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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN
International Information Committee

This Advisory is designed for foreign nationals and individuals without nationality, arriving to the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The document’s principle aim is to render assistance to foreign nationals and individuals without nationality in order to avoid problems entering/exiting or staying in Kazakhstan.

1. VISAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN

To enter Kazakhstan, foreign nationals and individuals without nationality will need a visa unless exempt under international treaty.

The Kazakh visa must be pasted into a passport or other identity paper recognised in Kazakhstan and must be valid for travelling. The visa shall give the right to enter and stay in Kazakhstan and exit from it or transit across Kazakhstan.

Depending on the purpose of stay, foreign nationals can get a visa of one of the following types:

Tourist visa - granted to foreigners visiting Kazakhstan as tourists.
Business visa - granted to foreign nationals visiting and staying in Kazakhstan on business (business trip, participation in business negotiations, symposiums, conferences, bids, contract negotiations, participation in expos and fairs, trade deals on international traffic, consulting and auditing services).
Private visa - granted to foreigners, travelling to and staying in Kazakhstan on private trips.
Investor visa - granted to investors (namely chief executive officers and top managers or representatives of big foreign firms and companies) involved in investing into the economy of Kazakhstan, as well as to members of their families.
Work visa - granted to foreigners travelling to Kazakhstan for work.
Student visa - granted to foreigners travelling and staying in Kazakhstan for studies, study tours, internships etc..
Transit visa - granted to foreigners with no right to visa-free transit to cross Kazakhstan.
Medical Treatment visa - granted to foreigners travelling to Kazakhstan for medical treatment, medical examination, advice etc..
Diplomatic visa - granted to holders of diplomatic passports, holders of international institutions’ passports or national passports, if they are staff members of international institutions (this visa also covers members of their families and members of the families of diplomats working for foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Kazakhstan, government officials, parliament members, noted public and political figures, honorary consuls and members of their families).
Official visa - granted to holders of official passports, holders of national foreign passports working for foreign diplomatic missions and other offices and international institutions (not diplomatic ones), as well as foreign nationals visiting on business or public trips by invitation from diplomatic missions and international institutions accredited in Kazakhstan.
Permanent Resident visa - granted to foreigners travelling to Kazakhstan for permanent residency.

1.1 VISA ISSUING

To secure Tourist, Business, Work, Medical Treatment, Student, Investor and Diplomatic visas, foreign nationals (or individuals without nationality) must contact the Kazakh diplomatic mission/consulate in the country of residence and submit:

- Valid passport (or international travel document). The passport should expire not earlier than 3 months upon expiry of the respective visa
- Copy of letter of invitation - indicating the number of a visa support letter issued by the Department of Consular Service of the Kazakhstan MFA;
or
- Written application - instead of a letter of invitation indicating the visa support letter (only for nationals of states referred to in Appendix 4 to secure single Tourist, Business, Diplomatic and Service visa to be valid for up to one month).
Currently the issue of granting a double entry tourist visa valid up to 60 days on the ground of written applications of the citizens from group of countries indicated in Appendix 4 is under consideration

- Completed visa questionnaire
- (available on Visa Rules)
- One photo 3.5 х 4.5
- Proof of consular fee paid
- The consul reserves the right to request other documents.

Tourist visas granted to nationals of the third states under national Kazakhstan law and the Kyrgyzstan law relating to entry, stay and exit from the Republic of Kazakhstan or the Kyrgyz Republic, shall give holders the right to freely enter and exit during visa validity period via multilateral crossing points in districts of the Kyrgyz Republic’s Issykkul, Talas and Chu Provinces and in districts of Kazakhstan’s Almaty and Zhambyl Provinces adjoining the Kyrgyz Republic, except for areas where access by foreign nationals is restricted (the list of states of which citizens are allowed to enter on Tourist visas to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is currently being defined).

