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International Travel

English

Country Information

Kazakhstan

Country Information

Kazakhstan
Republic of Kazakhstan
Last Updated: February 6, 2017
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Three months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

Two pages

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Those staying longer than 30 days or engaging in employment or missionary activities require a visa.

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Astana

Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave
No. 3
Astana 010010
Kazakhstan
Telephone: +(7) (7172) 70-21-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +7 7172-70-21-00 (or 011-7-717-270-21-00 from the U.S.)
Fax: +(7) (7172) 70-22-80

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Almaty
97 Zholdasbekov Street
Samal-2
Almaty, Kazakhstan 050051
Telephone: +(7) (727) 250-49-01
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +7 727-250-76-12 (or 011-7-727-250-76-12 from the U.S.)
Fax: +(7) (727) 250-48-84

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Destination Description

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. 

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visas:

  • U.S. citizens can visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to thirty days for all purposes of travel except employment and missionary work. 
  • Individuals seeking longer period of stay may apply for 10-year Kazakhstani visas, with a maximum stay of 60 days for business and 90 days for tourism.
  • Kazakhstan will continue issuing five-year, multiple-entry visas to applicants qualifying for diplomatic, official, and media travel.
  • Violating the authorized period of stay in Kazakhstan or engaging in activities inconsistent with your visa category may result in fines, imprisonment, and/or delays upon exit.
  • Please see the Kazakhstan Embassy’s visa page for the most current visa information.

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.

  • This background check must be authenticated (i.e., affixed with an apostille) by the state authorities in which the investigation was conducted. For information on official authentication, please see the Department of State website.
  • We recommend that you obtain the background check before your travel to Kazakhstan, as it may be difficult to have fingerprints taken in Kazakhstan. The U.S. Mission in Kazakhstan does not fingerprint U.S. citizens.
  • For more information about U.S. background checks, please refer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website.

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.

Registration:

  • When entering Kazakhstan, you will be asked to complete a white registration card and present it to the border officers, who will stamp and return it to you with your passport. You must retain this card during your stay and present it when departing Kazakhstan. If the card has two stamps, you are registered with the Migration Police for up to 90 days. If the card contains only one stamp, you must register with the Migration Police within five calendar days. Certain hotels throughout Kazakhstan are also able to register foreign guests.
  • While Kazakhstani authorities may register a traveler for up to three months, this does not mean that the traveler can be physically present in Kazakhstan for three months. The duration of stay is dictated by the specific visa category.
  • If you stay longer than three months, you must extend your registration period with the nearest Migration Police office in Kazakhstan.
  • Foreigners must inform the Migration Police of changes of address.
  • Penalties for violating registration rules, including failing to produce a white registration card with proof of registration on departure, may include delayed and/or denial of boarding, fines, imprisonment, and deportation.

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.

  • Visitors applying for a work or residency permit, which is required for U.S. citizens who wish to spend more than six months in Kazakhstan, must submit negative HIV test results with their application to the Migration Police in the city where they intend to work or reside. The results must be less than three months old.
  • The city HIV clinic in the place of registration can conduct the test or may certify test results performed abroad.
  • If the original test results are in a language other than Russian or Kazakh, they must be accompanied by an official, notarized translation.

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.

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Safety and Security

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.

Crime:

  • The most common crimes foreign visitors encounter are purse snatching, pickpocketing, assaults and robberies. Be vigilant and do not carry large sums of money on the street. Financial fraud, such as ATM skimming, is more and more prevalent.
  • The police sometimes conduct identification checks on streets and in other public areas.  Police are not required to demonstrate probable cause.  Upon request, you must produce either a passport or an Embassy-certified copy of it.
  • Harassment and extortion by imposters, genuine law enforcement, and other officials does occur. Never voluntarily give your wallet to anybody. If pressured by a police officer, tell the officer that you will report his behavior to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and to the officer’s supervisors. Try to obtain the officer's name, badge number, and license plate number, and note where the incident happened.
  • We do not recommend using unlicensed cabs in Kazakhstan. At the airport, do not leave with anyone who does not show pre-arranged identification, even if the person is holding a sign with your name.
  • Leave restaurants or bars if fights break out and be aware of your surroundings at all times. The U.S. Mission in Kazakhstan is aware of isolated incidents when foreigners have been drugged, robbed, and physically assaulted at popular bars and nightclubs.  
  • Street criminals show a clear preference to threaten but not use force. We advise you to comply with all demands in order to avoid violence.

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: 

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police, but only local authorities can investigate and prosecute crimes
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

You must obey all laws in Kazakhstan. 

  • If you violate them, even without knowing you did, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Kazakhstan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • You may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings.
  • Kazakhstan has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

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.

Currency:  

  • Most prominent retailers, hotels, vendors, and restaurants in major cities accept debit and credit cards.
  • Smaller vendors and rural areas rely on cash payments.
  • To exchange U.S. dollars, all denominations of U.S. currency, except $1 bills, must be new series (large portraits) and have been issued after 2000 and be in good condition.
  • In most cities, ATMs are plentiful and can generally be found in shopping malls or near local banks. Be aware that ATM skimming is increasing.

Customs:

  • Kazakhstani customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the export of items such as antiques.
  • Foreigners importing and exporting any currency valued at $10,000 USD or more are required to complete a customs declaration.  In addition, people exporting the currency should provide evidence of the origin of the funds.
  • Please see our Customs Information page for more 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.

