Kazakhstan has adopted fairly simple procedures for foreign nationals travelling to and staying in the country. For example, the procedure for obtaining a visa for most European citizens has been simplified.
To meet the basic needs of foreign nationals regarding information on the visa, the following will be helpful:
The Kazakh tourist visa is issued to foreign nationals visiting for reasons not related to business. This type of visas might be for one, two, or three visits and are issued for a maximum of 90 days, but for a single stay you should not exceed 30 days. The Kazakh tourist visa requires that you indicate exactly where you will be staying and for how long. If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you must provide a government-approved letter of invitation from a Kazakh sponsor.
The Kazakh Business Visa is issued for travelers who are visiting Kazakhstan for private business or official business. Business visas are best for travellers who want to stay in Kazakhstan for longer than 30 days, who need to enter the country frequently or who do not know their itineraries exactly. Business visas to Kazakhstan may be issued for up to three visits and for up to 90 days. There are also multiple-entry business visas valid for up to 36 months, but the total duration of stay should not exceed 120 days in a calendar year.
If you are planning to visit your friends or relatives in Kazakhstan you can apply for a home-stay or Private Visitor Visa. This type of Kazakh visa will allow you to stay in the country for up to 90 days.
Relatives or friends who will be sponsoring you during your stay in Kazakhstan will need to obtain a visa invitation for you from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Obtaining the invitation can sometimes be a lengthy and troublesome procedure, so you are advised to apply for it early.
Foreigners can apply for a Student Visa only after they have been accepted in a Kazakh educational institution approved by the Ministry of Education. Student Visas are generally granted for one year at a time until the degree program is completed.
If you are traveling through Kazakhstan to another country, you must apply for a Kazakh transit visa. To obtain this you will need to present relevant documents to your local Kazakh Embassy or consulate. These include an entry visa to the country of destination and a copy of the air, rail or any other relevant ticket. If you cannot satisfy these requirements, then try to apply for a regular tourist visa instead. Single, double, triple or multi transit visas may be issued for up to 90 days, but the duration of an individual stay should not exceed 5 days, and be mindful of not falling in breach of registration requirements.
Work visas are given to work permit holders and are issued for single, double, triple and multiple entries by the Kazakh embassies and consular offices abroad. Work visas can be granted only after a work permit was obtained from the Ministry of Labour Social Protection of Kazakhstan.
Work permits are valid for the period stated in the work permit, but cannot exceed 3 years. Note: Foreigners are not eligible to apply for Work Visa inside Kazakhstan.
A Residence Permit is issued to a foreigner for the period corresponding to the remaining period of the validity of his passport, but not more than ten years. A Residence Permit enables a foreign national to work in Kazakhstan without a work permit and to leave Kazakhstan and return without a visa. A Residence Permit is granted to foreigners under specific circumstances (e.g. marriage to a Kazakh national or a long uninterrupted stay in the country).
Simplified Procedure in Special Circumstances
One-month single entry Business, Tourist, and Private Visas are issued to citizens of the countries listed below without a formal invitation from a Kazakh sponsor. The onemonth, single entry privilege applies to visitors from the following countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA, United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Qatar, Republic of Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sultanate of Oman.
Internationals of the following countries do not need a Kazakh entry visa to visit Kazakhstan: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Ukraine.
Internationals of these countries, members of the Common Economic Space, can travel within borders of the space without any restrictions.
Note: Due to the changing nature of government regulations, those intending to visit Kazakhstan are advised to check up-to-date information at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Kazakhstan Embassy or Consular office in your home country before traveling to Kazakhstan.