The Kyrgyz Republic
Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.
Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.
Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.
Six Months from date of entry
One full page
Up to the equivalent of 3,000 USD.
Up to the equivalent of 3,000 USD.
The Kyrgyz Republic is a mountainous country of 6 million people. Tourism is not highly developed, despite spectacular natural beauty, and there is substantial rural poverty. Air and land travel internally and to neighboring countries is limited and can be subject to delays due to infrastructure shortcomings and winter weather. Rural and urban areas are subject to power, natural gas, and water outages. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet for information on U.S.-Kyrgyz relations.
Some HIV/AIDS restrictions exist for visitors and residents in the Kyrgyz Republic. You must provide proof that you are HIV negative if requested by local authorities. Refusal to do so could result in administrative charges. Travelers applying for a work permit must submit to an HIV test as a part of the process. However, a positive test result will not necessarily result in the refusal of the work permit. Please verify current requirements with the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic before you travel.
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.
Ethnic, political, and socio-economic tensions continue to exist in the Kyrgyz Republic, especially in the south. Supporters of terrorist groups and anti-Western, anti-Semitic extremist organizations have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. or Western interests in the region, including the Kyrgyz Republic. On August 30, 2016 a vehicle-borne explosive device was detonated at the Chinese Embassy located less than 300 meters from the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek. Kyrgyz police located and detonated several explosive devices near downtown Bishkek in September 2016 and have since made several terrorism-related arrests throughout the Kyrgyz Republic.
Protests and demonstrations can break out without advance notice. During times of political unrest, demonstrators often gather in front of the Presidential Administration building (White House), the Parliament, and on Alatoo Square in Bishkek’s city center. Avoid the vicinity of any protests, because even protests that are intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.
Crime: The greatest threats to tourists and travelers in Bishkek are traffic accidents and street crime. There have been reports of violent muggings of foreigners in downtown Bishkek at night, as well as in more rural areas outside of Bishkek. Other common crimes include auto theft and pick-pocketing in crowded places such as markets, internet cafes, and on public transportation. U.S. citizens have been robbed by groups of young men who followed them back to their residences from hotels and bars. In addition, U.S. citizens have been victims of rape, assault, and kidnapping in the past. Attackers do not always avoid violent confrontation with their victims.
Harassment and extortion by people who purport to be Kyrgyz police officers take place occasionally. Reports of these incidents are increasing, especially in the local markets and in areas frequented by Westerners.
Victims of Crime: If you are the victim of rape or another crime, you should first contact the U.S. Embassy and then local police. The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in the Kyrgyz Republic is 102 for police, and 103 for emergency ambulance service.
The U.S. Embassy can:
More info: See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan covers you when you are outside of the United States.
Medical Care: Health care resources are limited and often below US standards. U.S. citizens often travel outside of the Kyrgyz Republic for medical treatment, including many routine procedures. Doctors and medical/hospital staff rarely speak English, and prices for treatment are not fixed. It is advisable to utilize the services of a translator or Russian/Kyrgyz speaking friend or family member to assist with medical treatment.
Prescriptions: Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations, per CDC’s information.
Further Health Information:
Carry a copy of your U.S. passport and Kyrgyz visa with you at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and citizenship are readily available.
You must obey all laws in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Arrest: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.
Women Travelers: Please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Faith-Based Travelers: It is illegal to practice a religion in groups or to proseltyze without being registered with the State Commission of Religious Affairs. See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
Persons with Mobility Issues: Public transportation, sidewalks and road crossings, hotels, and restaurants are rarely wheelchair accessible.
Hunting and Trekking Issues:
Driving Hazards: Traffic accidents involving serious injury to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are common. Drunk driving and hit-and-run accidents are significant problems.
Traffic Laws: You must obey all local traffic laws.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in the Kyrgyz Republic, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of the Kyrgyz Republic’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.