We all know how exhausting and apprehending it can be when you are trying to apply for a visa to a new country. And it becomes even more difficult when there isn’t much information available online. Well, we faced somewhat similar issues when we were applying for the Kazakhstan Visa.
Of course, we could have asked an agent to do it for us but that would have unnecessarily cost more money. And honestly, we believe more in self-service.
So, after facing multiple disappointments in applying for the visa and picking up our passports, we feel we have a little grasp on how the Kazakhstan Visa process works. As a result, we decided to pen down all the information on how to apply for a visa for this beautiful country and what all to expect.
So, if you are planning a short vacation to this amazing and cheap alternative to European destinations then below you will find all the information regarding Kazakhstan Visa.
Methods for Obtaining Kazakhstan Visa
Firstly, let’s talk about how you can apply for the Kazakhstan Visa. Similar to most countries, Kazakhstan offers three different ways in which you can apply for the visa here: E-Visa, Visa on Arrival, and Applying at the Embassy.
Each method has its own set of pros and cons and I will be discussing them in detail below.
Well, thanks to the new rules and processes, there are a lot of countries which actually don’t need a visa in order to enter Kazakhstan.
Basically, citizens of these countries don’t need a visa in advance or at the border to enter and stay in Kazakhstan. They will only get a stamp at the Customs desk and a registration card to be filled by the Migration Officer.
This visa-free policy is applicable on all sea ports, airports, and land borders.
Here is a list of countries and regions whose ordinary passport holders don’t require a visa for 30 days:
- All EU Citizens
- New Zealand
Apart from the above-mentioned countries, this list of other countries can enter Kazakhstan visa free along with the entry criteria:
- Ukraine – 90 days free stay within 180 days period
- Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia – free stay for 90 days
- South Korea – free stay up to 30 days out of a maximum total stay of 60 days, within 180 days period
- Ecuador – free stay for 30 days within 180 days period
- Argentina, Brazil – free stay for 30 days within 1 year period
- Hong Kong – free stay for 14 days
With Kyrgyzstan Visa
The nationals of the below-mentioned countries who hold a valid Kyrgyzstan visa can visit the border districts of Jambul and Almaty regions. However, this is only possible as long as your Kyrgyzstan visa is valid.
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
Non – Ordinary Passports
Apart from the above-mentioned scenarios, citizens who hold diplomatic and service category passports also get free stay in Kazakhstan. You can check out more information about them on Visa Policy of Kazakhstan.
For citizens who have no restrictions on their free stay, it is easy to re-enter the country as many times as they like. In fact, you can easily re-enter the same day as well and you will get a fresh 30-days free stay for yourself.
This is how most of the above-mentioned country citizens end up staying in this gorgeous country for 6-7 months at a time.
Applying at the Embassy
Applying at an embassy is easy, especially if you know the process well. The only thing which you need to focus on is to get your documents ready before hand.
In order to help you out in applying through the embassy, we have mentioned the brief process below. I have further discussed each part in detail in the later sections.
- First, find the Embassy office in your City or closest to your jurisdiction.
- Next, read all the visa related details on their website for updated process or Visa fees.
- Purchase or Arrange a LOI for your Kazakhstan Visit (if applicable).
- Submit the the Visa Fees in USD to the mentioned Bank for Embassy.
- Fill the Visa Form with correct details and attach your passport-sized photograph on it.
- Gather all the required documents and your passport for applying for the visa.
- Reach the Embassy Office at the prescribed time to drop off the documents along with your Passport.
- Collect the Receipt at the Embassy Office and keep it with you safely.
- You might be called for an interview for getting the visa. (Doesn’t happen that frequently if you have all your documents in place)
- Go to the Embassy Office to pick up your passport and Visa after a week.
- Show your Visa and Immigration Form at the Customs Desk and enter the country hassle-free.
Kazakhstan Embassy office usually follows the Kazakhstan holidays. So, you won’t be able to drop or pick up your documents during these days.
An easier and simpler method for applying for Kazakhstan visa is to obtain an e-visa for this country. Starting from January 2019, citizens from 117 countries and regions can apply for an e-visa for tourism purpose.
But you will need a LOI in order to get the e-visa. And the visa is single-entry visa applicable for 30 days only.
