Bishkek – Kazakhstan Visa

Visa of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Visa of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Getting Kazakhstan visa in Bishkek was not difficult, but as for any countries in Central Asia, Indonesian passport holders need to be ‘consulted’. The visa application should be approved by central government by the respected countries. Only for Tajikistan we recently got exemption for Letter of Invitation (LOI) and entitled for visa-on-arrival at Dushanbe airport.

Getting a LOI meant you have to get a pre-arranged invitation approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This can be arranged through a travel agency (30-80$). Many nationalities, included Malaysians, don need this invitation letter stuff and they could directly apply for visas in any Kazakh embassies.

The Kazakhstan embassies were well-known all over the world for their cold service. And for this cool winter in Bishkek, the staff faces were even much colder. The embassy had moved to a new location recently, south part of the city. I came early but there were already many people queuing. Most of them were Kazakh and Turkish. Other Central Asian nations are exempted for visa to enter Kazakhstan.

Armed by the invitation letter that was approved already by Almaty, I was given an application form and asked to make payment for the visa (35$) in a Commercial Bank somewhere not near. I was told also that I had to do it in hurry as the embassy closed after an hour. Going here and running there was resembled a military training.

Exhausted, I returned back to the Embassy with the bank receipt. My visa application was accepted and I had to wait still for another 4 days to pick my passport and visa.

Today, after 4 waiting days, I came to the embassy at 6:30 p.m. to get the visa. There were already many foreigners, mostly Turkish and Japanese, waiting in front of the door, at cold winter evening. It was indeed a bizarre time to go to embassy for visas, but it was indeed the working hour of the Kazakh embassy.

Not before 7 p.m. the door opened (some people were even told to come as early as 6 p.m.). All the people rushed into the office. It was a mess when they distributed the passports.

But I got my visa anyway. I planned to enter Kazakhstan at the beginning of next month, when my Kyrgyz visa would be expired.

About Agustinus Wibowo

Agustinus is an Indonesian travel writer and travel photographer. Agustinus started a “Grand Overland Journey” in 2005 from Beijing and dreamed to reach South Africa totally by land with an optimistic budget of US$2000. His journey has taken him across Himalaya, South Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and ex-Soviet Central Asian republics. He was stranded and stayed three years in Afghanistan until 2009. He is now a full-time writer and based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Contact: Website | More Posts

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