Republic of Kazakhstan
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.
Those staying longer than 30 days or engaging in employment or missionary activities require a visa.
Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic with a strong presidency and a market economy. The availability of goods and services is better than in neighboring countries, but generally are not up to the standards found in North America and Western Europe. Infrastructure shortcomings and severe winter weather can delay travel. Read the Department of State's Fact Sheet on Kazakhstan for additional information on U.S.- Kazakhstan relations.
Permanent Residents: If you wish to apply for a Permanent Residency Permit in Kazakhstan, you must provide the Kazakhstani Migration Police with a background check performed by law enforcement in the United States.
Closed Areas: You must receive permission from the Kazakhstani government before traveling to certain areas bordering China and cities in close proximity to military installations. Please check the Ministry of the Interior website for the list of closed areas or contact the Kazakhstan Embassy for further information.
Adoptions: All children adopted in Kazakhstan must obtain exit stamps from both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before departing the country.
HIV/AIDS: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Kazakhstan.
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.
Foreigners are required to carry a valid passport while in Kazakhstan. U.S. citizens are strongly urged to have a certified copy of their U.S. passport made at either of the U.S. Embassy's Consular Sections at the Embassy in Astana or the Consulate General in Almaty. The certified copy satisfies the requirement.
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.
There is a general threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Be alert to any security-related announcements by the Kazakhstani authorities. If in any doubt, keep in touch with the Embassy in Astana or Consulate General in Almaty.
There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against U.S. interests as well as U.S. citizens, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. In addition, supporters of extremist groups such as the Islamic Jihad Union, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and al-Qaida have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. government or private interests in the region, including in Kazakhstan. Because of increased security at official U.S. facilities, terrorists may also target "soft" civilian targets such as commercial or residential areas, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts, beaches, maritime facilities, and aircraft.
Victims of Crime: Victims of crime should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
To report a crime locally, call 102 for police.
The U.S. Embassy can:
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: It is limited and well below U.S. standards. U.S. citizens often depart Kazakhstan for medical treatment, including many routine procedures. Although the Embassy cannot provide medical advice or provide medical services to the public, U.S. Mission Kazakhstan maintains a list of English-speaking physicians.
Call the Rescue Service by dialing “112.” Other provider numbers are: 101 for Fire, 102 for Police, 103 for Emergency Medical Assistance, and 104 in the event of a gas leak.
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:
You must obey all laws in Kazakhstan.
Arrest: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Document Authentications: The majority of local authorities in Kazakhstan, including public notaries, do not recognize foreign documents without an apostille (authentication) stamp. The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty do not provide apostille services. If you wish to use your vital record documents (marriage, birth, or divorce certificates), education documents, or U.S. police records in Kazakhstan, you should authenticate your documents in the state where the original document was issued.
Earthquakes: Kazakhstan is an earthquake-prone country. The U.S. Department of State has ranked the earthquake threat level within Almaty as a Level 4 (the highest level assigned). Building practices within Kazakhstan do not generally meet U.S. seismic standards. Local authorities do not have sufficient resources to respond to a large-scale disaster.
Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no specific legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) events in Kazakhstan. Negative social attitudes towards LGBTI persons are widespread, and local LGBTI persons are sometimes subject to physical and verbal abuse, as well as unwanted attention from police. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Many buildings, public walkways, and public transportation remain inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
Road Conditions and Safety:
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Kazakhstan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Kazakhstan’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.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO, a specialized agency of the United Nations) inspectors, however, have identified serious and persistent lapses in the safety oversight of commercial air service on Kazakhstan-registered airlines. As a result U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel on any Kazakhstani airline operating regularly scheduled flights except for Air Astana. This policy only applies to the official travel of U.S. government personnel and will be reevaluated as reforms are undertaken and future technical reviews, such as audits by ICAO, determine that Kazakhstan’s civil aviation operations more substantially comply with acceptable international safety standards.