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.
Opening hours: 9.30 – 12.30 Mon, Tue, Thu, Friday.
January 2015: Standard procedure, 1 week turnaround. Bring proof of payment when you pick up the visa. You cannot keep your passport.
Address: Husseinzonda Street, the first wide street on the Southern branch of Rudaki Avenue, not far from the Archaeological Museum. Closed on Weekends and Wednesdays. Embassy is located at: 38.568404N, 68.788823E (Huseinzoda street 31). Kazkommertz bank is located at: 38.5637945N, 68.7939942E (Ayni street 24a). Updates can be posted and read here.
June 2015: 3 day turnaround.
January 2015: 30 days visa, applied on Friday, collected on Monday, 30 USD, pay at the Kazkoz Bank in Ayni Street, you keep your passport, no English spoken.
June 2013: 3 day turnaround for French passport holder.
Hong Kong consulate
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.
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 $200 for the visa and making him wait a week to issue it. Colleagues got their visas free of charge (one at Istanbul). Anzor, a visa officer, is a nightmare.
Kuala Lumpur embassy
Office hours for submission and collection are 0900-1300 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
April 2013: 50 US$ 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.
New Delhi embassy
May 2015: Processing time is 1 week, express service perhaps available for 200$.
Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30-13:30 and 16:00-17:00
August 2015: 2 day turnaround, quick and easy.
Address: Michurin Str. 7, Osh.
2014: This consulate has ceased to exist. According to some, it is a myth and never existed in the first place!
June 2013: This consulate has recently opened. Visas processed in the usual 3 business days.
Adress: #53, Jangmun-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-809, Republic of Korea
Tel: 02-394-9716, 02-379-9714,
Consular section: 02-391-8906, 02-379-7876
email: seoul at mfa dot kz
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9-12
April 2013: French passports, 3 months double entry with LOI, no problems. 5 days waiting. English is spoken, need to leave the passports. Might be able to get it in 3 days. Price: 90$ per person.
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.
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.
Located at 23 Shatberashvili. Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:30 – 12:30 and passports could be collected Tuesday, Friday 15:00 – 16:00. Updates collected here.
June 2016: 2-month tourist visas not available.
April 2014: Tourist visas now 60$ for 1 month, 90$ for 2 months. Americans 160$.
September 2013: 4 working days processing time.
April 2013: Superprofessional woman dealing with the visas. Procedure as in theory, got private visa in 4 days for 60$. 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.
Embassy address: 82, North Hedayat Str., Corner of Masjed Alley, Tehran [GPS: 35.7779, 51.4515] – (+98) 21 256-59-33. You can reach it walking 10-15 minutes from metro stration Golhak.
Opening hours: (hours in brackets are meant for receiving the documents)
Sun 14:00-16:00 (16-18:00),
Tue 10:00-12:00 (14-16:00),
Wed 14:00-16:00 (16-18:00).
You will need: to fill the form, given in the embassy; a copy of passport; 2 passport-sized pictures; 40$ cash to be paid in a bank, or pay at the embassy when receiving the visa (bring the exact amount). By default they want to keep your passport, but if you say you will need it then they let you keep it. Updates collected here.
September 2015: Still 4 days and 40 USD.
May 2014: It takes 4 days and 40 USD to get the visa for Kazakhstan in Tehran.
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).
Ulan Bator embassy
Address: Zaisan Road, in fact down a side street off Zaisan. At the intersection of Zaisan and Chinggis Ave, heading south, take the 4th side street to the right. You will see the blue Kazakh flag immediately on the right.
Opening hours: Mon Tue, Thu and Fri. Submit paperwork from 10-12, collection between 16-18.
July 2014: Very nice guys, 2 day turnaround.
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.
Located at 216 Kunming Lu – you can take the #2 or #52 bus from the train station. Open from 9am to 1pm. Same address but there’s a new building to apply for visas. It’s just behind the main building in an alley. There’s always a massive line with annoying kazakhs screaming and pushing. Just get the chubby security guy to notice you and he’ll get you in without waiting. He will also get you to the interview without waiting.
April 2016: Dutch passport. 30 days single entry tourist visa. A bit chaotic, but no stress. The lady who did the interview didn’t speak a word of English, and not even Chinese I think. We did the whole thing in Kazakh (I don’t speak Kazakh) and Google translate. She filled in my form very very badly, but people at the embassy didn’t seem to care. She was doing 4 things at once and was very stressed. Be nice to her. They make copies of your passport and Chinese visa. One passport photo is needed, no additional costs for the copies or interview. Watch out, they got my entry date wrong 3 times.
Once your done in that building, you have to bring all the papers to the main building. Same story, many people but just say hello to the security guard. There’s a special window for foreigners, and the guy was very friendly and spoke fluent English. Told him to change my entry date and it wasn’t a problem for him.
140 CNY for 1 week turn around, you can keep your passport. 280 CNY for express (3 days), they keep your passport. You have to pay at China construction bank just around the corner and come back with your receipt. Hand in all the documents again and you’ll get a receipt with a date on it when you can pick up your visa. Once again, he got the date wrong so it’s better to check when you leave.
Specific dates validity of visa! They asked us what date we want to arrive to Kazakhstan, we said 28th October, but official wrote 29th on our applications and we get visas valid for 30 days since 29th October until 27th November. So it seems that we can’t arrive earlier than 29th October and if we arrive later than 29th we probably can’t stay longer than 27th November.
People in consulate in Urumqi are friendly and helpful. They speak Chinese, Uyghur, Russian and a little bit of English (basic sentences, but understandable). Even it’s a big mess outside foreigners can just skip the line. The most important person is bodyguard who decide who is going inside. Good advise is to be friendly to him, smile to him, talk to him, let him to screen all your stamps in passport and then he will take good care of you 🙂
October 2011: 30 days costs 30$, 60 days 60$. Processing time 5 working days. Could be quicker if you ask for it. Traveler experiences of this embassy range from absolute madness to piece of cake…Use your foreigner status to skip the line.
Kazakhstan visa requirements
- a valid passport with expiry date 6 months after the end of your stay in Kazakhstan and 2 empty pages
- a copy of Kazakhstan LOI (if you need one)
- the completed visa application form
- 1 passport-size photo
- Money to pay for the visa
The following 34 countries belong to OECD:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
Citizens of the following countries are eligible for the simplified visa procedure:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Northern Ireland, USA, United Arab Emirates.
Overstaying your visa
Is not recommended. Before you could still get away with a 100$ fine, or talk your way out of it. Now, in a drive to attract tourists and investors, the punishment for overstaying your visa is 5000$ fine or 20 days jail time. This goes for every infraction. 1 day late? 20 days in jail! Minors are exempt from the rule though.
- Business visa Kazakhstan
- Kazakhstan border zone permit
- Kazakhstan private visa
- Kazakhstan visa support (Letter of Invitation)
- Permanent residence Kazakhstan
- Registration in Kazakhstan and OVIR offices
- Transit visa Kazakhstan
- Work permit Kazakhstan
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