Faith-Based Travelers:

  • Visitors to Kazakhstan engaging in missionary work or other religious activities must register with the Ministry of Justice office in the region (Akimat) where the activities will take place. This applies even if the religious activities are not the primary purpose of the visit. Attendance at a religious service does not require registration, but participation in the delivery of the service does. Kazakhstan also imposes restrictions on the importation of religious literature.
  • You may be fined and deported from Kazakhstan for addressing a congregation, leading prayers, and performing religious music without proper religious worker registration. Representatives of faith-based non-governmental organizations are considered subject to the registration requirement even if their activities are not religious in nature.  
  • Contact the Ministry of Justice office responsible for the area of Kazakhstan where you intend to engage in religious activities and request a written decision. Religious worker registration is only valid for the locality where it is granted.
  • See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

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.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Many buildings, public walkways, and public transportation remain inaccessible to persons with disabilities.

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Health

Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan covers you when you are outside of the United States.

  • We cannot pay your medical bills.
  • U.S. Medicare does not pay overseas.
  • Doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, since medical transport out of the country can be prohibitively expensive or logistically impossible. 
  • See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

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:   

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  

  • Roads in Kazakhstan are in poor repair, especially in rural areas. Signage and lighting on roadways is poor.
  • Potholes are common, and are often dangerously deep.
  • Drivers often disregard traffic signals, ignore lane markings, drive after excessive alcohol consumption (despite official “zero tolerance”), drive into oncoming lanes of traffic, and move at excessive speed – including during adverse weather. Pedestrians frequently dart out in front of cars.
  • Visitors should drive defensively at all times as many local drivers do not follow traffic laws. Road rage can be a problem, and we recommend a non-confrontational response to such behavior.  
  • Accidents involving severe injury and/or death are common.  
  • Traffic police have reportedly stopped cars to extort bribes on main city streets and at periodic checkpoints on major highways.
  • The mountainous road between Almaty and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, should be avoided at night or during poor weather.
  • Roads outside urban areas are often closed in winter months due to high winds and drifting snow.

Public Transportation:

  • Buses can be very crowded and unsafe.
  • Due to the danger of theft or assault, be selective regarding which taxi you use, and always avoid entering a cab that already contains persons other than the driver. The Embassy highly discourages hailing unlicensed private vehicles on the street and negotiating a fee with the driver on the spot. Ridesharing applications such as Uber were introduced in 2016.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Kazakhstan’s national tourist office.

 

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.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Astana

Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave
No. 3
Astana 010010
Kazakhstan
Telephone: +(7) (7172) 70-21-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +7 7172-70-21-00 (or 011-7-717-270-21-00 from the U.S.)
Fax: +(7) (7172) 70-22-80

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Almaty
97 Zholdasbekov Street
Samal-2
Almaty, Kazakhstan 050051
Telephone: +(7) (727) 250-49-01
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +7 727-250-76-12 (or 011-7-727-250-76-12 from the U.S.)
Fax: +(7) (727) 250-48-84

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Kazakhstan, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Kazakhstan.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Kazakhstan acceded to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention) on June 3, 2013; however, the United States and Kazakhstan are not yet treaty partners.  Until Kazakhstan and the United States establish a treaty relationship per Article 38 of the Convention, parents whose children have been abducted from the United States to Kazakhstan or wrongfully retained in Kazakhstan are unable to invoke the Convention to pursue their children’s return or seek access to them.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  The government of Kazakhstan maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet.

Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kazakhstan and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website: travel.state.gov/

 

Email: AskCI@state.gov

Parental child abduction is a crime in Kazakhstan.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

 

 

 

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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kazakhstan and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.  Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Kazakhstan for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Kazakhstan are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Astana and Consulate General in Almaty posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

Either parent in a child custody dispute may apply for mediation services provided by the Committee for Children’s Rights Protection under the Ministry of Education.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Kazakhstan is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Kazakhstan.

In May 2012, the Central Authority of Kazakhstan approved the first U.S. accredited adoption service providers (ASPs) to process intercountry adoptions from Kazakhstan to the United States under the Hague Adoption Convention. Approval of ASPs was the final step needed for Kazakhstan to complete its implementation of the Convention and to become a full Convention partner to the United States. Each U.S. ASP approved by Kazakhstan may begin accepting applications for adoptions under the new procedures as of the date of its authorization.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Kazakhstan you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law. 

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, Kazakhstan obliges prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) to meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Kazakhstan

  • Residency: The PAPs must have a permanent residence/abode.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: The age difference between the parents and the child must be at least 16 years and not more than 45 years.
  • Marital Status: A couple must be legally married.
  • Income: No specifications in the laws or regulations.
  • Legally Qualified to Adopt: The PAPs must not have committed any actions that would legally prohibit them from adopting.
  • Completed Psychological and Medical Condition Exams, including alcohol and drug tests.
  • Police Clearance including referral from authorized agencies on moral character.
  • Four-week bonding period: You must spend four weeks in the child's place of residence in order to establish a bond with the child. 
  • Other: Gay and lesbian couples cannot adopt in Kazakhstan.Single prospective fathers are not allowed to adopt.
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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Kazakhstan is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Kazakhstan must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Kazakhstan have determined that placement of the child within Kazakhstan has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child's best interests. In addition to Kazakhstan's requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment: The child can be adopted if his or her biological parents are unknown, have died, relinquished their parental rights, agreed to adoption, had their parental rights taken away, or have been recognized by the court as legally incapable of caring for the child.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: The child must consent to adoption if he or she is 10 years old or older.
  • Sibling Adoptions: Prospective adoptive parents are permitted to adopt more than one child; either siblings or unrelated children. 
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Many of the orphans eligible for intercountry adoption in Kazakhstan will have special needs.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: Information not currently available.
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How to Adopt

WARNING: Kazakhstan is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Kazakhstan before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case.  Read on for more information.

