New Visa Policy Of Kazakhstan With Effect From 1st January, 2017
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan announced a revised visa policy on 20th December, 2016 that will come into effect from 1st January, 2017. The revised policy is aimed at creating a more favourable investment climate, encouraging business contacts and developing tourism potential of the country.
In a major change from the existing procedure, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan will deal with the approval of invitations for entry of foreign nationals into Kazakhstan. The inviting party can apply for registration of invitaitons at any of the immigration offices across the country as against the two foreign offices in Astana and Almaty at present.
In another change, Kazakhstan’s Diplomatic Missions abroad have been vested with powers to issue single-entry visa for business purposes without approval from the Headquarters.
Some of the salient features of the liberalized visa policy are: (i) Visa has been classified into three types: “A” – Diplomatic, Business and Investor Visa; “B” – Short-term Visa; and “C” – Long-term Visa; (ii) The three types of visas are further sub-divided into 39 categories; (iii) Single entry visas will be issued for a period up to 90 days and multiple-entry visas for a period up to 3 years depending upon the purpose of visit; (iv) Visa for the purpose of employment will be issued for a period up to 3 years and the AIFC participants will be issued for a period up to 5 years; (v) Visa for business immigrants will be issued for a period up to 2 years; and (vi) Student visas will be issued for 1 year.
In the revised poilcy, the foreign nationals will be allowed to change the category of visa while in Kazakhstan depending on the merits of the case. The procedure for extension, reissue and cancellation of visa has also been revised.