To secure a private visa, foreign nationals must contact Kazakhstan’s diplomatic mission/consulate in the country of residence and submit:
- Valid passport (or international travel document). The passport should expire not earlier than 3 months upon expiry of the respective visa;
- Original private letter of invitation written by Kazakh interior authorities;
- Filled-in visa questionnaire;
(available on  Visa Rules);
- Photo 3.5 х 4.5
- Proof of consular fee paid

The following documents must be submitted instead of the original copy of the private invitation issued by the internal affairs authorities of Kazakhstan for Private visa issuance:

- Written application (only for nationals of states referred to in Appendix 4 to receive a single Private visa valid for up to one month);
- Copy of letter of invitation indicating the number of a visa support letter by the Department of Consular Service of the Kazakhstan MFA, written on the basis of invitations from diplomatic missions and other offices of foreign states, international institutions, accredited in Kazakhstan;
- Applications for Kazakh nationals’ family members - husband/wife, /children/parents - escorting foreign national.
In this case the visa may be granted for up to one month, but not more than twice a year during any one 12 month period (this restriction shall not apply to minor foreign nationals, travelling with parents who are Kazakh nationals).
- Notarised copy of the proof of death or international cable in case of serious disease or death of immediate relatives - in which case the visa may be granted for up to one month;
- Personal application and a document confirming relation to a Kazakh national (for instance graph in the passport, certificate of birth in Kazakhstan or copy of the certificate of burial of an immediate relative in Kazakhstan, or proof of rejection of Kazakh citizenship) only to foreign nationals native to Kazakhstan, in which case visa may be granted for up to three months in order to visit the homeland and graves of relatives;
The consul reserves the right to demand the submission of supplementary documentation if necessary.

To secure a permanent resident visa, foreign nationals should contact Kazakhstan’s diplomatic mission/consulate in the country of residence and submit:
- Valid passport (or international travel document). The passport should expire not earlier than 3 months upon expiry of the respective visa;
- Copy of the letter of invitation indicating the number of a visa support letter from the Department of Consular Service of the MFA of Kazakhstan;
- Filled-in visa questionnaire;
(available on  Visa Rules);
- Photo 3.5х4.5; and
- Written application by the foreign national.
- Proof of consular fee paid
The consul reserves the right to demand the submission of supplementary documentation when deemed necessary.

To secure a transit visa, foreign nationals should contact Kazakhstan’s diplomatic mission/consulate in the country of residence or the consular office of the MFA of Kazakhstan at the airport and submit:

- Valid passport (or international travel document). The passport should expire not earlier than 3 months upon expiry of the respective visa;
- Valid visa to the third country (i.e. country of main destination) on the passport is obligatory
- Ticket (air, rail)
- Filled-in visa questionnaire;
(available on  Visa Rules)
- Photo 3.5х4.5
- Proof of consular fee paid
The consul reserves the right to demand the submission of supplementary documentation if necessary.

The change for any reason of the point (indicated in visa support letter) of granting a visa allows diplomatic missions of Kazakhstan abroad to grant a visa where a foreign citizen applies for it.

1.2. VISA EXTENSION PROCEDURE

The visa for Kazakhstan shall be extended by offices of the Consular Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and by migration police departments of the Ministry of the Interior of Kazakhstan, regional interior departments/interior departments and by those of Astana and Almaty cities.

Visa may be extended only if there are documents (licenses, contracts etc.), acknowledging the need to extend the stay of a foreign national in Kazakhstan.

Stay of staff of foreign diplomatic missions and consular offices, international institutions and other offices of foreign states, accredited or registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, shall be extended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan for a period not exceeding the accreditation validity period.

1.3. COST OF VISA

The consular service fee to be paid for handling documents and granting visas shall include approved consular charge on the basis of reciprocity in US Dollars or in the currency of a country where the Kazakh diplomatic mission is accredited. Depending on the cost of living in the country of residence, offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan abroad shall apply various consular charges not higher or lower than the maximum and minimum consular charge rates, approved by Resolution No. 1761, passed by the Government of Kazakhstan 29th December 2001.

Based on key rates the consular charge may reach:
- 10 to 30 US Dollars for single Kazakhstan entry/exit visa - or its extension for up to three months;
- 20 to 60 US Dollars for single Kazakhstan entry/exist visa or exit/entry visa - or its extension for up to three months;
- 30 to 90 US Dollars for double Kazakhstan entry/exist visa or exit/entry visa - or its extension for up to three months;
- 35 to 105 US Dollars for triple Kazakhstan entry/exist visa - or exit/entry visa or its extension for up to three months;
- 100 to 200 US Dollars for multiple Kazakhstan visa or its extension for up to 1 year, and 200 to 400 US Dollars for its extension for up to 2 years;
- 20 to 40 US Dollars for single tourist visa for up to 30 days, and 30 to 60 US Dollars for double tourist visa for up to 60 days;
- 10 to 30 US Dollars for transit visa for up to 60 days.

The Kazakhstan diplomatic, official and investor visas shall be granted free of consular charge.