Kazakhstan’s Adoption Authority
Children Rights Protection Committee
Ministry of Education and Science

THE PROCESS

Because Kazakhstan is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Kazakhstan must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Kazakhstan
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Bond with the child for four weeks.
  6. Adopt the child in Kazakhstan
  7. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home
  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

    The first step in adopting a child from Kazakhstan is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption service providers that also have received Kazakhstan's approval may provide adoption services between the United States and Kazakhstan. The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

    Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Kazakhstan as part of your adoption dossier. Kazakhstan’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Kazakhstan’s law.

  3. Be Matched with a Child in Kazakhstan

    If both the United States and Kazakhstan determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the central authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the central authority for Convention adoptions in Kazakhstan may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Kazakhstan. The adoption authority in Kazakhstan will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the adoption authority in Kazakhstan. Learn more about this critical decision.

  4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

    After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

    After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Kazakhstan. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

    WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Kazakhstan’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Kazakhstan where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Kazakhstan’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

    Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Kazakhstan before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

    Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

  5. Adopt (or Gain Legal Custody) of Child in Kazakhstan

    Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Kazakhstan, you must have completed the above four steps. You must also bond with the child for four weeks in the child’s place of residence. Only after completing these steps can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Kazakhstan.

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Kazakhstan generally includes the following:

    The adoption in Kazakhstan is concluded by the court based on the prospective parents’ application. The process requires the physical presence of the prospective adoptive parents, guardianship or custodian representatives, and representatives of the General Prosecutor. The individuals or state agencies who have custody of the child must agree to the adoption. After the court decision (15-day appeal period) the court must forward the adoption decree to the local registration office for civil documents.

    • Role of Adoption Authority: Information not currently available.
    • Role of the Court: Information not currently available.
    • Role of Adoption Agencies: Information not currently available.
    • Time Frame: Information not currently available.
    • Adoption Application: Information not currently available.
    • Adoption Fees: Information not currently available.

      In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

    • Documents Required: See requirements listed under section“Who Can Adopt.”

      Note: Additional documents may be requested.

    • Authentication of Documents: The United States and Kazakhstan are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. U.S. public documents may be authenticated with Apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.
  6. Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home

    Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

    Birth Certificate
    If you have finalized the adoption in Kazakhstan, you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

    If you have obtained a grant of custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate that you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

    After a court decision granting adoption becomes effective, which generally takes 15 days, the court forwards the decision to the local registration office (ZAGS), where the adoptive parents later request the adoption certificate and birth certificate listing them as parents. The new name(s) for the child and the names of the adoptive parents must be specified during the court hearing and included in the court documents.

    Kazakhstan Passport
    Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Kazakhstan.

    When you have the court document, adoption certificate, and new birth certificate, you can apply for the child’s Kazakhstani passport from the population service centers located in all major cities in Kazakhstan. The process takes a minimum of seven days. Adopted children must also obtain exit visas from the Migration police prior to departure from Kazakhstan.

    U.S. Immigrant Visa
    After you obtain your child’s new birth certificate and passport, you need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Following the grant of adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption), visit the U.S. Consulate for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Declaration of Grant of Custody, final approval of the child’s I-800 petition, and issuance of your child’s visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home to the United States with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must receive the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child's entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child's entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child's entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. 
Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Kazakhstan
In addition to a U.S. passport, you will also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. The visa will be affixed to your passport and allow you to enter Kazakhstan. To find information about obtaining a visa for Kazakhstan, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of Kazakhstan. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability. 

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Kazakhstan, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

POST-ADOPTION/POST-PLACEMENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

We strongly urge you to comply with Kazakhstan's post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Kazakhstan's history of positive experiences with American parents.

According to Kazakhstani family law, parents who adopt Kazakhstani children must provide post-placement reports every six months for the first three years after the court decision was put into force and then once a year until the child is 18 years old. You must submit the report to the Kazakhstani diplomatic mission in the country of the child's residence.

POST-ADOPTION RESOURCES

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. 

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Consulate General Almaty
97 Zholdasbekov St.
Samal-2
Almaty, Kazakhstan 480099
Tel: +7 (7272) 50-76-12
Fax: +7 (7272) 50-48-67
Email: USAKZ@state.gov
Internet: kz.usembassy.gov/

Kazakhstan's Adoption Authority
Children Rights Protection Committee
Ministry of Education and Science
010000, Republic of Kazakhstan
ASTANA CITY
Government House
11th Entrance
939, 941 Rooms
Tel: + 10 (7172) 742343 / 742154 / 742341 / 742033
Fax:N/A
Email:N/A
Internet: bala-kkk.kz

Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
1401 16th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: (202) 232-5488
Fax: (202) 232-5845
Email: washington@kazakhembus.com
Internet: kazakhembus.com

Kazakhstan also has a consulate in New York City. 

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  AdoptionUSCA@state.gov     
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months *
C-1 None One 3 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None One 3 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 12 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 None Multiple 12 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 60 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 60 Months
H-1B None Multiple 12 Months  3
H-1C None Multiple 12 Months  3
H-2A None N/A N/A3
H-2B None N/A N/A3
H-2R None Multiple 12 Months  3
H-3 None Multiple 12 Months  3
H-4 None Multiple 12 Months  3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 24 Months 
L-2 None Multiple 24 Months 
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 12 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 12 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 12 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 12 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 12 Months 
R-2 None Multiple 12 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None One 1 Month
U-2 None One 1 Month
U-3 None One 1 Month
U-4 None One 1 Month
U-5 None One 1 Month
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Civil documents, except as noted below, are generally available in the Republic of Kazakhstan. On December 30, 2000, Kazakhstan joined the Hague Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, which eliminated the process of Kazakhstani officials' signature authentication and authorized certain state bodies to provide apostilles. The apostille is accepted in all countries that are parties to the Hague Convention. Documents that override an apostille need not be authenticated by an U.S. consular officer for use in the United States. In the U.S., Kazakhstani documents can be requested through the Embassy of Kazakhstan, 1401, 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036. Some civil records were destroyed during World War II and may not be available. Local authorities, generally, will issue a certificate to that effect, although the process may take months. A replacement statement of identity is also available from local authorities where the birth certificate is unavailable.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Available from the Offices of Registration of Civil Events (ZAGS).