For business e-visa, citizens of only 23 countries can apply. If you get an e-visa, then you can enter Kazakhstan through Almaty or Astana airport only. You can check out the list of countries who are eligible for e-visa and decide if you can apply for it.
Make sure that you have your LOI ready before you start applying for the e-visa. Once you have the LOI, you can follow the below steps to proceed with your application.
How to Register Yourself for E-Visa
- First, navigate to the E-Visa official website for Kazakhstan and translate the page to English.
- Then, register a new account by clicking on the ‘Registration’ button.
- On the next page, choose ‘Registration of a foreigner’.
- Then, fill out your details like Name, email, login id, password, etc. and click on the button to proceed.
Applying for Kazakhstan E-Visa
- After you have registered successfully, you will be taken to the home page. Here, you need to click on the ‘Go to Personal Account’ link.
- From the ‘Services for Foreigners’ menu, click on ‘Electronic Visa’ option.
- Check the checkbox for ‘Yes, I have an invitation code from Kazakhstan side.’ and click on Continue button.
- Next, you will be shown information about the E-Visa which you need to read carefully before checking the check box ‘I am acquainted with the conditions of using an electronic visa.’ and then click on Continue.
- Finally, you will be taken to the E-visa details page where you need to enter information like the Invitation Registration Number (LOI Number), Passport Number, Gender, Date of Birth, and Citizenship. Once you have filled the details and double-checked them, you can click on ‘Create a new e-visa’ button.
- Once this is done, you need to pay the consular fees.
- After that, you need to wait a little before you receive your e-visa which you can simply print.
- Show the printed e-visa when you are crossing the Passport Control section in Almaty and Astana Airport.
Although e-visa process was introduced in 2019, it is currently WIP. So, you still need to apply via embassy or get a Visa on arrival for Kazakhstan. Email the Kazakhstan embassy or call them up to check if the e-visa has started working or not before you apply.
Visa on Arrival
For people who belong from a country without a Kazakh diplomatic mission, it is possible to get a pre-arranged visa for 1 month. They can get the visa on arrival after paying the visa fee of USD 80 and showing a legitimate invitation letter. You will also need to get approval from the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs and can only enter through one of the following checkpoints:
- Almaty Airport
- Astana Airport
- Aktau Airport
- Atyrau Airport
- Oral Ak Zhol Airport
You can check whether you fall under the VOA by checking if your country is present in this list of diplomatic missions of Kazak. If it doesn’t then you can get VOA if you have the LOI and approval in place.
For tourists whose country is present in this list, you can search if you come in the Visa-free regime or e-visa option. If not, then you will need to apply for a visa at the Kazakh embassy in your country.
Also Read: How to Apply for Italy Visa
If you aren’t going to stay in Kazakhstan for more than 5 days or actually have a layover here, then you can also apply for the Kazakhstan Transit Visa.
You can get a single-entry or multiple-entry transit visa which can cost you anywhere between 10 – 20 USD. For applying for the transit visa at the embassy, you need to show the proof of onward travel: visa for the final destination and transportation proof.
In the Single Entry transit visa, you can stay for up to 5 days in Kazakhstan in a 90-days timeframe and will be allowed a single entry. In the Multiple Entry transit visa, you can stay for up to 5 days in Kazakhstan for multiple entries in a 180-days timeframe.
Visa-Free Transit Program
Passport holders of India can stay in Kazakhstan for 72 hours without any visa. This program is currently effective till December 31, 2020 but there are a lot of criteria that have to be met in order to avail this.
Criteria for obtaining 72-hour Transit Free Visa in Kazakhstan:
- You should be flying with Air Astana or one of the Kazakh airlines.
- You need to be transiting via the Almaty, Nur-Sultan, Shymkent, Aktau, Taraz or Karakanga International airport to a third country or returning back from a third country.
This Air Astana transit free visa regime is applicable to both groups and individual passengers. Here are a few guidelines to follow if you are planning to avail this opportunity:
- Inform the Kazakh airline’s staff when you are departing from your city at the check-in counters itself.
- If you are planning to stay in any of the above-mentioned cities, book a hotel beforehand. Also, contact the Kazakh airline representative office before departure and share the hotel details with them.
