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Kazakhstan: Further Reading
On May 19, 2009 the amendments and additions to the Guidelines on the issuance of entry visas to the Republic of Kazakhstan - approved by the joint order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs - came into force.
Henceforth, nine states – EU members (Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) and the Sultanate of Oman have been included on the list of countries with which Kazakhstan has a simplified visa regime.
The previous visa procedure had been operating with respect to just 35 countries.
In accordance with the law, citizens of all EU members states (27) were covered.
To further develop inbound tourism, the new simplified procedure for a double-entry tourist visa (with an expiry date of two months) is available to citizens of 45 countries (the previous 35 countries plus the above mentioned 10 new countries).
For most Western travellers, it is possible to obtain a visa from a Kazakh embassy in your own country with just a cover letter stating your reasons for travel (a letter of invitation is no longer required).
The necessary documents for obtaining a visa are:
Letter explaining the purpose of the visit
Application form, fully completed and signed by the applicant
Valid passport with one full blank page to affix the visa (please note that the passport must be valid for at least six months after visa expiry date)
One passport sized photograph
Self addressed and prepaid envelope (special delivery or registered post only).
Alternatively, tourist visas can be obtained at Almaty airport, but these require a letter of invitation from a Kazakh company or travel agent, which usually charge around T30-T40 for the service. It is not officially possible to get a visa at any other airport in the country or at any land borders.
Getting a visa at a Kazakh embassy elsewhere in Asia is possible, but this tends to be more complicated and you may be required to show proof of hotel bookings. However; the process is cheaper and easier in the Central Asian capitals of Bishkek, Dushanbe and Tashkent.
Transit visas are available to most western nationalities at the airport as long as you have a ticket out of Kazakhstan within five calendar days. Travellers are usually registered with the Kazakhstan Office of Visas & Registration (OVIR) when they enter the country, but it's a good idea to check whether this has been done, or whether you need to register yourself. When in doubt, register within five days of your arrival.
The Kazakhstan Embassy of the UK and France advises all applicants to submit visa applications at least 5 days prior to the departure date.
Embassy in the UK
Embassy in the US
Embassy in France
Embassy in Germany
For foreigners visiting Kazakhstan - read Advisory Doc
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