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Available from the Offices of Registration of Civil Events (ZAGS).

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update.

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Identity Card

Kazakhstani Internal Residence Documents

There are four types of documents with which a person may reside in Kazakhstan:

  1. "Internal" local ID card (udostovereniye lichnosti). A local ID card providing identity information and specifying a city or region of residence is mandatory for Kazakhstani citizens over the age of sixteen. In case of a change in the city or region of residence, the local ID card should be changed to reflect the current place of residence.
  2. Temporary certification from the Offices of Internal Affairs in lieu of passport (spravka)
  3. Foreigner's residence permit (Vid na Zhitel'stvo dlya Inostrantsa)
  4. Residence permit for stateless persons (vid na zhitel'stvo dlya lits bez grazhdanstva)

Each of these documents is surrendered when a person is allowed to leave Kazakhstan for permanent residence abroad.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. An official document may be obtained from any of the Ministry of Justice Public Service Centers (ЦентрОбслуживанияНаселения - ЦОН).

  • Kazakhstani citizens and residents can request their own police record by applying in person directly to the Public Service Center (PSC) which has jurisdiction over their place of residence.
  • Former residents of Kazakhstan who are currently citizens of other countries must apply in person or through a personal representative.   Former residents can request their police records at any PSC, regardless of where they used to reside in Kazakhstan.
  • Kazakhstani citizens, who now live outside the Republic of Kazakhstan , can apply at Kazakhstani diplomatic missions abroad or at a PSC through a personal representative.
  • Third parties (embassies, consulates, etc.) can request police records by diplomatic note only.

Applicants need to present either an original or a notarized copy of an identification document. Personal representatives must have a notarized power of attorney from the subject of the police records search along with a notarized copy of the subject’s passport or Kazakhstani national ID. The application form should include all names that the applicant has ever used.

The issued certificate shows:

  • If a criminal record exists (and the articles of law involved);
  • If a person has been reported missing and/or wanted;
  • If a person is under investigation.

Information is cataloged by last name (or any name previously used), first name, Date of Birth and Place of  Birth. According to the Kazakhstani Criminal Code, criminal convictions can be sealed upon the completion of a sentence; nevertheless, the certificate will reflect the criminal record history. The certificate can have a statement or a stamp. In most cases, when an individual has a "clean" record, the certificate is marked with "no record found" ("svedeniy net"), date and name stamps. Some records go back as far as 55 years. Records are available in Russian language only. Processing time is 7 business days. In cases when an applicant has a criminal record, processing may take up to 1 month.

More information about obtaining a  Police Certificate is available at:

  • Republic Call Center of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan: +7-727-2580058
  • Center of Justice Statistics and Special Registration (CJSSR) of at the following address and telephone number:

73 Seifullin Street
Astana, Kazakhstan

Tel: +7-7172-712363

Court Records

Court records are available to the individual for use in Kazakhstan, but authorities may refuse certification to permit the export of some court records.

Military Records

Individuals who have served in the military are issued a military service document (voyenniy bilet) which contains information on the length of service and circumstances of discharge. If the military service document is lost, a replacement certificate can be issued, by Voenkomat, which has jurisdiction over an applicant's most recent place of residence. Note that all documents connected with service in the Armed Forces must be surrendered before a permanent exit stamp can be issued in the passport of a person taking up permanent residence abroad. However, an appropriate substitute certificate is available.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Available. There are three types of Kazakhstani travel documents or external passports:

  1. "diplomatic" (diplomaticheskiy),
  2. "official" (sluzhebny),
  3. "regular" (obshche-grazhdanskiy).

The first two types of passports are always issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Astana. The third is issued by the Ministry of Justice. A Kazakhstani exit visa is required only for bearers of regular passports who leave Kazakhstan for permanent residence abroad.

Kazakhstan does not recognize dual citizenship. Persons emigrating from Kazakhstan are not permitted by local law to retain their Kazakhstani citizenship once they become citizens of another country. Only children adopted from Kazakhstan by foreigners retain Kazakhstan citizenship until the age of 18 years old and they are allowed to use both passports to enter and/or exit Kazakhstan.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Astana, Kazakhstan 
(Embassy)

3, Ak Bulak-4; Astana, 010010, Kazakhstan

Tel: 7 7172 70-21-00

Fax: 7 7172 70-22-80

Visa Services

Visa Services

NIV only for all of Kazakhstan

Almaty, Kazakhstan
(Branch Office)

97, Zholdasbekov Street, Samal-2
Almaty, 050059, Kazakhstan

Tel: 7 727 250-48-02

Fax: 7 727 250-48-84

Visa Services

All categories for all of Kazakhstan.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 232-5488 (202) 232-5845

New York, NY (646) 370-6331 (646) 370-6334

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Astana
Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave
No. 3
Astana 010010
Kazakhstan
Telephone
+(7) (7172) 70-21-00
Emergency
 (or 011-7-717-270-21-00 from the U.S.)
Fax
+(7) (7172) 70-22-80
Kazakhstan Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Kazakhstan
Republic of Kazakhstan
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Three months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

Two pages

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Those staying longer than 30 days or engaging in employment or missionary activities require a visa.

