Note: Last update of this article occurred on October 29th.
Can I travel to Kazakhstan?
To prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections, the Government of Kazakhstan has suspended its unilateral visa-free program from the 17th of April until the 1st of November 2020 for citizens of 57 States (including countries such as Belgium, Luxembourg, the US).
This means that individuals planning to visit Kazakhstan before November 1st, 2020, will need to obtain a visa of the appropriate category with a formal letter of invitation (visa support), subject to approval of the intergovernmental commission of Kazakhstan.
1. Change in the conditions to obtain a visa
Citizens of Belgium and Luxembourg have the right to obtain a single-entry visa to Kazakhstan without a formal letter of invitation (visa support) in the following category:
Private (B10): duration of stay 90 days (private visa is provided for visiting close relatives, who are citizens of Kazakhstan and permanently reside in Kazakhstan (parents, siblings, spouses, children).
For all other visa categories (also multiple), citizens will need to provide a formal letter of invitation (visa support) issued via the immigration agency in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The visa processing period is 2 to 5 working days. The applicant can submit documents in person or through an authorized person (travel company representative or HR with an authorization letter).
To obtain a private visa, an application needs to be submitted (provided at the Consulate), copy of the passport, formal letter from an inviting person (citizen of Kazakhstan), 1 photo, copy of marriage certificate, original passport and online payment after submission (75 euro).
2. PCR test
Effective October 6, 2020, the Government of Kazakhstan is requiring foreign travelers arriving in Kazakhstan to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test dated no more than three days prior to their entry to Kazakhstan. If they are unable to provide negative PCR test results, they will be denied entry. In addition, each traveler must undergo a temperature check and fill out a questionnaire on prior travel, potential Covid-19 exposure, and contact information. Those with elevated temperature may be required to stay in quarantine for two days to undergo a Covid-19 test. They may have to remain in quarantine in the event of positive test results.
- Children under 5 years old if their accompanying person have a valid certificate
- Governmental delegations of the Republic of Kazakhstan
- Members of official delegations of foreign States and international organizations arriving in the Republic of Kazakhstan at the invitation of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
- Employees of diplomatic missions, consular offices and representative offices of international organizations accredited in the Republic of Kazakhstan, and their family members
- Airline crews.
Upon entering Kazakhstan, travelers may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
Countrywide quarantine restrictions have been relaxed. Businesses that were previously closed – including gyms and fitness centers, pools, beaches, cultural facilities, museums, exhibits, entertainment centers, religious facilities, some movie theaters, food courts, and recreational facilities – have reopened, at least on weekdays, and may be subject to capacity limitations. However, amid concerns of a possible fall uptick, some regional and local governments are restricting measures once again.
4. General safety measures:
Masks Required: The Chief Sanitary Doctor of Kazakhstan has mandated that masks be worn nationwide in public settings, including both indoor and outdoor spaces and on public transportation. Failure to comply with this measure could result in administrative penalty.
Personal Movement Limited: All large events and family gatherings are prohibited. Individual and group outdoor fitness activities are permitted, and people may walk in parks and other public spaces in groups of three or less.
5. Measures specific to Nur-Sultan
Effective October 14, the City of Nur-Sultan had imposed the following requirements:
- Telework: No less than 60 percent of employees of executive agencies and quasi-governmental enterprises must move to telework status. Workplaces are noted as the number one vector of transmission.
- Operating hours for dining facilities: Cafes’, bars’, restaurants’ hours reduced to 10 pm on weekdays and weekends. No more than 30 seats available for in-house dining.
- Operating hours for certain businesses: Notaries; law offices; accounting, consulting, and realty firms; and ad agencies must close by 1800. Small stores selling non-food items face similar operating restrictions.
- Public bathing and swimming facilities: Banyas and pools will operate from 9:00 to 19:00 on weekends; from 8:00 to 21:00 on weekdays.
- Public transportation: No public transportation on Sundays.
- Increased scrutiny: The mayor has called for more inspections of businesses for violations of sanitary norms.
6. Covid-19 testing
Click here to access a list of local medical providers who can advise on COVID-19 testing options
7. Fines for Non-Compliance:
Individuals who fail to comply with local restrictions could face fines of up to 83,340 tenge. Businesses could face fines of up to 638,940 tenge.