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Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic with a strong presidency and a market economy. Kazakhstan's tourist facilities are not highly developed; the availability of goods and services is better than in most neighboring countries, but not up to the standards found in North America and Western Europe. Internal travel and travel to neighboring countries, by air and land, can be subject to delays due to infrastructure shortcomings and winter weather. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Kazakhstan for additional information.

Kazakhstan

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Kazakhstan
Continent: Asia
Capital City: Astana
Boundary Countries: China, Kyrgystan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Recommended Hospitals in Capital: Vita-Vent Clinic
Main Cities: Astana, Oral, Almaty, Taraz, Pavlodar
Country Size: 2,717,300 sq km
Population: 15,233,244 244

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95%

Currency: Kazakh Tenge (KZT)
Predominant Religions:

Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 16 December (1991)
Economic Status:

Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic with a strong presidency and a market economy. Kazakhstan's availability of goods and services is better than in most neighboring countries, but not up to the standards found in North America and Western Europe. Upward pressure on the local currency continued in 2006 due to massive oil-related foreign-exchange inflows.

Security:

Ground Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Naval Force, Republican Guard

US Presence:

The US Embassy in Astana and the US Embassy Branch Office in Almaty are 11 hours ahead of US eastern standard time. The US Embassy in Astana is located at Akbulak-4, St. 22-23, Building 3, 010010, Astana, tel 7-7172-70-21-00, fax 7-7172-70-22-80, e-mail USAKZ@state.gov, or web site http://www.usembassy.kz. The US Embassy Branch Office in Almaty is located at 97 Zholdasbekov St., Samal-2, Almaty 050059, tel 7-727-250-48-02, 250-49-00, 250-49-01, fax 7-727-250-48-84, e-mail USAKZ@state.gov, or web site http://www.usembassy.kz.

Document Requirements:

A valid passport and visa are required. The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Washington, D.C. and the Consulate of Kazakhstan  in New York issue visas.  The Embassy of Kazakhstan is located at 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC  20036, telephone (202) 232-5488 or 550-9617, fax (202) 232-5845 and the Consulate at 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 586 A, New York, NY  10017, telephone (212) 230-1900 or 230-1192, fax (212) 230-1172. An invitation is not required for single-entry business and tourist visas, but multiple-entry visas require an invitation from an individual or organizational sponsor in Kazakhstan.  The U.S. Embassy in Astana and the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Almaty do not issue letters of invitation to citizens interested in private travel to Kazakhstan.  All travelers, even those simply transiting Kazakhstan, must obtain a Kazakhstani visa before entering the country.  Travelers should be aware that overstaying the validity period of a visa will result in fines and delays upon exit.  Travelers may be asked to provide proof at the border of their subsequent travel arrangements.  Travelers transiting through Kazakhstan are reminded to check that their visas allow for a sufficient number of entries to cover each transit trip and to check the length of validity of the visa.  Crossing the land border to and from the neighboring Kyrgyz Republic can result in delays or demands from border officials to pay fines.

Tourist visas cannot be extended in Kazakhstan.  Business visas can be extended for up to 6 months total validity upon submission of a contract with a sponsoring Kazakhstani organization. Work visas can be extended in Kazakhstan up to the expiration date of the holder’s work permit, a separate document issued only in Kazakhstan.

Transit Visas:  Travelers intending to transit through Russia en route to a third country must have a Russian transit visa. Even travelers who are simply changing planes in Moscow or another international airport in Russia for an onward destination will be asked to present a transit visa issued by a Russian Embassy or Consulate. Russian authorities may refuse to allow a U.S. citizen who does not have a transit visa to continue with his or her travel, obliging the person to immediately return to the point of embarkation at the traveler’s own expense.

Note:  Due to changes in the labor law, foreigners who work in Kazakhstan for registered non-profit organizations and NGOs, other than designated Chief Representatives of those organizations, are no longer exempt from work permit regulations.