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Astana

Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave
No. 3
Astana 010010
Kazakhstan
Telephone: +(7) (7172) 70-21-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +7 7172-70-21-00 (or 011-7-717-270-21-00 from the U.S.)
Fax: +(7) (7172) 70-22-80

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Almaty
97 Zholdasbekov Street
Samal-2
Almaty, Kazakhstan 050051
Telephone: +(7) (727) 250-49-01
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +7 727-250-76-12 (or 011-7-727-250-76-12 from the U.S.)
Fax: +(7) (727) 250-48-84

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Destination Description

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. 

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visas:

  • U.S. citizens can visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to thirty days for all purposes of travel except employment and missionary work. 
  • Individuals seeking longer period of stay may apply for 10-year Kazakhstani visas, with a maximum stay of 60 days for business and 90 days for tourism.
  • Kazakhstan will continue issuing five-year, multiple-entry visas to applicants qualifying for diplomatic, official, and media travel.
  • Violating the authorized period of stay in Kazakhstan or engaging in activities inconsistent with your visa category may result in fines, imprisonment, and/or delays upon exit.
  • Please see the Kazakhstan Embassy’s visa page for the most current visa information.

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.

  • This background check must be authenticated (i.e., affixed with an apostille) by the state authorities in which the investigation was conducted. For information on official authentication, please see the Department of State website.
  • We recommend that you obtain the background check before your travel to Kazakhstan, as it may be difficult to have fingerprints taken in Kazakhstan. The U.S. Mission in Kazakhstan does not fingerprint U.S. citizens.
  • For more information about U.S. background checks, please refer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website.

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.

Registration:

  • When entering Kazakhstan, you will be asked to complete a white registration card and present it to the border officers, who will stamp and return it to you with your passport. You must retain this card during your stay and present it when departing Kazakhstan. If the card has two stamps, you are registered with the Migration Police for up to 90 days. If the card contains only one stamp, you must register with the Migration Police within five calendar days. Certain hotels throughout Kazakhstan are also able to register foreign guests.
  • While Kazakhstani authorities may register a traveler for up to three months, this does not mean that the traveler can be physically present in Kazakhstan for three months. The duration of stay is dictated by the specific visa category.
  • If you stay longer than three months, you must extend your registration period with the nearest Migration Police office in Kazakhstan.
  • Foreigners must inform the Migration Police of changes of address.
  • Penalties for violating registration rules, including failing to produce a white registration card with proof of registration on departure, may include delayed and/or denial of boarding, fines, imprisonment, and deportation.

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.

  • Visitors applying for a work or residency permit, which is required for U.S. citizens who wish to spend more than six months in Kazakhstan, must submit negative HIV test results with their application to the Migration Police in the city where they intend to work or reside. The results must be less than three months old.
  • The city HIV clinic in the place of registration can conduct the test or may certify test results performed abroad.
  • If the original test results are in a language other than Russian or Kazakh, they must be accompanied by an official, notarized translation.

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.

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Safety and Security

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.

Crime:

  • The most common crimes foreign visitors encounter are purse snatching, pickpocketing, assaults and robberies. Be vigilant and do not carry large sums of money on the street. Financial fraud, such as ATM skimming, is more and more prevalent.
  • The police sometimes conduct identification checks on streets and in other public areas.  Police are not required to demonstrate probable cause.  Upon request, you must produce either a passport or an Embassy-certified copy of it.
  • Harassment and extortion by imposters, genuine law enforcement, and other officials does occur. Never voluntarily give your wallet to anybody. If pressured by a police officer, tell the officer that you will report his behavior to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and to the officer’s supervisors. Try to obtain the officer's name, badge number, and license plate number, and note where the incident happened.
  • We do not recommend using unlicensed cabs in Kazakhstan. At the airport, do not leave with anyone who does not show pre-arranged identification, even if the person is holding a sign with your name.
  • Leave restaurants or bars if fights break out and be aware of your surroundings at all times. The U.S. Mission in Kazakhstan is aware of isolated incidents when foreigners have been drugged, robbed, and physically assaulted at popular bars and nightclubs.  
  • Street criminals show a clear preference to threaten but not use force. We advise you to comply with all demands in order to avoid violence.

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: 

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police, but only local authorities can investigate and prosecute crimes
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

You must obey all laws in Kazakhstan. 

  • If you violate them, even without knowing you did, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Kazakhstan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • You may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings.
  • Kazakhstan has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

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.

Currency:  

  • Most prominent retailers, hotels, vendors, and restaurants in major cities accept debit and credit cards.
  • Smaller vendors and rural areas rely on cash payments.
  • To exchange U.S. dollars, all denominations of U.S. currency, except $1 bills, must be new series (large portraits) and have been issued after 2000 and be in good condition.
  • In most cities, ATMs are plentiful and can generally be found in shopping malls or near local banks. Be aware that ATM skimming is increasing.

Customs:

  • Kazakhstani customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the export of items such as antiques.
  • Foreigners importing and exporting any currency valued at $10,000 USD or more are required to complete a customs declaration.  In addition, people exporting the currency should provide evidence of the origin of the funds.
  • Please see our Customs Information page for more 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.

