According to recent legislation, most of the popular tourist areas in Kazakhstan – Medeu, Shymbulak, Big Almaty Lake, Charyn Canyon, Alakol Lake, Monakhov Gorge, and other locations within 25 kilometers of a border – now fall in so called “closed” zones.
In order for non-Kazakhstani citizens to legally visit any of these tourist sites, it is necessary to send a request to the Head of the Almaty Police HQ Immigration Police Department, located at 109A Karasay Batyr St, Almaty.
In this request (called a “khodataistvo” in Russian) you must provide the following information:
Name of the person(s)
Passport numbers for each person
Exact time and date of the visit
Site to be visited
The official examination period of the request is up to 20 working days. Be aware that this request is for one visit only.
There are already efforts being made to change this law, but until that time the process outlined above is in place. It is unclear how this legislation will be enforced, but mobile Kazakhstan State Border guards patrolling these areas have the power to arrest violators of the law or to apply administrative fines up to 10,000 KZT per person (approximately $55 USD).
This information was obtained by the Kazakhstan Tourist Association and the Almaty Immigration Department.
If you have additional questions, please call the U.S. Consulate General Almaty Consular Section at (727)-250-49- 01 or send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Mission, Kazakhstan
Astana tel: +7-717-270-21-00
Almaty tel: +7-727-250-49-01