- You will need to show the following documents at the airport security in order to obtain a TRANSIT CARD:
- Valid Air ticket or boarding passes for the third country where you will be heading in 72 hours.
- The boarding pass of the previous flight
- Valid Passport with at least 1 blank page in it.
- Visa for the final destination, if required
Currently, the Visa-Free transit program has been suspended till 1 July, 2020 due to the ongoing crisis.
What is Letter of Invitation (LOI)
For citizens who don’t belong to the visa-free category, you will need to obtain a letter of invitation (Visa Support) in order to apply for the visa for Kazakhstan. Most travel agencies in Kazakhstan and Central Asia travel specialists offer LOI for visa applications.
Your Visa Support needs to be approved by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan if you need a tourist visa.
However, there are around 48 countries which don’t need a LOI for Single Entry Service Visa (A3), Business Visa (B1, B3), Private Visa (B10), and Tourist Visa (B12). These countries have to submit a Letter of Request instead of the Invitation Letter. You can check out this list of countries that don’t require the LOI.
If you need a LOI to apply for the visa, then you can contact one of the travel agencies like Leela Internationals, Kazakh Service Center, etc. They usually charge USD 30 to 100 depending on your visa type. For Visa on arrival, mention this clearly to the travel agent when applying for the LOI. This is because not all travel agencies can provide you with a LOI which is suitable for VOA.
Make sure that you apply for the LOI a month before your trip and at least 1-2 weeks before applying for the Visa. It can take anywhere between a 1-2 weeks to get an approved LOI.
Visa Categories for Kazakhstan
One of the most important things to determine when applying for the Kazakhstan visa is the right visa category. Kazakhstan offers around 39 types of visas so you will need to choose the suitable one for your needs.
You can find more information about the types of visas that are offered here in this Visa categories list. In our article, we will be solely focusing on how to get a Tourist Visa for Kazakhstan.
For Tourist Visa, you need to apply to the Kazakh embassy in your country. If your country doesn’t have an embassy, then find out which embassy is responsible for your country or if you are applicable for the Visa on Arrival option.
There are only two types of Tourist Visas currently available for Kazakhstan: Single Entry Visa and Multiple Entry Visa.
Validity of the Visa: 90 Days
Allowed Stay: 30 days (maximum)
Allowed Entries: 1
Cost: USD 20 – 100
Validity of the Visa: 90 Days
Allowed Stay: 30 days (maximum) for each entry
Allowed Entries: unlimited
Cost: USD 200
The validity of the visa starts from the date you fill in the form.
With a multiple entry visa, you can stay for maximum 30 days on each visit. However, you can re-enter on the same day as well after your visa runs for the 30 days. This way, you will be allocated fresh 30 days on every entry.
Visa Process for Indians
Now, this article might have intimidated you a little bit but there is honestly no need to be scared. The visa process for Kazakhstan for Indians is quite simple and straightforward. Here is everything that you need to know to apply for a Tourist Visa for Kazakhstan.
For applying for a visa through the Embassy of Kazakhstan in India, you need to be a resident of India or Sri Lanka. Also, you will need to be present while dropping and picking up the documents unless you are applying for a diplomatic/service visa.
In order to apply for the Kazakhstan Tourist Visa (B12), you will need an approved Invitation Letter (Visa Support) for your visit. The approval needs to be given by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan. There are 48 countries which don’t require an Invitation Letter but sadly, India is not one of them. You can get this arranged by one of the Kazakh travel agencies for a nominal fee.
As mentioned above, you can either apply for a single entry tourist visa or a multiple entry tourist visa.
Steps to Follow to get your Kazakhstan Visa
- Arrange an LOI (Visa Support) for your intended stay in Kazakhstan.
- Download the Visa Application Form and fill it.
- Get the latest Passport-sized photo of yourself and stick it on the visa form.
- Get a printout or a photocopy of the Visa Support Letter.
- Take a Photocopy of your National Identity Card like Aadhaar Card.
- Take a Photocopy of your Passport’s First and the Last Pages.
- Reserve hotels/hostels for your stay and mention them in the Visa Form and your Trip Itinerary. You can use booking.com to make the reservations and cancel them for free later on.
