Sunday, 5 April 2015

Visas: Kazakhstan (The Decision)

The Kazakhstan government passed a bill last year that allowed British passport holders to enter without requiring a visa. This was part of a trial scheme that unfortunately ends in July 2015. However, if the scheme is deemed successful then the trial will be extended. As of writing we still do not know if it will be extended or not. So that leaves us with two options:

Option 1

Pay for a tourist visa. At 35 GBP it's one of the cheaper ones to apply for. You do not need an LOI, or a hotel booking, and the visa will last for 30 days from your stated start date.

Option 2

Play the waiting game. If the trial is extended then you win, you do not need to do anything and you can just show up at the border and get a 15 day visa. If the trial does not get extended then you will have to pay for the tourist visa. Luckily reports suggest that the embassy turnaround time is pretty good (approximately five days), so you can afford to wait.

Our Verdict

If you need longer than 15 days in Kazakhstan then definitely apply for the tourist visa. If you anticipated spending less than 15 days then we would suggest waiting. There are plenty of other visa you can apply for in the meantime.

Update: we applied for our Kazakhstan visa mid-way through May. We couldn't wait any longer, and due to needing to do other visa applications we sent off for a 30 day visa. Full guide can be found here [link coming soon].

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