Faith-Based Travelers:

  • Visitors to Kazakhstan engaging in missionary work or other religious activities must register with the Ministry of Justice office in the region (Akimat) where the activities will take place. This applies even if the religious activities are not the primary purpose of the visit. Attendance at a religious service does not require registration, but participation in the delivery of the service does. Kazakhstan also imposes restrictions on the importation of religious literature.
  • You may be fined and deported from Kazakhstan for addressing a congregation, leading prayers, and performing religious music without proper religious worker registration. Representatives of faith-based non-governmental organizations are considered subject to the registration requirement even if their activities are not religious in nature.  
  • Contact the Ministry of Justice office responsible for the area of Kazakhstan where you intend to engage in religious activities and request a written decision. Religious worker registration is only valid for the locality where it is granted.
  • See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

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.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Many buildings, public walkways, and public transportation remain inaccessible to persons with disabilities.

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Health

Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan covers you when you are outside of the United States.

  • We cannot pay your medical bills.
  • U.S. Medicare does not pay overseas.
  • Doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, since medical transport out of the country can be prohibitively expensive or logistically impossible. 
  • See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

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:   

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  

  • Roads in Kazakhstan are in poor repair, especially in rural areas. Signage and lighting on roadways is poor.
  • Potholes are common, and are often dangerously deep.
  • Drivers often disregard traffic signals, ignore lane markings, drive after excessive alcohol consumption (despite official “zero tolerance”), drive into oncoming lanes of traffic, and move at excessive speed – including during adverse weather. Pedestrians frequently dart out in front of cars.
  • Visitors should drive defensively at all times as many local drivers do not follow traffic laws. Road rage can be a problem, and we recommend a non-confrontational response to such behavior.  
  • Accidents involving severe injury and/or death are common.  
  • Traffic police have reportedly stopped cars to extort bribes on main city streets and at periodic checkpoints on major highways.
  • The mountainous road between Almaty and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, should be avoided at night or during poor weather.
  • Roads outside urban areas are often closed in winter months due to high winds and drifting snow.

Public Transportation:

  • Buses can be very crowded and unsafe.
  • Due to the danger of theft or assault, be selective regarding which taxi you use, and always avoid entering a cab that already contains persons other than the driver. The Embassy highly discourages hailing unlicensed private vehicles on the street and negotiating a fee with the driver on the spot. Ridesharing applications such as Uber were introduced in 2016.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Kazakhstan’s national tourist office.

 

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.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Astana

Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave
No. 3
Astana 010010
Kazakhstan
Telephone: +(7) (7172) 70-21-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +7 7172-70-21-00 (or 011-7-717-270-21-00 from the U.S.)
Fax: +(7) (7172) 70-22-80

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Almaty
97 Zholdasbekov Street
Samal-2
Almaty, Kazakhstan 050051
Telephone: +(7) (727) 250-49-01
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +7 727-250-76-12 (or 011-7-727-250-76-12 from the U.S.)
Fax: +(7) (727) 250-48-84

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Kazakhstan, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Kazakhstan.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Kazakhstan acceded to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention) on June 3, 2013; however, the United States and Kazakhstan are not yet treaty partners.  Until Kazakhstan and the United States establish a treaty relationship per Article 38 of the Convention, parents whose children have been abducted from the United States to Kazakhstan or wrongfully retained in Kazakhstan are unable to invoke the Convention to pursue their children’s return or seek access to them.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  The government of Kazakhstan maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet.

Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kazakhstan and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website: travel.state.gov/

 

Email: AskCI@state.gov

Parental child abduction is a crime in Kazakhstan.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

 

 

 

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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Kazakhstan and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.  Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Kazakhstan for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Kazakhstan are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Astana and Consulate General in Almaty posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

Either parent in a child custody dispute may apply for mediation services provided by the Committee for Children’s Rights Protection under the Ministry of Education.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Kazakhstan is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Kazakhstan.

In May 2012, the Central Authority of Kazakhstan approved the first U.S. accredited adoption service providers (ASPs) to process intercountry adoptions from Kazakhstan to the United States under the Hague Adoption Convention. Approval of ASPs was the final step needed for Kazakhstan to complete its implementation of the Convention and to become a full Convention partner to the United States. Each U.S. ASP approved by Kazakhstan may begin accepting applications for adoptions under the new procedures as of the date of its authorization.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Kazakhstan you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law. 

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, Kazakhstan obliges prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) to meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Kazakhstan

  • Residency: The PAPs must have a permanent residence/abode.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: The age difference between the parents and the child must be at least 16 years and not more than 45 years.
  • Marital Status: A couple must be legally married.
  • Income: No specifications in the laws or regulations.
  • Legally Qualified to Adopt: The PAPs must not have committed any actions that would legally prohibit them from adopting.
  • Completed Psychological and Medical Condition Exams, including alcohol and drug tests.
  • Police Clearance including referral from authorized agencies on moral character.
  • Four-week bonding period: You must spend four weeks in the child's place of residence in order to establish a bond with the child. 
  • Other: Gay and lesbian couples cannot adopt in Kazakhstan.Single prospective fathers are not allowed to adopt.
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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Kazakhstan is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Kazakhstan must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Kazakhstan have determined that placement of the child within Kazakhstan has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child's best interests. In addition to Kazakhstan's requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment: The child can be adopted if his or her biological parents are unknown, have died, relinquished their parental rights, agreed to adoption, had their parental rights taken away, or have been recognized by the court as legally incapable of caring for the child.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: The child must consent to adoption if he or she is 10 years old or older.
  • Sibling Adoptions: Prospective adoptive parents are permitted to adopt more than one child; either siblings or unrelated children. 
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Many of the orphans eligible for intercountry adoption in Kazakhstan will have special needs.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: Information not currently available.
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How to Adopt

WARNING: Kazakhstan is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Kazakhstan before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case.  Read on for more information.