- Draft a Letter outlining your Trip Itinerary
- Get the Visa Fee in USD and deposit it for the Embassy account.
- Drop off all the above-mentioned documents along with your original passport at the Embassy Consular Office.
- You will be given a Visa Processing Receipt which you will need to show after 5 working days to pick up your passport and Visa.
- Pick up your Visa and Passport after 5 working days from the Embassy Consular Office.
- Check if all the details in the Visa are correctly filled or not.
- Make the entry in their Visa Approval Register.
That’s it. You now have a valid visa to head to Kazakhstan. So, book your flight and pack your bags.
Documents Required for Applying for Visa for Indians
- Completed Visa Application Form
- Valid Passport should have two empty pages and expiry as 6 months after your Kazakhstan visa expiration.
- Letter of Invitation from the Kazakh government or a valid travel agency in Kazakh/Central Asia
- 1 Passport-sized photograph
- Visa Fee Payment Proof
- 1 Copy of your National Identity Document
- 1 Copy of your Passport, both the front and the last page
- A Trip Itinerary
- Information on your Accommodation in Kazakhstan
Consular Office Timings
Application Drop-Off Timings: 09:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Application Pick-UpTimings: 11:30 a.m. to 01:30 p.m.
Working Days of Consular Office: Weekdays (except Wednesdays and Public Holidays in Kazakhstan)
Embassy Bank Details
Account No.: 9811251410
Receiver: Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Bank Name: Kotak Mahindra Bank
Branch: D-10, No. 1 & 2, Local Shopping Centre, D-Block, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, Delhi 110057
Consular Office Address
Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in India
F 6/7 Vasant Vihar
New Delhi – 110057
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Note: For Visa applications, you need to go to the back door of the embassy. It is a small black door just behind the embassy street.
For Visa Fee, you will need to buy USD first before you can deposit the amount. The embassy needs a payment proof mentioning USD in it and not the equivalent INR amount.
Visa Centers in India
There is only 1 embassy in India which is in Delhi. So, if you want to apply personally, you need to come to Delhi to apply.
If it is not possible to come to Delhi, then you can take any online Travel Agent services to manage your Visa. It will be costly and can cost you anywhere between 70 – 120 USD.
Also Read: Effective Tips for Traveling Indonesia
What to Fill in Your Visa Form
One of the most complicated and confusing part about applying for the Kazakhstan Visa was filling out the Visa Form. And it was more befuddling for us because we are self-employed currently.
But now since we have our Visa approved, here is everything you need to know to fill out the Kazakhstan Tourist Visa Form. It will be easy to fill out the common details like name, sex, date of birth, etc. so I will be focusing on other fields which could be confusing.
Occupation (Educational Background and Position): Enter your graduation degree information and your current work status. If you are working in a company, mention the company name and your job profile like Analyst, Manager, Sales Representative, etc.
For people who are self-employed and entrepreneurs, you can enter the same. But you will need to mention your company’s name. For ourselves, we mentioned our blog name and stated ourselves as Travel Bloggers.
Place of Work: This will be your home address if you are freelancing or your personal office if you are an entrepreneur.
Type of Passport: Most people have ordinary passports so you can check that option.
Number: Enter your Passport Number here.
Date of Issue: Enter the date when your Passport was issued. This information can be found on the first page of your passport.
Issued By: Mention the place where your passport was issued, including the city and country. This information can be found on the first page of your passport too.
Valid Till: Enter the date till which your passport is valid which can be found on the first page too.
Kazakhstan Trip Information
Inviting Organization (Tel, Address): You will need to enter the details of the travel agency from where you got your LOI. Mention the address and the telephone number too.
Places of Destination in the Republic of Kazakhstan: Make sure that the places you mention here match your Trip Itinerary document.
The First Place of Entry into Kazakhstan: Depending on your entry check-point, you can fill any city like Almaty, Astana, Atyrau, etc.
Temporary Address in Kazakhstan: Fill in the first city’s hotel/hostel address where you are likely to stay.
Who is paying for your cost of traveling and for your costs of living during your stay in Kazakhstan?
We filled ‘Self’ for this section.
Have you got an insurance for the period of your stay in Kazakhstan?
