Visa-Free Travel to Kazakhstan
The pilot visa free program was extended till December 31, 2017. The program allows all short-term U.S. citizen travelers to visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 15 calendar days from the moment of border crossing for all purposes of travel excluding employment and missionary work. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there is no limit to the number of times U.S. citizen short-term travelers can visit Kazakhstan without a visa for stays of up to 15 days during the pilot program. During this period, under certain circumstances, business travelers may extend their stays for one month and investors may extend their stays for up to three years without leaving Kazakhstan. Other U.S. citizens wishing to visit Kazakhstan for longer than two weeks will require a visa. U.S. citizens applying for business, tourist, and private visas are no longer required to obtain letters of invitation. U.S. citizens on tourist visas may stay in Kazakhstan for up to 30 days per visit, while the maximum period of stay on a private visa is 90 days per year (regardless of number of visits). U.S. citizens should contact the nearest Kazakhstani diplomatic mission for additional information about the visa-free pilot program.Registration of U.S. passports is conducted at the time of a border crossing. Foreigners traveling to Kazakhstan are required to provide a white immigration registration card to border officials upon arrival to Kazakhstan. These cards can be obtained either onboard aircraft flying to Kazakhstan or at border crossings. Travelers must retain this card throughout their stay in Kazakhstan and produce it at the time of departure. Two stamps on the card indicate that the traveler is registered with the Migration Police. If the card contains only one stamp, the traveler must register with the Migration Police within five calendar days. Certain hotels throughout Kazakhstan are also able to register foreign guests. All registrations are valid for three months, regardless of where they are issued. This pilot program follows two important changes to Kazakhstan’s visa regime in 2013. On June 1, 2013, Kazakhstan introduced a new visa classification regime that divides Kazakhstani visa categories into the following categories: diplomatic, service, investment, business, religious activities/ missionary, tourism, private travel, transit, family reunification, student, employment, humanitarian activities, and exit visas. On August 1, 2013, the United States and Kazakhstan began issuing five-year multiple-entry visas on a reciprocal basis to qualified applicants traveling for business, tourism, or for diplomatic, official, and media purposes. More information on entry/exit requirements can be found at travel.state.gov website.