In Kyrgyzstan, visa requirements are the most liberal of Central Asia. With the 2012 law on visa-free travel, it became even easier for the majority of visitors to Kyrgyzstan. If you still need a visa, beware that a Kyrgyz visa is date-specific, meaning entry and exit date are written on the visa; you cannot enter before the entry date or leave after the expiry date.
Visa-free travel has gone into effect on July 27th 2012, giving 60-day visa-free travel for the following 44 countries.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vatican, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Hungary, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Canada, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States of America, Finland, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia, Qatar, Brunei Darussalam, Bahrain.
We can confirm that the rule is followed both at land borders and the airport.
The following countries also have visa-free entry into Kyrgyzstan: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Georgia, Moldova, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia (up to 30 days), Mongolia (up to 90 days), North Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine (up to 90 days), Vietnam (30 days).
You can enter and re-enter visa-free as many times as you like. Each time you get another 30/60/90 days. It is best to enter the next day, rather than the same day, to avoid trouble with the border guards. Nonetheless, many people do re-enter the same day without issues.
Registering your stay
You may or may not be required to register your stay at the immigration police, depending on your nationality and the length of your stay in Kyrgyzstan.
For some 90 nationalities, since January 2017, registration is only necessary if you stay longer than the standard tourist visa or visa-free period for your country. You can double-check if you still need to register at the Kyrgyzstan registration page, where you will also find more info on the procedure.
Kyrgyzstan tourist visa
The Kyrgyzstan tourist visa is issued for 15, 30 or 60 days, with single or double entry. Longer duration and double entry are more expensive, but the procedure remains the same.
Standard procedure to apply for a Kyrgyzstan tourist visa is to bring a letter of invitation from a tourist company. However, citizens of some countries do not need a letter of invitation. These are:(1) Albania (2) Andorra (3) Argentina (4) Brazil (5) Bulgaria (6) Chile (7) Cyprus (8) Indonesia (9) Israel (10) Macedonia (11) Mexico (12) Montenegro (13) Oman (14) Philippines (15) Romania (16) San Marino (17) South Africa (18) Serbia (19) Thailand (20) Turkey (21) Venezuela. Citizens of these countries also do not need to register at OVIR. All others do (see registration chapter below).
Letter of invitation
The letter of invitation takes 2 weeks to deliver and is valid for 1 month from date of issue. So you need to get to an embassy within 1 month. Through the form on this page you can start your application immediately online. The price is 55 US$.
Kyrgyzstan visa on arrival
It is possible to get the Kyrgyzstan visa on arrival only in Bishkek’s Manas airport, not at a land border. It’s the same idea as before: if you need a letter of invitation, you will need one for the VOA too. It’s 60$ for a single entry 30 day tourist visa, 70$ for double entry 30 day tourist visa on arrival. It is not possible to get more than 1 month at the airport. It is also possible to get a business visa on arrival at Manas airport. This type of visa is not extendable!
Other visas and permits
Kyrgyzstan visa requirements
For your Kyrgyz visa application you will need:
- 1 filled out visa application form
- 1 passport picture (take 2 just in case)
- passport with 6 months validity after expiration of the visa and 2 empty pages
- photocopy of passport is also sometimes required
- a letter of invitation (depending, see above)
Extending a Kyrgyz visa is possible in Bishkek, Karakol and Osh. In Karakol, you can do it anytime, whereas in Bishkek, you need to wait until a few days before expiry of your visa. You need a copy of your passport and your visa, your passport, a letter stating your reason for extension (you can write in English), a passport picture and money.
In Bishkek, the visa department is located at 58 Kievskaya street, at the Department of Registration Population Settlement. It is open 9-12 and 13-16. Passports are received same day 17-18. There is a rule saying extension should be done at least 5 days before visa expires, but experiences point to being able to do it with less days left as well. Also, they might need a confirmation from your accommodation or a flight out. Go in the double doors and immediately up half a flight of stairs to your left. A visa application will cost you 5 som, and the extension costs 1,065 som. Make sure to have a passport photo with you.
