obtaining Kazakhstan visa... a little warning

Hello everybody.
Just FYI. Lots of visa and migration laws were changed (and still being) since march 2013. It looks like Kazakh Government making it impossible for foreigners to come to this "Paradise" country.
I'm local married to South African more then 5 yrs with 2 kids, citizens of RoK.
Since last year we've been facing lots of visa problems. My husband worked in Atyrau (work permit and registration was done in Atyrau), but me and kids live in Aktobe. He worked on rotation 28/28. So every rotation off he used to come home, but last year we found out that he can't be in any other city then Atyrau (where he got work permit and registration) for more then 10 days! Showing family docs, apartment and kids didn't help. Migration said No, and said next time he'll get a fine, after that they can put him in jail....
We decided to apply for Residence took me once month to find at least some informaion about docs needed... my husband was on work visa, he applied in local migration office...with all the documents needed (local migration officers didn't know what documents needed) according to the Law. They accepted his docs, changed his Visa to J3 visa (I found out later this type of visa is only given to ethnic kazakhs :))) and we happily waited for 2 months to get a call from KNB saying they returning our docs, coz migration gave us wrong type of visa and had no right to accept our docs, my husband is illigally in Kazakhstan and must leave the country. The guy in KNB turned out a good guy with some good heart, gave me some advices and some consultation. So we collected documents again (all freshly notorized and issued).
He went to Istanbul Kazakhstan Consulate, applied from there again, docs were accepted (the officer didn't want to take all the docs) my husband insisted on giving him all the docs... they gave him private visa based on marriage certificate, he entered the country and we happily continued waiting for permission.... but 3 months later we got letter that MHA declined our docs!!! They couldn't explain why...i had to write on ministry blog (beginning of May) and got answer in June that time visa expired, money finished, patience husband left again to Istanbul to get private Visa.. the consulate officer seems to be a good person, issued visa quickly. Now visa is getting expired again...still no new job...we called consulate to say he's coming again for new private visa, but turned out private visa can only be given ONCE FOR 90 DAYS/YEAR!!!
So next week my husband will leave country and we don't know how to get him back. Looks like the only way for him to be in Kazakhstan is to have work visa. But if he gets job abroad he'll be able to visit us once a year. Nice...
Thank you Kazakhstan Government.
The new Law says about Family Reunion visa... it took me couple sleepless nights to try find some info...haha...i found! Lots of questions...trying to get hold of MFA and MHA.. MFA said i better ask MHA...3 days already sitting on the phone, no results. The MHA guy said that visa will be under consideration from 4-6 months...anybody wants to give shelter for my husband during this period???:)))
So the only way out for us is to sell apartment and car and leave this "paradize" country...i wonder if we gonna miss it?
If anybody got connections in MFA or MHA please let me know.
If u got questions about documents we collected or procedures, you are welcome.
But we came to conclusion it's impossible to get residence or family reunion visa legally.

What a nightmare. You wonder how these things happen but then turn the question around and ask why they, mostly, don't in some, not all, countries. Getting a straight answer seems difficult unless you know someone that knows someone that knows someone....

Good luck

The problem is that nobody knows anything, nobody is responsible for anything, nobody knows how it works, nobody is in a hurry..... and when they make a mistake they just blame each other and nothing you can prove, you'll never find the answer... each department has got their understanding of the law.

He used to come home, but last year we found out that he can't be in any other city then Atyrau (where he got work permit and registration) for more then 10 days! Showing family docs, apartment and kids didn't help. Migration said No, and said next time he'll get a fine, after that they can put him in jail..

Is this government policy? I am coming there to live and want to know.

And I want to say you have my total sympathies on the situation facing your family.

Thank you.

And not only each department, but each city and region has their own interpretation of the law unfortunately.

I am a little unsure, however, about the statement that your husband can only visit for 90 days each year (this is correct only for a private G1 visa), this does not sound entirely correct.

Does your husband still work in Kazakhstan? If not, then he is eligible for tourist visas up to 60 days without a letter of invitation and up to 90 days with a letter of invitation (he must, of course, leave Kazakhstan every 30 days on this tourist visa before returning, fly or land border exit, turn around and return to Kazakhstan).

Part of the problem with the family reunion visa is that almost no-one has received one because the bureaucracy does not understand what is required (documents et cetera) to issue it, combined with the confusion between the various bureaucracies both in the same as well as different regions, this also applies to the permanent residence visa.

I know of a residence permit being granted overnight, but this was when a foreigner married the daughter of the head of one of the state organs ... A 'phone call to Astana and the permit arrived the following day hand delivered ...

There are only two other instances I know that have received permanent residencies, one in my city and one in another city. One was done legally, the other with a present ...

As for length of time to issue either of these visas/permits, 6 months sounds about correct (this has been the time quoted to me in by a number of different Consuls and different bureaucracies).

That's the law. I can give u a link to it. If u r registered in almaty, u can't be in any other city of Kazakhstan for more then 10 days.

Not all foreigners knows the law. Migration won't bother informing, they better catch and give u a fine or put u in jail.

