Kazakhstan introducing new visa rules – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

February 19. Interfax. Astana

Starting March 1, 2010 Kazakhstan is introducing new visa rules, said Samat Zhanabai, the director of the consulate department of the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Zhanabai told a Friday press briefing in Astana that the new rules would now have two new types of visa: “missionary” and “exit”.

“The “missionary” visa will apply to the foreign citizens who come to Kazakhstan to engage in missionary activities,” he explained.

The “exit” visa will be issued for the foreign citizens that are permanent residents of Kazakhstan and that are leaving Kazakhstan to permanently live in an another country, or for the foreign citizens that have lost in Kazakhstan their passports or identification documents normally used to cross the border, or that are being extradited from the country,” Mr Zhanabai explained.

The new rules will not allow extending the business visas, if these are granted based on the invitations from legal entities except for the foreign citizens who were invited to Kazakhstan by the governmental agencies, the diplomatic missions and consulate departments of the foreign states and international organizations that are accredited in the republic.

According to the new rules, the “private”, “tourist”, “missionary” and “transit” visas will not be extended unless there are valid reasons for the foreign citizen to stay in Kazakhstan.

“The new rules are aimed at preventing illegal employment of foreign citizens,” Mr Zhanabai said.

The new rules will allow the employees of the diplomatic missions, consulate departments of the foreign states and international organizations, as well as all like people and the members of their families to stay in Kazakhstan without visa if they are holders of the accreditation cards issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Besides, the new rules will simplify the procedure for issuing visas for the citizens of the 47 developed countries that can now get diplomatic, business, private or tourist visa without invitations. This has been done to attract more foreign tourists to Kazakhstan, to allow our former compatriots or foreign citizens that have relatives in the republic to come here on a private visit,” Mr Zhanabai said.

The new rules also significantly simplify the procedure for issuing invitations for foreign citizens. The inviting company now applies directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs without having to get approval from the migration police as before. However, this does not refer to private visits.