It’s a lot of hassle. You will not be able to cross the border without an exit visa, so if you overstayed, your first port of call is the visa department at 58 Kievskaya mentioned above.
A naughty traveler from 2016 explains: So you go there and they basically tell you what you need to do. This involves going across town to a police/government office. They then send you to this specific bank, where you pay a 10,000 som fine. You then take that receipt back to the police, where they fill out a form for you. Then you take that form back to the first office, and they send you to their cashier where you pay 1050 som for the actual exit visa. Then you need to get a form stamped by the top official in the building. You provide a covering letter stating what you require, 2 passport photographs, a completed application form, the letter from the police, and the receipt for the exit visa payment. Then you come back a day later and you should have the visa. I had 5 days to leave the country, and then I could turn around, come back in and my 60 day visa free allowance would start again. If I overstay my welcome once more – I’m deported.
It’s confusing and very time consuming. Took me and my Russian best part of two days to complete. Needless to say if you don’t speak Russian or know someone who does – you haven’t got a chance. Excuse my French – absolute fucking madness.
At least 5 travelers are needed for a group visa. You need to arrive via airplane. You can buy this through Caravanistan (add group visa in the extra questions field) at a price of 65$ per person. The group visa is an A4 format letter with a visa sticker, which you need to present to the immigration officer at the airport. This means you do not need to go to the embassy beforehand, and there are no extra charges when arriving in Kyrgyzstan.
If you plan to arrive overland, you cannot use the group visa, since there is no consular office at land borders. In that case, your gang needs to apply for a regular LOI if you need one, and apply for a visa at the nearest embassy.
Kyrgyzstan visa application on the road
Since Kyrgyzstan gave visa-free to many countries, we get precious little updates, so note that many of the info here can be out of date.
Adress: Luganskaya 30A (near Dvorets Shkolnikov – Palace of School children) Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9-12.30 (for applications) and 15-16.30 (for visa pick-up).
July 2016: I applied on Monday and received it on Friday. Documents received in the morning (go early and don’t be shy to jump the queue to ask questions or just get the form). Fee needs to be paid at Kazkommerzbank (use google maps to find a branch, the embassy gives an address which is not correct). One photo and copies of passport, Kazakh stamps and Kazakh immigration card with registration stamp (two stamps on the card). $60 for 30 days, date specific.
April 2012: British passport holder went for the slow option: 2 weeks wait while they keep your passport, visa is written in when you come back to pick it up.
March 2012: Belgian traveler got a 30-day tourist visa for 135$ the next day. The process for express visa is still the same as outlined in the report below.
June 2011: British traveler got a 30-day tourist visa for 150$ in one and a half hours. July 2011: British traveler got 30-day visa for 110$, same-day delivery. 1 week wait would cost 70$.
October 2011: Australian got 30-day visa on the spot for 115$, was told it was 60$ and 10 business days wait for regular processing.
Address: Ferit Recai Ertugal Cadessi. Opening hours Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
July 2012: British national: took half an hour cost 50$ embassy kept passport while I went to the bank about 15 minute walk downhill 20 minutes back or a few minutes on the bike or a lira in a dolmus, return with receipt.
Adress: Caspian Plaza, 11th floor. Cafar Cabbarli 44. (Near the big round-about. Almost at the corner with Bəsti Bagirova). Updates collected here.
October 2016: Next-day, no hassle.
June 2016: For Argentinian passport: 55 USD to be paid in cash at the consulate/embassy. 1 photo, 1 form. No LOI, no hotel reservation.
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Applications from 9:30 to 12:30, visa pick-up in the afternoon.
Address: The consulate is in a diplomatic compound at no. 18 Xiao Yun Lu. The closest subway stop is Lang Ma Qiao, which is about 15 minutes away walking. Heading east on Xiao Yun Lu, the compound will be on your right immediately after a large gas station. There are actually two entrances to the compound: the one mentioned above and another one behind the Marriott (corner of Xian yun lu and Tianze) that is slightly closer to the actual embassy (this is the one most commonly cited on Lonely Planet’s Thorntree forum).
June 2012: Things changed a bit again, but you still have to wait a very long time.