You need to check ‘Yes’ for this question and get a good travel insurance for your stay.
If yes, please indicate its validity and the name of insurance company
You will need to mention your Travel Insurance Company Name and the duration of your insurance validity here.
Transit Visa Detail
In case of transit through Kazakhstan, have you got an entry visa or residence permit for your destination?
You will need to fill ‘Yes’ for this question for applying for the Transit visa. On the other hand, for the tourist visa for Kazakhstan, you can leave it blank.
If yes, indicate the country of destination: Here, you need to mention the destination country for your transit through Kazakhstan. Leave it blank if you are applying for tourist visa.
Border point through which entry is planned: Mention the border from where you will be entering your final destination. Leave blank for tourist visa application.
Route of transit: Enter the route for your flight, train, or bus to your destination country. Leave blank for Tourist Visa.
Period of requested visa: In this, you need to mention the start and end dates required for your Visa validity.
Number of entries requested: In this, you will select between the single entry visa and the multiple entry visa.
Customs Process at Kazakhstan
The customs process is quite simple and easy at the Kazakhstan Airports. Make sure that you carry a pen with you to fill the Migrational Card.
On this card, you need to fill in your family name (surname), first name, nationality, purpose of visit, inviting party (travel agency who provided the LOI), home address (temporary address in Kazakhstan), Signature, and Entry Date.
After filling out this form, you need to stand in the Passport Control line for ‘Other Foreigners’ and get your Passport Stamped by the officer. All in all, it takes just 5 minutes and they might ask you a couple of simple questions about your visit.
You can take your bags after that and exit if you don’t have any custom goods to declare.
Visa Extension in Kazakhstan
It is not possible to get a visa extension here unless you have a medical certificate stating that you are unfit to travel.
If you are a citizen of a country or region which comes under the visa-free option, then you can simply re-enter the country after a day or on the same day. This will re-issue you another 30 days of free stay in Kazakhstan.
Earlier, there were strict consequences for overextending your stay which resulted in 3-weeks jail time or a 5000 USD fine. However, since 2017, it is possible to overextend your stay without drastic consequences but you will need to show major reasons for delay like flight delay, flight cancellation, hospital visit, etc.
Apart from that, it is also possible to get a B2O exit visa for 15 days when you contact your nearest OVIR station for an extension. The cost of this extension is usually around 1500 – 2500 Tenge.
There is only 1 documented case of visa extension with the help of Exit Visa. So, please don’t depend on this to stay in Kazakhstan for a longer duration.
Holidays in Kazakhstan
As mentioned above, the public offices including the embassies aren’t operational on the public holidays celebrated in Kazakhstan. So, make sure that you avoid applying for the Kazakhstan visa during the below mentioned holidays for 2019.
|January, 1 – 2||New Year|
|March, 8||International Women’s Day|
|May, 1||Kazakhstan’s People Solidarity Holiday|
|May, 7||Defenders’ day|
|May, 9||Victory Day (day-off transfer from 4th May to the 10th of May)|
|July, 6||Capital Day (day off slips to the 8th of July)|
|August, 30||Constitution Day of the RK|
|December, 1||First President Day (day off slips to the 2nd of December)|
|December, 16 – 17||Kazakhstan Independence Day|
Registration in Kazakhstan
Currently, you don’t need to register with the Migration Police if you have a 30-day Single Entry Visa. We actually went to get registered but were told that we don’t require it. However, this policy keeps changing so it is always a good idea to try to register at the Migration Police Office. The registration needs to be done in the first 5 days of arrival, including weekends and holidays.
For citizens with free-visa policy, there is no requirement to register as well. Only people with Multi-entry visa need to register since their migration card will be checked at the birder when exiting or re-entering the country.
Honest, before we applied for the Kazakhstan visa, we thought it is really confusing. But actually, it was quite simple and straightforward. The major hurdle was getting the LOI and preparing a draft in USD. After that, we just had to drop our documents and wait.
And well, once you have your LOI, your visa is basically confirmed. So, if you are unsure about visiting Kazakhstan because of the visa, don’t be. It is really simple to get a visa once you have the invitation. And then, you can enjoy the wonders that this beautiful country has to offer!
Also Read: Cambodia Travel Tips