Kyrgyzstan offers visa-free travel for travelers of 69 countries. Others can make use of the e-visa system or will have to apply through an embassy. An additional letter of invitation is needed for passport holders of certain countries.
Holders of passports issued by the following nations are not required to obtain a visa for Kyrgyzstan up to the length of stay mentioned below:
- North Korea
- All European Union citizens
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- North MacedoniaMexico
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
You can enter and re-enter visa-free as many times as you like. Each time you get another 30/60/90 days. You can re-enter straight away: border guards are used to the procedure.
Kyrgyzstan tourist visa
The Kyrgyzstan tourist visa is issued for 30 or 90 days, with single or double entry. Longer duration and double entry are more expensive, but the procedure remains the same. You can apply at a Kyrgyz embassy of your choice, or online through the e-visa system.
Letter of invitation
To get a Kyrgyzstan tourist visa, most passport holders need 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.
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. We do not have any recommendations of where you can get a letter of invitation. Please let us know if you had a good experience.
Since September 1, 2017, Kyrgyzstan has installed an e-visa system. You can apply via the E-visa government website.
Everyone can use it (sort of, see refusals below), but passport holders of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan must put China in their application. You also need an invitation letter for the e-visa, unless you are from one of the 21 countries listed above.
Validity and duration of stay
The e-visa has a validity of 90 days with 30 days duration of stay. Be aware that visa validity starts from the date of visa approval, not the “planned date of entry”.
The duration of your stay should fall completely within the 90 days validity. For example, if your visa validity is January 1 – March 30, you can stay 30 days from January 1 to January 30. But if you enter on March 15, you have to leave on March 30 at the latest!
- After submitting the application, a confirmation e-mail will come to your inbox, but this might take a few hours.
- After payment, it might take a couple of days before your application status changes to “Submitted”.
- Delivery used to take around 1 week, but post-pandemic, it seems to take several more weeks for many.
- If you are unemployed, don’t mention it. Nobody checks, so no need to raise suspicion. Same with “tricky” professions.
When you try to select multi-entry on the website it glitches, which means that multi-entry e-visa is only possible theoretically for now.
Travelers from the Indian subcontinent, Africa and Arab countries are often refused via the e-visa system and are advised to apply at the embassy. There have been some issues with payment, but most people from other countries have been able to get the e-visa without problems.
We have been told a refusal results in a 1-year ban to re-apply, but we have not been able to confirm this. All questions and reports are welcome in the Kyrgyzstan e-visa forum topic, while E-visa refusals are tracked here.
Get someone else to do it for you
If applying yourself is somehow not possible, or you simply don’t want to waste time on the whole process, you can use Ivisa. You just send them your data and pay a small fee, they do everything else and e-mail you the e-visa once it’s approved.
Eligible border crossings
In 2019, an official list of eligible border crossings surfaced to answer the long-standing question where travelers on an e-visa can enter and exit Kyrgyzstan. In short, it’s the 12 border crossings below. You cannot cross into or out of Kyrgyzstan from other border crossings.
Note that all of these border crossings are by road or airplane. You cannot cross by train into or out of Kyrgyzstan on an e-visa.
- Manas airport Bishkek
- Osh airport
- Chon-Kapka: road between Talas and Taraz (KAZ)
- Chaldybar: between Bishkek and Taraz (KAZ)
- Ak-Jol: Kordai, between Almaty and Bishkek
- Ak-Tilek: 20 km east of Kordai, between Bishkek and Almaty
- Dostuk: between Osh and Andijan (UZ)
- Kyzyl-Bel: between Batken and Khujand (TJ)
- Kulundu: between Isfana and Khujand (TJ)
- Bor-Dobo: between Sary Tash and Murghab (TJ)
- Irkeshtam: between Sary Tash and Kashgar (China)
- Torugart: between Naryn and Kashgar (China)
Find out more on how to cross at Kyrgyzstan border crossings.
5-year visa for US citizens
US citizens can get a 5-year tourist or business visa for Kyrgyzstan. Ask your local Kyrgyz embassy for details.
You can stay for 180 days each visit. We do not know how long you need to be out of the country before you can re-enter.
Visa fee is around 200$, you might need a letter of invitation.
We have a forum thread that is collecting experiences.
Kyrgyzstan visa on arrival
With the introduction of the e-visa, we are not certain anymore about the rules concerning visa on arrival in Kyrgyzstan. We welcome your thoughts. If you do get a visa on arrival, make sure you actually get the visa in your passport, and not just a stamp. Otherwise, this could lead to problems.
Border areas in Kyrgyzstan require a special border permit.
At least 5 travelers are needed for a group visa. You need to arrive via airplane. You can buy this through Caravanistan (add group visa in the extra questions field) at a price of 65$ 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.
Transit e-visas are available for a maximum of 5 days. They are half-price of tourist visas and you do not need a letter of invitation, so if you are planning to stay less than 5 days, it makes sense to get one. You need to enter and exit at Bishkek or Osh airport, or the Korday border crossing with Kazakhstan.
You do need proof of onward transport and, if necessary, a visa for your final destination.
A business e-visa is a multiple-entry visa with each entry valid for 30 or 90 days. For a business e-visa you need:
- A letter of invitation from an organization legally based in Kyrgyzstan.
- The inviting organization’s certificate of registration from the Kyrgyz justice, tax, and social fund authorities.
With a business e-visa, travelers can only enter at Bishkek airport, Osh airport or the Korday border crossing with Kazakhstan. After arriving in Kyrgyzstan, you have to register within 5 workdays.
Your passport needs to be valid for the period of intended stay. So no need for 6 months validity after expiry of your visa.
For your Kyrgyz visa application you will need:
- 1 filled out visa application form
- 1 passport picture (take 2 just in case)
- photocopy of passport is also sometimes required
- a letter of invitation (depending, see above)
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.
Extending a Kyrgyz visa is possible in Bishkek, Karakol and Osh. You will definitely 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.
Bishkek, 2016: 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.
Bishkek, 2016: 10,000 som fine + 1050 som for the actual exit 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 2 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.
Osh, 2018: 10$ fine + 50$ for the exit visa.