April 2012: be prepared for a long wait. Tourist visas are ¥455 with 5 days processing time and ¥735 for three days. Transit is 350/525 yuan. Same-day processing is no longer offered.
You pay at a Bank of China branch in San Li Tun. It is the Beijing Embasies branch across from the Iranian embassy. The English address on the slip they gave me was incorrect, but the Chinese was correct. The bank takes an additional ¥10 fee and is also quite a wait.
Adress: recently moved to 56 Said Nosirov (same place as it is on the Lonely Planet map). Opening hours are erratic.Turn east at 110 rudaki and go straight towards the big red Kyrgyz flag. Old telephone number was 224-26-11, not sure if it still the same.
Opening hours: erratic, but try Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00-17:00, with a two-hour break from noon.
July 2015: Express option (10 minutes) is 90$, slow option is 50$ (2 weeks).
June 2013: 2 Romanians: Kyrgyz visa on the spot for 100$ (double fee) otherwise it takes a week to process.
July 2016: A 2 month visa would be $100, 3 working days, express next-day service is $200. Staff was unfriendly. Documents received only before noon.
Kuala Lumpur embassy
Address: Level 10, Wisma Sin Heap Lee building, No 346 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 KL – Take the LRT to AMPUNG PARK and the building is behind the Ampung Park shopping complex
May 2012: Australian passport holders paid 208MYR (approx $65) each for single entry one month tourist visa. Passports + 1 copy plus two copies of form and 2 passport photos and payment confirmation submitted on Thursday afternoon and picked up at 11 Monday morning. No express fees required. You need to pay at the Maybank in the Ampang Park shopping centre across the street.
October 2011: It is possible to apply by post. Processing time 1 week. Cost 60£ for 1-month tourist visa.
New York embassy
July 2015: My husband, Canadian, and I, Chinese got our Kyrgyz visa at NYC consulate. Applications were sent from Canada. We both have LOI. We Fedexed in the applications on Day 1, and received our passports back on Day 3. It was very efficient.
They never picked up their phone though. Updates posted here.
Address: 30 Niyozbek Yo’li 6-tor ko’chasi, Тошкент, Uzbekistan. To get a taxi there, just ask a taxi driver to drop you in Toshkent Irrigasia va Meliorasia Instituti, which everyone knows about. From there it’s 1 minute walk. Google shows the correct location. tel: 137-47-93, 137-42-94, 139-86-13
Opening hours are no longer Monday to Thursday, but Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. It is closed on Wednesdays. Reception of documents: 10-12. Pickup of documents: 15-17
However, arrive early on as there is a list where the police outside the embassy write your name and that’s the number to enter. If you arrive by 9-9:15 am you will be better than arriving at 10am. Updates posted here.
July 2015: $110 for 6-10 processing days or $220 for the ‘express’ service of 3 days (taking into account that day as day 1). My jaw dropped. In the end, bargained down to $120 USD for the express service.
June 2012: The bank where you are supposed to pay for your visa is Bank Melli near Hamid
Alimdjan Metro stop, quite close really to the embassy (maybe 15 minutes walk), so maybe possible in a day. although they told me 3 working days for fast track i showed up a day early having paid and they just made me wait 10 minutes for visa. Price was $113 for 1-month visa.
May 2014: Taiwanese traveler applied by mail from Mashad: sent 65$, passport, pictures, application forms and letter of intent.
Address: right next to the “Central Asian Hotel” (although it’s recently changed names). It is 10RMB by taxi from the train station. (Central Asian Hotel). Opening hours: 11.30am – 13.30 Monday-Weds and Fridays).
Where is the bank? You walk out of the door of the embassy, you turn right. After 25 steps you hit a kind of parking lot, you go right and straight for a little while towards a big building, through a kind of tunnel full of furniture decoration shops, all the way to the end, turn left and there is the Bank of China on your left side.
Taxis are difficult to come by once at the embassy. You need your passport to book train tickets in China, so try asking for it back while processing. Updates welcomed here.
June 2015: You can no longer apply for your visa in Urumqi, instead, you need to go to Beijing.
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