Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Kazakhstan International Travel Information
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
*Note that the City of Astana changed its name to Nur-Sultan in March 2019.*
U.S. Consulate General Almaty
Zholdasbekov Street 97
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
Read the Department of State's Fact Sheet on Kazakhstan for additional information on U.S.- Kazakhstan relations.
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.
Foreigners are required to carry a valid passport while in Kazakhstan. U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to have a certified copy of their U.S. passport made at the Consular Section at the Embassy in Nur-Sultan or at the Consulate 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 Nur-Sultan 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.
The most common crimes encountered by foreign visitors 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 to stop, question, or detain individuals. Upon request, you must produce either a passport or an Embassy or Consulate-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.
Do not use unmarked taxis. Passengers have been the victims of robbery and assault. There have been reports of passengers of unmarked taxis being found unconscious after accepting laced cigarettes. 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 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 Embassy or Consulate. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. United States law enforcement agencies do not have jurisdiction for investigating crimes against U.S. citizens that occur in Kazakhstan.
To report a crime locally, call 102 for police. You can ask to speak with an English-speaking operator.
The U.S. Embassy can:
More info: See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or Consulate for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Arrest: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the Embassy or Consulate immediately. Your passport does not protect you from arrest or prosecution. See our webpage for further information.
Document Authentications: The majority of local authorities in Kazakhstan, including public notaries, do not recognize foreign documents without an apostille (authentication) stamp. The Embassy and the Consulate 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 the Almaty region as 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: Please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Visitors to Kazakhstan engaging in missionary work or other religious activities must register with the Local Executive Authority office (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, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) events in Kazakhstan. Negative social attitudes towards LGBTI persons are widespread, and local LGBTI persons are sometimes subject to physical and verbal abuse, as well as unwanted attention from police. See our LGBTI travel information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Many buildings, public walkways, and public transportation remain inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
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.
See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Medical Care: Options are limited and well below U.S. standards. U.S. citizens often depart Kazakhstan for medical treatment, including many routine procedures. Although we 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:
Road Conditions and Safety: Roads in Kazakhstan are in poor repair, especially in rural areas. Signage and lighting on roadways is poor.
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, previously identified serious and persistent lapses in the safety oversight of commercial air service on some Kazakhstan-registered airlines. As a result, without prior approval, 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.