Travel to Kazakhstan has just gotten much easier for many as the country has introduced a permanent visa-free scheme. Passport-holders from 45 different countries are now allowed to enter the Central Asian nation without obtaining a visa beforehand.
Previously, Kazakhstan had trialled a visa-free scheme in 2014 for visitors from ten countries. The pilot scheme was seen as a success and extended to 19 countries in 2015, with the intention of further extending the scheme over the subsequent years.
Starting 1 January, 2017, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry officially lifted visa requirements for nationals of 45 countries, including the European Union and OECD member states, the US, UAE, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, among others. Travellers from eligible states will be able to visit Kazakhstan for up to 30 days without obtaining a visa before arrival.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said, “The policy is designed to promote an even more favorable investment climate in Kazakhstan and develop the country’s tourism potential.” Notably, Kazakhstan is hosting several major international events in 2017, including the Winter Universiade in Almaty from 29 January to 8 February and Expo 2017 in the country’s capital city, Astana from 10 June to 10 September.