2. BORDER CONTROL

Kazakh law states that any individual or vehicle crossing the national borders of the Republic of Kazakhstan is subject to border, customs, sanitary, veterinary inspections and any other types of inspection stated under law.
While crossing national borders of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the following rules apply:

  • It is forbidden to carry out border inspection outside the national border crossing points set by the Government of Kazakhstan unless otherwise provided under Kazakh law and international treaties signed by Kazakhstan;
  • Individuals arriving in the national border crossing point and having no adequate grounds for crossing the border, while entering Kazakhstan under international conventions and treaties signed by Kazakhstan, are not allowed to cross the border and must return to the country from which they came - or their country of origin.
  • While exiting from Kazakhstan individuals are not allowed to cross the border until they secure the respective documents authorising the crossing of Kazakhstan border.

Individuals arriving at the Kazakhstan national border crossing point will not be allowed to cross if:

  • There are no proper documents authorising the crossing of Kazakhstan national border;
  • The individual was brought to administrative account previously by deportation from Kazakhstan;
  • There are adequate grounds for believing that the individual entered Kazakhstan for purpose other than the stated one;
  • Restrictions have been imposed on the individual by the Kazakh authorities.

Procedure for customs control at the border crossing points shall include:

  • Upon arrival in the national border crossing point, Kazakh nationals, foreign nationals and individuals without nationality shall produce one of the documents authorising the crossing of the national border as set forth under agreements the Government of Kazakhstan entered into with the government of a country they come from.

The following vehicles shall pass through customs control without delay:

  • Those carrying heads of states or prime ministers, heads of governmental and parliamentary delegations, heads of Kazakhstan diplomatic and trade missions abroad, heads of foreign diplomatic missions accredited in Kazakhstan;
  • Those carrying seriously ill people, children, perishable goods, animals, radioactive materials;
  • Those involved in regular passenger traffic.

2.1 MIGRATION CARDS

While entering Kazakhstan each foreign national aged 16 or over will be given a Migration Card.

Migration Card form shall be issued:

  • At the Kazakhstan national border crossing points by the frontier guards of the Kazakhstan National Security Committee and by customs officers (Crossing Point Officers) where there are no border control points
  • While travelling by air and sea by air/sea vessel crews; while travelling by rail by members of train crews; while travelling by public or personal vehicles or on foot by national border Crossing Point Officers.

When crossing the Kazakh national border on documents which do not require marks or stamps at the border control point, foreign nationals can use - for this purpose only - their migration cards. In all other cases, migration cards/passport will be marked/stamped.

Registration shall be done by the interior officers by filling in the Registration column. Registration shall be certified through signature of an officer and by a stamp of the migration police department.

Entry shall be made legibly and if corrections are made, the respective qualifications shall be made.

Registration shall only be carried out at the place which the foreign national contacted first.

Migration Cards shall not be granted:

  • to individuals whose passports are to be registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and its offices;
  • individuals having the Kazakh diplomatic, official and investor visas;
  • crew members of air, sea and river vessels;
  • staff of train crews (including refrigerating vessels and locomotives) and to individuals escorting goods being carried by rail;
  • passengers of trains transiting across Kazakhstan, drivers of vehicles, involved in international motor traffic.

Foreign nationals transiting around Kazakhstan with tickets where a settlement outside Kazakhstan is indicated as the final destination shall not be given Migration Cards. For instance, if a foreign national is travelling by train from Astrakhan to Dushanbe with a ticket from Astrakhan to Khiva or from Astrakhan to Dushanbe, he or she shall be obliged to fill in the Card.

If a foreign national arrives at the crossing point to go through border (customs) inspection while exiting from Kazakhstan without A Migration Card, or is not duly registered, Crossing Point Officers shall send him or her to the interior authorities for further investigating before granting the respective documents to him/her.

Foreign nationals arriving to exit Kazakhstan with expired registration or without Migration Cards during the period not requiring registration (and if there are the respective border crossing markings), may be allowed to cross the border by order of the Crossing Point Officers of the crossing points, if they fail to exit on time for reasons out of their control (acts of God, weather, illness, transport failures etc).

Foreign nationals that did not receive Migration Cards at national border crossing points shall be given them while being registered. If a foreign national applies for registration having no Migration Card, the interior authorities shall check if he/she legally resides in Kazakhstan, then the foreign national shall be given the Migration Card and be registered. In doing so, the migration police department shall put visa (passport) stamp in the Entry column. Foreign nationals to be deported shall be given the Migration Card and shall be registered for a period required to exit from Kazakhstan, with the Deportation entry made in the Entry column.

