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Kazakhstan Entry Requirements

Baiterek tower on a map of Kazakhstan
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Visitors must have a valid passport and visa to visit Kazakhstan. U.S. citizens can obtain visas for Kazakhstan from the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Washington, DC or the Consulate of Kazakhstan in New York. The Embassy of Kazakhstan is located at 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036, telephone (202) 232-5488 or 550-9617, fax (202) 232-5845, and the Consulate at 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 586 A, New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 230-1900 or 230-1192, fax (212) 230-1172.

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. 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). Kazakhstani visas are required even if travelers are simply transiting in the country, and travelers may need multiple-entry visas if they transit in Kazakhstan more than once. Fines or exit delays may result from overstaying the terms of a visa. Immigration officials at the border may ask for proof of onward travel.

Visitors may not extend visas while in the country except for student visas, visas for medical treatment, permanent resident visas, and work visas. Work permit holders may extend their visas until the date the permit expires. Business visas may be extended in Kazakhstan under certain circumstances: if the permit is for a diplomatic mission, if your business is for an international organization, or if you are in the country at the invitation of the Kazakhstani government. You must have clearance from the U.S. police in order to seek a work permit in Kazakhstan.

Visitors may not travel to certain areas without permission from the Kazakhstani government. These areas include those surrounding certain military installations, and regions in proximity to the Chinese border. Foreigners may not visit the town of Baikonur, surrounding areas in Kyzylorda Oblast, and the town of Gvardeysk. Even with permission from the Department of Migration Police, visitors may face demands for authorization documentation from local officials. Trouble from local authorities should be reported to the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate.

Kazakhstan embassies or consulates will register your passport when they issue your visa abroad or at a land border crossing. Traveler's will receive a white registration card upon entering at an airport or land port of entry, and must keep this card with them throughout their stay. If the card contains two stamps a visitor is properly registered; those with only one stamp have 5 days to register with the Migration Police. Each registration is valid for a three month period.

In 2010, Kazakhstan created a new visa category for missionaries. Those performing missionary or religious work must register themselves with the local Department of Justice. Registration must take place even hen religious activities are not the primary reason for visiting Kazakhstan. U.S. citizens may face deportation for leading religious service or prayers, addressing a religious congregation, or performing religious music. Representative from faith-based NGO's may need to register even if they are not planning to engage in religious activities.

Negative HIV/AIDS tests are required for U.S. citizens applying for a work or residency permit, or for U.S. citizens who plan to stay in Kazakhstan for longer than 6 months. You should submit your negative test results to the Migration Police in the city in which you will be living or working. Tests results may not be more than 3 months old, and visitors may have their test performed at a local HIV clinic in Kazakhstan. An official translation must accompany any tests results that are not in Russian or Kazakh.

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