What is the change? Beginning Jan. 1, Kazakhstan will allow nationals of 39 countries to travel visa-free for up to 30 days for business or tourism.

What does the change mean? Business and tourist travelers who are nationals of the 39 countries will not need to obtain a visa if conducting permitted business activities. Work activities are not permitted on a visa waiver.

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tourist and business visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of the 39 countries indicated below.
  • Impact on processing times: Nationals of the designated countries holding valid passports will not need to apply for a visa at a consulate before travel. Passport registration is not required for travelers as long as they have received two stamps in their passport upon entry.
  • Business impact: The expanded visa-exemption policy will ease business travel and encourage investment.
  • Next steps: The government resolution is expected to be signed by the end of the year and take effect Jan. 1.

Background: The extension of the visa waiver is intended to promote investment, reduce red tape for short-term visitors and attract tourists during major conferences in Kazakhstan, such as Expo 2017, in the coming year.

Under the current policy, nationals of 19 countries are allowed visa-free stays of up to 15 days.

The list of 39 countries includes:

 Australia Finland Italy New Zealand Spain
Austria France Japan Norway Sweden
Belgium Germany Latvia Poland Switzerland
Canada Greece Luxembourg Portugal Turkey
Chile Hungary Malaysia Singapore United Arab Emirates
Czech Republic Iceland Mexico Slovakia United Kingdom
Denmark Ireland Monaco Slovenia USA
Estonia Israel Netherlands South Korea  

BAL Analysis: The change significantly expands the current visa-free regime and eliminates processing for stays of up to 30 days. Travelers are reminded that work is not allowed while on a visa waiver and that those intending to perform work activities must obtain a visa and work authorization.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Kazakhstan. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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