If the Migration Card is lost or unintentionally damaged, the foreign national must inform the interior authorities within 3 working days. The interior authorities shall grant duplicated Migration Card marking registration after the applicant is checked.

Migration Cards must be returned when exiting from Kazakhstan.

To clarify the procedure for filling in Migration Cards, each national border crossing point shall have a special memorandum (brief instructions on how to fill in the card are also supplied in Appendix 5).

3. CUSTOMS CLEARANCE

Foreign nationals and individuals without nationality shall be allowed to import unlimited amounts of foreign currency and national currency cash into Kazakhstan.

National and foreign currency cash - equivalent to up to 3,000 US Dollars – is allowed to be imported into and exported from Kazakhstan without written declarations.

If currencies in amounts exceeding the equivalent to 3,000 US Dollars are exported, this must be declared in writing to the Kazakhstan customs authority stating the entire sum to be exported.

National currency cash can be imported/exported without submitting documents, acknowledging the legality of the national currency cash to be carried.

Foreign currency cash shall be imported without submitting documents, acknowledging the legality of the national currency cash to be carried.

Foreign nationals and individuals without nationality are entitled to export from Kazakhstan foreign currency cash to an amount not exceeding that equivalent to 10,000 US Dollars without submitting documents (while acknowledging the origin of the foreign currency cash to be exported).

While exporting foreign currency cash from Kazakhstan - of an amount that exceeds that equivalent to 10,000 US Dollars, a document acknowledging the legality of the foreign currency cash to be exported must be submitted - unless previously imported currency is being exported.

Documents acknowledging legal origin may include the customs declaration made while initially importing the currency, and Form # 200 or 210 on individual income tax returns (taxpayer’s copy).

To avoid confusion, individuals must keep the customs declaration made while entering Kazakhstan in order to show to the customs officer while exiting Kazakhstan.

Declaration must be carried out by individuals aged 16 years or over, with amounts of goods and currency allowed for carrying also applying to minors provided they are declared by the escorting individuals.

If individuals carrying goods across the Kazakhstan customs border, import (export) goods worth not more than 1,000 US Dollars and weighting not more than 50 kg per person (and these are not designed for industrial or other commercial use), customs duties and taxes shall not be owed (Appendix 6, Table 1). When these individuals go through customs inspection, they will not have to fill-in a customs declaration - except for goods subject to written declaration.

In addition, Kazakhstan law sets quantities of goods liable for excise tax on imports into Kazakhstan without paying customs duties and taxes. (Appendix 6, Table 2)

4. RULES FOR STAYING IN KAZAKHSTAN

In accordance with Kazakh law, a foreign national arriving in the country for over 5 days, must apply within five calendar days upon crossing the Kazakhstan national border to the country’s interior authorities for registration at the place of his/her permanent or temporary residence.

Some hotels are authorised to register foreigners.

Registration shall be done for a period not exceeding the validity of the foreigner’s national passport and visa.

Individuals arriving in Kazakhstan from countries that have entered into international agreements (with Kazakhstan) on visa-free entry and stay shall be registered for no more than 90 days - and later the registration may be extended for another 90 days. (Appendix 7)

Foreigners who have been permitted to work - applying procedures for employing foreign workers established under law - shall be registered for a period during which such a permit is valid.

Passports of nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, UK, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Israel, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Korea, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, UAE, Portugal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, USA, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Japan shall be registered at the same time the offices of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs abroad grant the Kazakh diplomatic, official, business, tourist or private visa.

However, if for some reasons nationals of the above-mentioned 35 states have not been registered with offices of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs abroad, then their passports shall be registered by border inspection departments of the Kazakhstan National Security Committee’s border authorities at the national border crossing points (arriving via 13 international airports of Kazakhstan: Astana, Almaty, Uralsk, Atyrau, Aktau, Karaganda, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Pavlodar, Kostanai, Aktyubinsk, Shymkent, Taraz, Semei). Similarly, if for some reason a foreigner fails to get registered while crossing the national border at the crossing point, he/she must register with the migration police department of the Interior Ministry at the place of temporary residence.

To be registered, an application must be filed in set form and include an ID document – dated and stamped at the national border crossing and a migration card granted by the Kazakhstan border authorities.

