Kazakhstan and United States Celebrate First Anniversary of Five-Year Visa Arrangement

One year ago on August 1, 2013, Kazakhstan and the United States implemented a five-year validity visa agreement, simplifying travel between the two countries and resulting in record numbers of visa applications.

“The five year visa arrangement between Kazakhstan and the Unites States was made possible due to the hard work of the parties. And it is another sign of our strategic partnership. This represents one more step aimed at easing visa regime for our citizens. We consider it a success story which we will take as an example in working with other foreign partners. Within the last year Kazakhstan issued nearly 11,500 visas to the US citizens, the majority of which were business and tourist visas, which we believe fostered people-to-people contacts and contributed to increased economic cooperation. Taking into account our strategic partnership and the active role of the US companies in Kazakhstan, our Government has also decided to include the US into the list of 10 countries whose citizens can travel to Kazakhstan visa-free for 15 days. This is an important step to further develop business-to-business and people-to-people ties between the two countries,” said Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Ashikbayev.

“This new policy contributed to a 41 percent increase in the number of applications for business travel and tourism we received in the past year from Kazakhstanis, fostering new business partnerships and cultural connections between our two countries,” said U.S. Charge d’Affaires John Ordway.  In the past year, the Mission Kazakhstan issued nearly 21,000 U.S. visas to Kazakhstanis.

The increase in the validity of certain visa categories recognizes strengthened bilateral relations between the United States and Kazakhstan.  Kazakhstan is the first country in Central Asia to enjoy a five-year visa validity agreement with the U.S. and joins other strategically important countries with similar arrangements. The United States is the first country in the world to enter into a five-year validity visa agreement with Kazakhstan.