Travel to certain areas bordering China and cities in close proximity to military installations require prior permission from the Kazakhstani government.  In 2008, the government declared the following areas closed to foreigners:  the town of Baikonur and surrounding areas in Kyzylorda Oblast, and the town of Gvardeysk near Almaty.  Americans traveling within Kazakhstan have on occasion reported local officials demanding documentation authorizing travel within their area of jurisdiction, even though they received permission from the Department of Migration Police (formerly OVIR), currently part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.  Americans should report any trouble with local authorities to the U.S. Embassy in Astana or the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Almaty.

Registration of American passports is conducted at the same time as the issuance of the visa in one of Kazakhstan’s embassies and consulates abroad or at the time of a border crossing. Americans are not required to register in Kazakhstan upon arrival at a local office of the Department of Migration Police. All registrations are valid for three months, regardless of where they are issued. To extend your registration beyond three months, please contact your local office of the Department of Migration Police. However, if you are not sure if you have been properly registered at the time of visa issuance or border crossing, please contact your local office of the Department of Migration Police.

Visitors to Kazakhstan engaging in missionary work or other religious activities must register with the Department of Justice office in the region (Akimat) where the activities will take place.  This applies even if the religious activities are not the primary purpose of the visit.   Attendance at a religious service does not itself require registration, however participation in the delivery of the service may.  Americans have been fined and deported from Kazakhstan for addressing a congregation, leading prayers, and performing religious music without proper religious worker registration.  In addition, representatives of faith-based non-governmental organizations are often considered subject to the registration requirement even if their activities are not religious in nature. If in doubt whether registration is required, visitors should contact the Department of Justice office responsible for the area of Kazakhstan where they intend to engage in religious activities and request a written decision.  Religious worker registration is only valid for the locality where it is granted and visitors must register in each jurisdiction where they wish to engage in religious activities.    

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points.  These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present.  Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.  All children adopted in Kazakhstan after May 2003 must obtain exit stamps from both the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs before departing the country.

Visit the Embassy of Kazakhstan’s website  for the most current visa information.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Major Airports:

Airports:  150, Airports w/paved runways:  67

Astana International Airport (TSE/UACC)
Astana, Kazakhstan, Airport 14, Astana, 010014, KAZAKHSTAN
Tel: +7 3172 33-37-09, +7 3172 77-77-77
Fax: +7 3172 77-79-82
Website: www.astanaairport.kz

Servicing Airlines:
+ Air Kazakhstan    
Risks and Precautions:

Supporters of extremist groups such as the Islamic Jihad Group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Al-Qaeda, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement remain active in Central Asia.  These groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. Government or private interests in the region, including in Kazakhstan.  Attacks against foreign interests in Central Asia have occurred and new tactics, including the use of suicide bombers, have been employed by extremists in neighboring Uzbekistan. Kazakhstani security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance.  Hotel rooms, telephones and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. Travelers in Kazakhstan should exercise the same precautions concerning personal safety

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  28.3 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 66.89 years (male 61.56/female 72.52)

Immunization Indicators:

Required:  None

Recommended:  Hep A & B, Rabies, Typhoid
Boosters:  DPT, MMR, poliovirus

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Tickborne encephalitis (TBE) is widespread, occurring in warmer months in the southern part of the nontropical forested regions of Europe and Asia. Most intense transmission has been reported in Russia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia. The annual incidence rate of tuberculosis is high in some countries in the region.  High rates of drug-resistant TB are found in Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Russia, and Uzbekistan. Cases of diphtheria have declined (after a large outbreak in the 1990s) with improved rates of immunization.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical care in Kazakhstan is limited and well below North American and Western European standards. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking physicians. Basic medical supplies, including disposable needles, anesthetics, and antibiotics can be in short supply. Most resident Americans travel to Western Europe for serious medical treatment.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 2
Referrals: 21
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 has been documented in wild birds or other avian species in several of the countries in Eastern Europe. Human cases and death were reported from Azerbaijan in 2006.  Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept. For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country, see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenze website.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +7
Internet Country Code:  .kz

 



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