Foreign nationals may move freely in the Kazakh areas not restricted for access. To visit restricted areas like Gvardeyskij Township in Almaty Province or Baikonyr Town in Kyzylorda Province, permits from designated authorities are necessary.

If a foreign national changes his/her place of temporary residence in Kazakhstan, the hosting corporation or individual shall be obliged to notify the country’s interior authorities in writing.

The permitted residence of foreign nationals in Kazakhstan and registration of their passports shall expire on the last day of the visa validity period and with respect to those foreign nationals who entered without visa those shall expire on the last day of the registration validity period.

5. WORKING IN KAZAKHSTAN

In accordance with Kazakh law, foreign nationals and individuals without nationality can work in Kazakhstan under permits granted by the designated authority.

Permit to employ foreign workers shall be granted to the following classes:

  • Chief executives with higher education and at least 5-year service in managing positions in their respective sector;
  • Managers and specialists, meeting qualifying requirements set-out in The Qualifying Sourcebook of Executive, Specialist and Other Worker Positions;
  • Skilled workers with the respective professional training and service in accordance with The Single Rate and Qualification Sourcebook of Worker Positions and Skills and the Rate and Qualification Descriptions of Worker Positions; and
  • Workers involved in seasonal agriculture under international agreements on cooperation in labour migration and social protection of migrant workers.

At the same time, Kazakh law sets forth classes of foreign nationals and individuals without nationality that can be employed without special permit:

  • Chief executives of branches or offices of foreign corporations;
  • Individuals on business trips lasting not more than 60 calendar days in one calendar year. More than 60 days shall be allowed if the Kazakh staff is seconded in order to take professional training, or refresher training and advanced training in specific occupations in a foreign corporation, which seconds the same number of foreign workers for a similar period, or if the same number of Kazakh nationals are sent for study at educational institutions in a country where the foreign corporation is based. In doing so they should not be seconded for more than 180 calendar days;
  • Individuals seconded under contract for more than 60 days to a Kazakhstan corporation, branches and offices of foreign corporations;
  • Chief executives of companies that entered (with the Kazakhstan government) into contracts for investment worth over 50 million US Dollars, and chief executives of the Kazakhstan corporations investing in priority sectors, who entered into contract with the respective authority responsible for investment;
  • Staff of diplomatic missions and international institutions, and staff of consulates, accredited in Kazakhstan;
  • Those arriving under international agreements on charity, humanitarian aid and grants signed by Kazakhstan;
  • Media, accredited in Kazakhstan;
  • Members of crews of river vessels, air, rail or motor transport vessels, owned by foreign entities;
  • Artists, directors, conductors, choir masters, choreographers, painters, coaches, sportsmen and trainers;
  • Individuals, permanently residing in Kazakhstan;
  • Those who gained the refugee status or political asylum in Kazakhstan;
  • Those studying and working at Kazakhstan educational institutions
  • Those who teach at general secondary, vocational, professional, post-secondary and higher educational institutions (under international agreements) on cooperation on education projects authorized by Kazakhstan (staffing of which does not exceed a 25 percent staff quota)
  • Oralmans (Kazakh repatriates)
  • Individuals, specialising in developing space rocket infrastructure and operating ground space infrastructure to be employed under international agreements on cooperation in aerospace signed by Kazakhstan;
  • Managers and specialists with post-secondary and higher education (with document confirmed under Kazakh law) working at the Regional Financial Centre in Almaty.
  • Please note that every year the Kazakhstan government sets limits on foreign workers to be employed.


6. VETERINARY INSPECTION OF ANIMALS BEING BROUGHT BY FOREIGN NATIONALS INTO KAZAKHSTAN

Animals shall be allowed to be brought from other countries into Kazakhstan, if there is:

  • A veterinary certificate, certifying the epizootic well-being of the exporting country;
  • A veterinary passport (or microchip), containing information on veterinarian prevention actions taken;
  • Permit from Kazakhstan’s Chief State Veterinarian Inspector or his/her deputy.

It is permissible to bring in the respective goods on the basis of the written application (to be filed-in on the optional form) filed by the holder of the goods to the provincial (city) office of the State Agricultural Inspection Committee of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Agriculture indicating the name of the goods, country of origin, purpose of bringing them in, type of vehicle and national border crossing points, including points to cross the CIS countries’ and Kazakhstan borders. In addition, the application shall be enclosed with details of animal quarantine (plan, terms, time etc.).

While bringing in rare species a permit (protective stamp) granted by the government agency of the exporting country under Convention on International Trade of Rare Biological Species is needed.