Kazakhstan’s Adoption Authority
Children Rights Protection Committee
Ministry of Education and Science

THE PROCESS

Because Kazakhstan is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Kazakhstan must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Kazakhstan
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Bond with the child for four weeks.
  6. Adopt the child in Kazakhstan
  7. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home
  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

    The first step in adopting a child from Kazakhstan is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption service providers that also have received Kazakhstan's approval may provide adoption services between the United States and Kazakhstan. The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

    Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Kazakhstan as part of your adoption dossier. Kazakhstan’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Kazakhstan’s law.

  3. Be Matched with a Child in Kazakhstan

    If both the United States and Kazakhstan determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the central authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the central authority for Convention adoptions in Kazakhstan may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Kazakhstan. The adoption authority in Kazakhstan will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the adoption authority in Kazakhstan. Learn more about this critical decision.

  4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

    After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

    After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Kazakhstan. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

    WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Kazakhstan’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Kazakhstan where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Kazakhstan’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

    Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Kazakhstan before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

    Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

  5. Adopt (or Gain Legal Custody) of Child in Kazakhstan

    Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Kazakhstan, you must have completed the above four steps. You must also bond with the child for four weeks in the child’s place of residence. Only after completing these steps can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Kazakhstan.

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Kazakhstan generally includes the following:

    The adoption in Kazakhstan is concluded by the court based on the prospective parents’ application. The process requires the physical presence of the prospective adoptive parents, guardianship or custodian representatives, and representatives of the General Prosecutor. The individuals or state agencies who have custody of the child must agree to the adoption. After the court decision (15-day appeal period) the court must forward the adoption decree to the local registration office for civil documents.

    • Role of Adoption Authority: Information not currently available.
    • Role of the Court: Information not currently available.
    • Role of Adoption Agencies: Information not currently available.
    • Time Frame: Information not currently available.
    • Adoption Application: Information not currently available.
    • Adoption Fees: Information not currently available.

      In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

    • Documents Required: See requirements listed under section“Who Can Adopt.”

      Note: Additional documents may be requested.

    • Authentication of Documents: The United States and Kazakhstan are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. U.S. public documents may be authenticated with Apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.
  6. Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home

    Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

    Birth Certificate
    If you have finalized the adoption in Kazakhstan, you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

    If you have obtained a grant of custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate that you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

    After a court decision granting adoption becomes effective, which generally takes 15 days, the court forwards the decision to the local registration office (ZAGS), where the adoptive parents later request the adoption certificate and birth certificate listing them as parents. The new name(s) for the child and the names of the adoptive parents must be specified during the court hearing and included in the court documents.

    Kazakhstan Passport
    Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Kazakhstan.

    When you have the court document, adoption certificate, and new birth certificate, you can apply for the child’s Kazakhstani passport from the population service centers located in all major cities in Kazakhstan. The process takes a minimum of seven days. Adopted children must also obtain exit visas from the Migration police prior to departure from Kazakhstan.

    U.S. Immigrant Visa
    After you obtain your child’s new birth certificate and passport, you need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Following the grant of adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption), visit the U.S. Consulate for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Declaration of Grant of Custody, final approval of the child’s I-800 petition, and issuance of your child’s visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home to the United States with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must receive the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child's entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child's entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child's entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. 
Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Kazakhstan
In addition to a U.S. passport, you will also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. The visa will be affixed to your passport and allow you to enter Kazakhstan. To find information about obtaining a visa for Kazakhstan, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of Kazakhstan. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability. 

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Kazakhstan, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

POST-ADOPTION/POST-PLACEMENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

We strongly urge you to comply with Kazakhstan's post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Kazakhstan's history of positive experiences with American parents.

According to Kazakhstani family law, parents who adopt Kazakhstani children must provide post-placement reports every six months for the first three years after the court decision was put into force and then once a year until the child is 18 years old. You must submit the report to the Kazakhstani diplomatic mission in the country of the child's residence.

POST-ADOPTION RESOURCES

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. 

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Consulate General Almaty
97 Zholdasbekov St.
Samal-2
Almaty, Kazakhstan 480099
Tel: +7 (7272) 50-76-12
Fax: +7 (7272) 50-48-67
Email: USAKZ@state.gov
Internet: kz.usembassy.gov/

Kazakhstan's Adoption Authority
Children Rights Protection Committee
Ministry of Education and Science
010000, Republic of Kazakhstan
ASTANA CITY
Government House
11th Entrance
939, 941 Rooms
Tel: + 10 (7172) 742343 / 742154 / 742341 / 742033
Fax:N/A
Email:N/A
Internet: bala-kkk.kz

Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
1401 16th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: (202) 232-5488
Fax: (202) 232-5845
Email: washington@kazakhembus.com
Internet: kazakhembus.com

Kazakhstan also has a consulate in New York City. 

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  AdoptionUSCA@state.gov     
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months *
C-1 None One 3 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None One 3 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 12 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 None Multiple 12 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 60 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 60 Months
H-1B None Multiple 12 Months  3
H-1C None Multiple 12 Months  3
H-2A None N/A N/A3
H-2B None N/A N/A3
H-2R None Multiple 12 Months  3
H-3 None Multiple 12 Months  3
H-4 None Multiple 12 Months  3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 24 Months 
L-2 None Multiple 24 Months 
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 12 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 12 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 12 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 12 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 12 Months 
R-2 None Multiple 12 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None One 1 Month
U-2 None One 1 Month
U-3 None One 1 Month
U-4 None One 1 Month
U-5 None One 1 Month
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Civil documents, except as noted below, are generally available in the Republic of Kazakhstan. On December 30, 2000, Kazakhstan joined the Hague Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, which eliminated the process of Kazakhstani officials' signature authentication and authorized certain state bodies to provide apostilles. The apostille is accepted in all countries that are parties to the Hague Convention. Documents that override an apostille need not be authenticated by an U.S. consular officer for use in the United States. In the U.S., Kazakhstani documents can be requested through the Embassy of Kazakhstan, 1401, 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036. Some civil records were destroyed during World War II and may not be available. Local authorities, generally, will issue a certificate to that effect, although the process may take months. A replacement statement of identity is also available from local authorities where the birth certificate is unavailable.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Available from the Offices of Registration of Civil Events (ZAGS).

