We encourage applicants with previous travel to the U.S. whose visa has expired within the last 11 months to check the U.S. Visa Information Service Website to determine if you qualify for our “Drop Box” interview waiver program. Eligible applicants may apply for visa renewals by express mail.
Temporary Visitors to the U.S.
All visa applicants must CAREFULLY double-check information entered on their DS-160 visa application form. Incorrect data will result in significant delays and require a second interview/appointment.
Due to systems processing procedures, the Consular Section is not able to issue visas the day of the interview. All applicants are encouraged to apply for visas well in advance of planned travel to the United States. Appointments cannot be expedited simply because you purchased your tickets. The Consular Section strongly advises that tickets should only be purchased once a traveler has received their nonimmigrant visa.
Applying for a Visa in Astana or Almaty
To apply for a nonimmigrant visa to the United States, follow these steps:
1. Check your passport:
a) Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in the United States (e.g. if you plan to go to the United States for one month in March, your passport must be valid at least through October).
b) Your passport must have at least one blank visa page.
2. Check your photo:
To complete your online visa application, you need a digital photo. Please carefully read the requirements to upload your photo and the photo specifications. If the photo you upload does not meet the criteria, you will be given the option to continue without a photo. In this case, if you have successfully submitted the application, you may bring a photo meeting the above requirements to your interview.
The photograph should measure two inches by two inches (approximately 5×5 cm) with the head centered in the frame, taken within the last six months to reflect your current appearance. The photo must be in color and on a white background. Hats or head coverings are only allowed if worn for religious reasons and if they do not obscure any facial features. Eyeglasses are NOT acceptable in a photo. Bringing a photo with you to the interview rather than uploading a photo to the online application form may prolong the visa issuance process.
Please note: Your photo will be rejected at the time of your visa interview if it does not correspond to the requirements specified above even if it was accepted by the online image quality assessment test. This will result in delays of issuance of your visa. Therefore, it is recommended to bring your photo meeting the above requirements to your interview even if you have submitted your photo with an application.
Step 2. Visit the U.S. Visa Information Service Website to pay the visa application fee, fill out an application form, and make a visa interview appointment.
Step 3. Come to an Interview with a Consular officer.
Applicants whose visa has expired within the last 11 months are eligible for our Drop Box interview waiver program and are not required to schedule an interview. You may submit your documents by courier service.
Step 4. Receive Your Passport and Visa via Pony Express
You choose the method of passport delivery while making an appointment online for your interview.
“Pick up” means you will pick your passport yourself at the main office of Pony Express in Astana and Almaty. Passports with visas can usually be picked up as early as two business days after the interview.
You can also choose to provide your home or office address to have your passport delivered by the Pony Express courier within two to four business days. The number of days it takes to receive your documents varies depending on your place of residence as addresses outside of Almaty and Astana may see some delay in delivery.
You should never pay for travel arrangements before having a visa in your possession. The U.S. Mission Kazakhstan does not accept any responsibility if you do so, nor will we expedite visa processing because you have fixed travel dates.
Business and Tourist Visas for 10 years, Student and Journalist Visas for Five Years
As of December 29, 2016, qualified Kazakhstani applicants who apply for business and tourist visas are eligible to receive visas to the United States with a maximum validity of 10 years. The validity for Student and Journalist visas is unchanged with a maximum term of five years.
Please note that the validity of your visa is the period of time in which you can apply to enter the United States. Immigration officials at the U.S. port of entry determine the duration of your stay.
Nonimmigrant visa fees and validity vary depending on the type of visa:
|CATEGORY||VISA APPLICATION FEE|
|B1/B2, C, D, F, I, J и M||$160|
|R, H, L, O, P, Q||$190|
The visa processing fee must be paid at the Kazkommertsbank.
If you are refused a visa, you can apply again. However, we do not recommend re-applying without additional or new information that can demonstrate your strong social and economic ties to Kazakhstan and/or that the circumstances of your life have changed since your previous application.
If you are refused a visa, the Visa Processing Fee will not be refunded.
How to Apply
Purpose of the Visa Interview
United States immigration law places the burden of proof on the visa applicant to show that he or she is not intending to immigrate. In other words, each non-immigrant visa applicant must prove to the Consular officer’s satisfaction that he or she is not planning to travel to the U.S. in order to reside there permanently. Each applicant must demonstrate that he or she is traveling to the U.S. for a temporary stay and has strong ties that will compel him or her to return to their home country. It is up to the Consular officers at U.S. Embassies and Consulates to determine eligibility on an individual basis, on the merits of each case.
Because each person’s situation is different, people applying for the same type of visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different documents. Consular officers may request additional information or documentation depending on their assessment of each person’s situation.
On the day of your interview, please be prompt. Arrive at the Embassy/Consulate General at the appointed time. If you arrive late and miss your appointment time, you must make a new appointment.
Attempting to obtain a visa by willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States.
Location of Interview in Astana
The Consulate Office is located at:
U.S. Embassy Astana
Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Avenue, No. 3.
Entrance from Tauyelsyzdyk Street
From the Astana airport: Take Kabanybay Batyr street to Sarayshik street. Turn right on Sarayshik street. Follow Sarayshik street – Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Avenue until you pass the U.S. Embassy main entrance on your left. Turn left on to Tauyelsyzdyk Street. The consular section entrance is on Tauyelsyzdyk Street.
From the Astana train station: Take Birzhan Sala street to Jangildina street. Turn right on Jangildina street. Follow Jangildina street to Sary Arka street. Turn left on Sary Arka street. Turn left on Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Avenue. Follow Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Avenue until you pass the U.S. Embassy main entrance on your left. Turn left on to Tauyelsyzdyk Street. The consular section entrance is on Tauyelsyzdyk Street.
