We just (August 2016) received our Russian 30-days TOURIST VISA in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Location of the consulate is in the center of Almaty at Zhandosov Street 4, near the corner with Manas Street.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/mqWH5vUnpe72
Opening times: Tuesday morning 9.30 to 12.30 and Friday afternoon 15.00 to 17.00
These documents each of us submitted:
- 1 Application form (filled out online and then printed: https://visa.kdmid.ru
- 1 Colorprint of the LOI
- 1 Colorcopy of passport (don’t know if needed in color)
- 1 4.5 by 3.5 photo, glued to the application form
- 1 copy of health insurance
- 1 copy of balance statement from bank account
- 1 Letter of Employment (just one of us, probably not needed, but they took it)
- We are non-residents in Kazakhstan, so no proof of residence was needed
- Be careful the visa is date specific (what we didn't know). We’ve got the dates as we've written them on the form, the same as in the LOI.
Costs for one visa:
261 USD express (apply on Fri, collect on Tue or opposite)
151 USD normal (1 week, Fri to Fri or Tue to Tue)
They tell the price in USD but you HAVE to pay in Tenge, it’s a bit confusing.
These prices are only for Swiss passports. At least for EU-Schengen passports it is much cheaper, around 70/35 Euro.
Here some more details:
About the consulate:
Entrance to the visa section is at the west side of the building (on the public parking site). Both times we went there about 20 minutes before opening and both times 20 to 30 people were already waiting. Once they open the first gate you have to put your bags in the lockers. Then join the crowd in front of the stairs. Applicants for visas wait on the left side of the stairs (there is no proper queue). Don’t worry, most people are there for other issues. Both times we had to wait about 1 hour until they let us in. First they checked our passport and then pointed us to desk 3 where we submitted our documents.
Check for contact details and fees: http://www.almaata.mid.ru/doc/visa/1.htm
Appointment not needed:
On the web we’ve read and also our agency told us, that we should make an appointment before we go to the consulate. We tried to do it by email one week in advance, without success. Once arrived in Almaty our hostel tried to call them, after one day of trying the consulate finally picked up the phone. They told us that we should just show up, so no appointment is needed.
Letter of invitation (LOI):
We’ve got our LOI through Stantours (35 USD each). Their office is in Almaty and they also provided a proper print. Though the officer recognized it as a copy - we acted the naive as we wouldn’t know. Finally he accepted it.
Printshop, Atm, Exchange around the consulate:
If you are in a hurry, this links might help, we needed all of them;-)
- Printshop, maybe there is also one closer to the consulate, but that's the one we found: https://goo.gl/maps/VKcGqxtN2uM2
- Atm, which accepts international cards, Tenge only: https://goo.gl/maps/kCqwd2wkn7C2
- Exchange: https://goo.gl/maps/sYyczuEWeQB2
A word to printshops: There are print/copyshops in Almaty. They are mostly located in malls and mostly they advertise just their photo print service. But of course they print all kind of documents on all kind of paper. Though we couldn’t find a single color-laser-printer - for color they are all using inkjet. Same situation as in Bishkek.
Hope this helps somebody!