Foreign citizens enter and leave the Republic of Kazakhstan through checkpoints on the state border using foreign passports or documents replacing them, if they have Kazakhstan visas (if required).
As of March 2020, citizens of 73 countries could enter Kazakhstan without a visa. However, visa-free regime for 54 countries has been suspended until May 1, 2021. Visa-free regime now applies only to citizens of Azerbaijan, Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, Ecuador, Georgia, Hong Kong, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Who doesn’t need a visa?
Visa-free entry with the right to stay in the country for up to 30 days is granted to citizens of the following countries:
Argentina, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Ecuador, Serbia, South Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan.
The list of countries with visa-free entry to Kazakhstan up to 30 days also included the following countries (suspended until May 1, 2021):
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican, Vietnam.
Visa-free entry with a right to stay in the country for up to 90 days is granted to citizens of the following countries: Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine.
Hong Kong citizens can enter Kazakhstan without a visa with the right to stay in the country for up to 14 days.
Until December 31, 2020, a 72-hour visa-free regime for entry, stay and departure from the Republic of Kazakhstan was valid for citizens of China and India traveling in transit through the international airports of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Aktau, Shymkent, Karaganda, and Taraz to a third country or returning from a third country. As of November 17, 2020, this regime was suspended until January 1, 2021.
How to apply for a Kazakhstan visa?
For foreign citizens who require a visa to Kazakhstan, today there are two options for obtaining it:
Visas are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, foreign agencies and consular posts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In the absence thereof, by specially authorized representatives of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Multiple visas can be issued to foreigners at the request of host organizations.
Option 2. E-visa
As for March 2020, citizens of 105 countries have the opportunity to apply for an electronic tourist visa, citizens of 18 countries - for medical treatment and business visas.
An electronic visa (for business, tourist and medical treatment purposes) is issued on the basis of a valid invitation from the Kazakh side. In order to get this invitation, please contact your receiving party (in the case of a tourist visa - a tour operator or a travel agency based in Kazakhstan). The invitation is issued within 5 business days, after which you receive the 13-digit invitation number, which must be further used to apply for an e-visa on www.vmp.gov.kz.
- A tourist visa (category B12) is a single-entry visa valid for up to 90 days and provides the right to stay in the Republic of Kazakhstan for no more than 30 days.
- A business visa (category B1) is a single-entry visa valid for up to 90 days and provides the right to stay in the Republic of Kazakhstan for no more than 60 days.
- A business visa (category B2-B3) is a single-entry visa valid for up to 90 days and provides the right to stay in the Republic of Kazakhstan for no more than 30 days.
- A medical treatment visa (category C12) is a single-entry visa valid for up to 180 days and provides the right to stay in the Republic of Kazakhstan for no more than 90 days.
Foreigners can enter/leave the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan using a valid electronic visa only at checkpoints at international airports of the cities of Nur-Sultan and Almaty. You must have a printed e-visa to be presented at the airport-check.
You can get additional information on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan or on the Visa-migration portal www.vmp.gov.kz.
The basis for issuing Kazakhstan visas and extending their validity are:
The grounds for issuing entry visas must be consistent with the purpose of stay. Thus, those arriving in Kazakhstan at the invitation of friends and relatives, that is, for private purpose, as well as those arriving for business, studying or tourism purposes, cannot be employed in Kazakhstan, and engage in other activities not related to the purpose of entry indicated on a visa, except as provided for by legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The category and types of visas, the procedure of their issue, as well as the reduction and extension of their validity are determined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan in coordination with the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Foreigners traveling through the territory of Kazakhstan in transit to visa exempt countries are required to have a transit visa of Kazakhstan.
Passing through the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan in transit by vehicles, including those engaged in international transportation of goods, must follow only roads open to international traffic.
Do I need to register with the migration service after arrival?
30 days without registration
Since 2020, according to the Law signed on December 30, 2019, the compulsory registration of foreigners staying in Kazakhstan for up to 30 days has been canceled. Nevertheless, the receiving party remains obligated to notify the migration service of the arrival of a foreign guest within three business days from the moment of crossing the border. Notification of the arrival can be done online, through www.vmp.gov.kz.
The service is free and has been provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs since 2014.
If a foreign citizen stays in Kazakhstan for more than 30 days
When a foreign citizen stays in Kazakhstan for more than 30 days, the receiving party (hotels, hostels, rental apartments, medical institutions and other legal entities and individuals) must issue a temporary residence permit (kazakhstan registration).
Please note that registration of foreigners and notification of the arrival of foreigners in Kazakhstan are two separate duties that are now assigned to the receiving party.