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.)
Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in Kazakhstan.
If you wish to apply for a permanent residency permit in Kazakhstan, prior to travel you should obtain a background check from law enforcement in the United States and have it authenticated by state authorities where the investigation was conducted.
Some HIV/AIDS-related entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Kazakhstan.
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: The most common crimes encountered by foreign visitors are purse snatching, pickpocketing, assaults, and robberies, although incidents are rare. Be vigilant and do not carry large sums of money on the street. Financial fraud, such as ATM skimming, is prevalent.
The police sometimes conduct identification checks in public areas. Police are not required to demonstrate probable cause to detain individuals. Upon request, you must produce either a passport or an Embassy or Consulate-certified copy of your passport.
Kazakhstani security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance. Hotel rooms and telephones may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched.
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 the 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 and when the incident happened.
Do not use unmarked taxis. 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.
The U.S. Mission in Kazakhstan is aware of isolated incidents when foreigners have been drugged, robbed, and physically assaulted at bars and nightclubs as well as in unmarked taxis.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 102 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (+7) 7172-70-21-00 or the U.S. Consulate at (+7) 7272-50-49-01. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to 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.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Faith-Based 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. Kazakhstan also imposes restrictions on the importation of religious literature.
You may be fined and deported from Kazakhstan for performing any religious work 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.
LGBTQI+ Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Kazakhstan; however, these events may be disrupted by local authorities or members of the public. Negative social attitudes towards LGBTQI+ persons are widespread, and local LGBTQI+ persons are sometimes subject to physical and verbal abuse, as well as unwanted attention from police. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Kazakhstan prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, and the law is enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure.
Women Travelers: Domestic violence is common and sexual assaults do occur, though there have not been recent reports of sexual assault committed against U.S. citizens. See our travel tips for women travelers.
Options for medical care are limited and well below U.S. standards. U.S. citizens often depart Kazakhstan for medical treatment, including many routine procedures. Some prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines are not widely available in Kazakhstan.
For emergency services in Kazakhstan 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.
Ambulance services are:
Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas. Doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with Kazakhstan’s National Center for Expertise to ensure the medication is legal in Kazakhstan.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further Health Information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
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.
Road Conditions and Safety: Roads in Kazakhstan are in poor repair, especially in rural areas. Signage and lighting on roadways are poor.
Traffic Laws: 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 in front of cars.
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 U.S. Mission highly discourages hailing unlicensed private vehicles on the street and negotiating a fee with the driver on the spot. Ridesharing applications are available.
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.
U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling for official duties on Kazakhstani airlines without prior approval, except for Air Astana and FlyArystan, due to safety concerns.