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Available from the Offices of Registration of Civil Events (ZAGS).

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update.

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Identity Card

Kazakhstani Internal Residence Documents

There are four types of documents with which a person may reside in Kazakhstan:

  1. "Internal" local ID card (udostovereniye lichnosti). A local ID card providing identity information and specifying a city or region of residence is mandatory for Kazakhstani citizens over the age of sixteen. In case of a change in the city or region of residence, the local ID card should be changed to reflect the current place of residence.
  2. Temporary certification from the Offices of Internal Affairs in lieu of passport (spravka)
  3. Foreigner's residence permit (Vid na Zhitel'stvo dlya Inostrantsa)
  4. Residence permit for stateless persons (vid na zhitel'stvo dlya lits bez grazhdanstva)

Each of these documents is surrendered when a person is allowed to leave Kazakhstan for permanent residence abroad.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. An official document may be obtained from any of the Ministry of Justice Public Service Centers (ЦентрОбслуживанияНаселения - ЦОН).

  • Kazakhstani citizens and residents can request their own police record by applying in person directly to the Public Service Center (PSC) which has jurisdiction over their place of residence.
  • Former residents of Kazakhstan who are currently citizens of other countries must apply in person or through a personal representative.   Former residents can request their police records at any PSC, regardless of where they used to reside in Kazakhstan.
  • Kazakhstani citizens, who now live outside the Republic of Kazakhstan , can apply at Kazakhstani diplomatic missions abroad or at a PSC through a personal representative.
  • Third parties (embassies, consulates, etc.) can request police records by diplomatic note only.

Applicants need to present either an original or a notarized copy of an identification document. Personal representatives must have a notarized power of attorney from the subject of the police records search along with a notarized copy of the subject’s passport or Kazakhstani national ID. The application form should include all names that the applicant has ever used.

The issued certificate shows:

  • If a criminal record exists (and the articles of law involved);
  • If a person has been reported missing and/or wanted;
  • If a person is under investigation.

Information is cataloged by last name (or any name previously used), first name, Date of Birth and Place of  Birth. According to the Kazakhstani Criminal Code, criminal convictions can be sealed upon the completion of a sentence; nevertheless, the certificate will reflect the criminal record history. The certificate can have a statement or a stamp. In most cases, when an individual has a "clean" record, the certificate is marked with "no record found" ("svedeniy net"), date and name stamps. Some records go back as far as 55 years. Records are available in Russian language only. Processing time is 7 business days. In cases when an applicant has a criminal record, processing may take up to 1 month.

More information about obtaining a  Police Certificate is available at:

  • Republic Call Center of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan: +7-727-2580058
  • Center of Justice Statistics and Special Registration (CJSSR) of at the following address and telephone number:

73 Seifullin Street
Astana, Kazakhstan

Tel: +7-7172-712363

Court Records

Court records are available to the individual for use in Kazakhstan, but authorities may refuse certification to permit the export of some court records.

Military Records

Individuals who have served in the military are issued a military service document (voyenniy bilet) which contains information on the length of service and circumstances of discharge. If the military service document is lost, a replacement certificate can be issued, by Voenkomat, which has jurisdiction over an applicant's most recent place of residence. Note that all documents connected with service in the Armed Forces must be surrendered before a permanent exit stamp can be issued in the passport of a person taking up permanent residence abroad. However, an appropriate substitute certificate is available.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Available. There are three types of Kazakhstani travel documents or external passports:

  1. "diplomatic" (diplomaticheskiy),
  2. "official" (sluzhebny),
  3. "regular" (obshche-grazhdanskiy).

The first two types of passports are always issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Astana. The third is issued by the Ministry of Justice. A Kazakhstani exit visa is required only for bearers of regular passports who leave Kazakhstan for permanent residence abroad.

Kazakhstan does not recognize dual citizenship. Persons emigrating from Kazakhstan are not permitted by local law to retain their Kazakhstani citizenship once they become citizens of another country. Only children adopted from Kazakhstan by foreigners retain Kazakhstan citizenship until the age of 18 years old and they are allowed to use both passports to enter and/or exit Kazakhstan.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Astana, Kazakhstan 
(Embassy)

3, Ak Bulak-4; Astana, 010010, Kazakhstan

Tel: 7 7172 70-21-00

Fax: 7 7172 70-22-80

Visa Services

Visa Services

NIV only for all of Kazakhstan

Almaty, Kazakhstan
(Branch Office)

97, Zholdasbekov Street, Samal-2
Almaty, 050059, Kazakhstan

Tel: 7 727 250-48-02

Fax: 7 727 250-48-84

Visa Services

All categories for all of Kazakhstan.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 232-5488 (202) 232-5845

New York, NY (646) 370-6331 (646) 370-6334

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Astana
Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave
No. 3
Astana 010010
Kazakhstan
Telephone
+(7) (7172) 70-21-00
Emergency
 (or 011-7-717-270-21-00 from the U.S.)
Fax
+(7) (7172) 70-22-80
Kazakhstan Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.