My husband is on G1 visa at the moment. I read myself the law where it states that G1 visa can only be given for 90 days once a year.
what do we need for tourist visa? Invitation from travel agency? ISN't that stupid when you have a wife and kids in the country to be invited by Travel agency???
We also know of cases of receiving Residence Visa, but all of them were bought through connections. Unfortunately, we don't have so much money to give and not have such connections :)
So the only option for him is to be here on a work visa. Otherwise we better move to another country all together.
when did you try to get Residence Visa?

Yes, it is not a well thought through visa or immigration system here in Kazakhstan. There is no real understanding in government of how it affects "normal" people.

The bureaucrats that control the system often are aiming it at so-called "illegals" from former states of the Soviet-Union that come for work because their own counties have none (Uzbek, Kyrgyz et cetera), but in the disaster that is the "system", it has been built on top of the previous Soviet bureaucracy, with one of their own and there are laws and rules that are completely contradictory (this is recognised in government, but they are not doing anything about it at the moment.

I have just noticed that your husband is from South Africa, so in this case he does not have access to the simplified visa for Kazakhstan and must obtain a letter of invitation for his tourist visas.

These are not that difficult to obtain, but if he is not in his country of nationality (South Africa) when he intends to apply, it can be a little more convoluted, for instance, if you are asking for a 90 day tourist visa and intending to apply for it through the embassy in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), the MFA may not give the LOI unless you are a permanent resident of Kyrgyzstan (allegedly a new law).

There are a number of travel agencies in Kazakhstan that will provide LOIs, some are better than others. I will send you a private message with the one that I use in Almaty.

As for applying for a residence permit or family reunion visa, this is something that I am still working on obtaining, but I know a number of people, who after many years trying (for the residence permit), have given up and moved to different countries.

My "problem" is the wildly disparate information given to me by MFA, e-Gov and various migration police officials, the bottom line is that they don't know, so they make it up as they go along, what may be correct for Almaty is not correct for Ust-Kamenogorsk.

The risible new "visa free" regime of 15 days is just a joke so they can say that they are taking tourism and a better visa system seriously, but until they dispose of the ridiculous  "immigration card", and stick to the dates that have been granted in the visa, people will stay away from Kazakhstan and changing the name of the country will not help.

Thanx for reply. I completely agree with what you are saying.
We already came to conclusion that it'll be easier for us to leave the country.

but 3 months later we got letter that MHA declined our docs!!! They couldn't explain why...i had to write on ministry blog (beginning of May) and got answer in June that time visa expired, money finished, patience died

May I ask what reason they gave?

Hi If Possible can you help me to find some agency "who can make residance permit" for my husband, we married 4 years before and having one child, he is an Indian National working in UAE, presently i alslo living in almaty, next month i plan to return almaty to do this paper work, if you have any information please share.

I recently got a residence permit without involving any agency, and I can advise you the entire process. Since there is a little information on this, (and I do not have any job at the moment) I intend to charge a small fee in a range of 150-200 USD for consultancy. Please contact me if you agree.

I have all the photocopies of my documents submitted to the government and if you are in Astana, you can have a look at them for satisfying yourself about genuineness of my services.

There is hardly anything agency can do. Everything you need to do yourself and by your husband. But, what exactly to be done is the main issue.

Regards and all the best!!

Will you share with us finally what you did? How you managed?

If you know the process well, getting PR (Permanent Residence) is smooth but there is not enough information around and when you get information in bits and pieces, you tend to make mistakes!

Hope you could sort all the issues. Finally!

Can you share this information with us, yes we agree with you regarding fee

Hi I'm shannel from Philippines I wanna go in kazhakstan just for tourism in 15 days and my fiancée is working in kazhAkstan I have invitation letter from his company I want to know about the visa if is it allowed for pre arranged In airport in kazhakstan

"I have invitation letter from his company ..."

I am not sure whether having an invitation from the company would help. You will need an invitation from the MFA of Kazakhstan (ministry of foreign affairs) to obtain a visa on arrival at either Almaty or Astana.

You can obtain these from various travel agencies (I will send you the contact details of one I have found to be quite good in a private message).

Visa on arrival is the most expensive visa there is because often the consul will just pluck a number out of the air ... you will also need to be prepared to wait sometimes for perhaps several hours if the consul is either busy, gone to lunch/girlfriend-partner/pub/AWOL.

That said, sometimes you can have it in a few minutes and at a reasonable price, but don't bank on it by making forward travel arrangements (another flight leaving within 3 hours say).

Cheers, all the best ...

Here is full and free information about Kazakhstan PR ( 6 post of FB), the author himself went trough the all steps:

enjoy this free info :-)

New topic

Questions and answers about visas

Ask your question
Marry a Kazakhs
By honestguy100
Living Cost and Visa Queries
By chnw
Visa for wife?...
By Cygnet720
Immigration card date check!
By Jaming

Expatriate health insurance in Kazakhstan

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Kazakhstan

Moving to Kazakhstan

Find tips from professionals about moving to Kazakhstan

Travel insurance in Kazakhstan

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Kazakhstan

Flights to Kazakhstan

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Kazakhstan