Location of Interview in Almaty
The Consulate Office is located at:
97 Zholdasbekov Street
Almaty, Kazakhstan 050059
Use entrance A2 into the building and you will be escorted to the Consular Section. Submit your documents to Window #1 and take a seat.
What To Bring To Your Interview
- Bring your Identification Card or any other photo ID
- DS-160 Confirmation Page
- Interview Confirmation ID (generated after making an appointment)
- Bank receipt (the original and a copy)
- Your supporting documentation
How Long to Expect to be at the Consular Section
Everyone’s situation is different and may therefore take different amounts of time. However, in general, you should anticipate being at the Embassy for approximately two hours.
Interview for Children
Children under the age of 14 are not required to appear for an interview if all of the following conditions apply:
1) The child is traveling to the U.S. with his/her immediate relatives (such as parents or grandparents),
2) The child’s original birth certificate is submitted;
3) The relative with whom the child will travel has a valid U.S. visa; and
4) The child submits his/her own passport.
Children under the age of 17 may be accompanied by one adult.
Restrictions On What You Can Bring To The Embassy
The following items are prohibited:
- Electronic devices such as cellular telephones, computers, radios and palm pilots
- Aerosol cans and perfume bottles
- Weapons of any kind (including pocket knives)
- Recording devices
Please note that no one may accompany applicants into the embassy’s visa waiting room. This includes American citizens, spouses, attorneys, sponsors, friends, and family members. Thus, any information these individuals would like to present should be submitted with the application materials or given to the applicant to present to the Consular officer during the interview. We appreciate your understanding.
Request for Emergency Appointment
Visa applicants must pay the visa application fee, fill out an application form, and make a visa interview appointment for an available day before they can request an emergency appointment at U.S. Visa Information Service Website. You will receive a notification by email if your request is approved or declined.
Please be aware that only the following circumstances will be considered for an expedited appointment:
– urgent medical care for yourself or a family member,
– death of an immediate family member,
– urgent business when travel needs could not have been predicted in advance,
– and, to begin or resume a program of study when no student visa appointments are available.
Travel arrangements such as airline reservations do not justify an emergency appointment. As a result, we do not recommend purchasing non-refundable tickets until after you have received your visa. Please note: visa processing requires a minimum of one business day following approval.
For more information, including the documentary evidence required to qualify for an expedited appointment, visit U.S. Visa Information Service Website
Contact Consular Section
All questions and inquiries regarding Nonimmigrant Visas are handled by the U.S. Visa Service Desk. If you have questions that are not answered on our website, our customer service agents are ready to assist you. To contact a customer service representative please visit website for full information or call:
Days: Monday – Friday
Time: 8.00am – 8pm
Phone: (8-800) 100-2554; +7 727 350 57 03
The call center is closed on weekends, and U.S. and Kazakhstani national holidays that are observed by the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Kazakhstan.
If you have congressional inquiries, specific questions on filling out or unlocking the DS-160 visa application or passport withdrawal please contact the consular section by e-mail at: USAKZ@state.gov. Please refer to our website for any other Nonimmigrant visa matters or contact the call center if your question is not covered in our FAQs.
Summer Work and Travel Program
The Summer Work and Travel program provides foreign students with an opportunity to live and work in the United States during their summer vacation from college or university to experience the people and way of life in the United States. Jobs are usually in the hospitality industry and often include working as restaurant staff, housekeepers, lifeguards, or attendants at amusement parks.
Participants in the program must be post-secondary school students in an educational institution outside the United States who have completed at least one semester or equivalent of post-secondary academic study. Additionally, they must possess sufficient proficiency in English.
Participants attending universities in Kazakhstan are allowed to work in the U.S. between May 25th and September 1st and must return to Kazakhstan by the beginning of the fall semester at their universities. The Summer Work & Travel program is not for visitors who only want to travel in the United States. A B-2 category visa is the appropriate visa for tourists entering the United States.
Citizens of other countries can apply in Astana or Almaty provided that they study in Kazakhstani universities. The document requirements for non-Kazakhstani students can differ from those for Kazakhstani citizens. To avoid delays please, check the Reciprocity Schedule.
For more information about the Summer Work and Travel Program, please click here.
Know Your Rights
All program participants must read and understand the Wilberforce Act pamphlet (Русский, PDF, 7 MB) which explains the rights they have while in the United States. During the visa interview the Consular Officer will verify that applicants know and understand their rights under the Wilberforce Act.
Applicants to the program can apply directly to a U.S. based sponsor or through a local broker in Kazakhstan. A list of some local brokers is below, and a listing of the U.S. based sponsors can be located by clicking on “Find a Summer Work Travel Sponsor.”
• It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their online application (DS-160) is completed accurately. In addition to the online application form, applicants must pay the SEVIS and MRV fees. They must also bring the original form DS-2019, which is issued by the sponsoring agency, to the interview or make arrangements for their agency to submit the DS-2019 to the consular section in advance of the interview
• Applicants for the Summer Work & Travel Program must pay a SEVIS fee online at least 72 hours in advance of appointment date.
*The following handout material will help you understand program regulations and other possible questions you might have.
List of Local Agencies
The following is a list of some education companies in Kazakhstan that partner with U.S.-based exchange visitor sponsors and can assist applicants in obtaining a DS-2019 from a U.S.-based exchange visitor sponsor.
The local agencies listed below are permitted to make group appointments for visa applications for Summer Work and Travel participants. Agencies not listed below will not have this ability and thus may not be able to secure visa application appointments.
The Consular Section of the U.S. Mission in Kazakhstan assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by the following persons or firms. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance.
The following local agencies are currently registered to participate in the Summer Work and Travel season:
Avier Grand LLP
International Exchange Center
International Youth Educational Center
Kazakhstan Council for Educational Travel (KCET)
United Students Company