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Kazakhstan lowers visa barriers ahead of EXPO 2017 in Astana

Kazakhstan lowers visa barriers ahead of EXPO 2017 in Astana

Kazakhstan has confirmed it will establish a visa-free regime for citizens of ten countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and France.

Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev made the announcement during a speech to the Foreign Investors’ Council at the Borovoye Lake resort.

The visa-free regime will be in force between July 15th, 2014 and July 15th, 2015 and will also see citizens of the Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Korea and Japan offered ease of access.

These are the countries that have either invested the most in Kazakhstan or have the potential investment planned that is the most considerable.

During this one-year period, citizens of these ten countries holding valid diplomatic, official and national passports can enter, exit and transit through the territory of Kazakhstan on multiple occasions without a visa for up to 15 calendar days at a time from the moment of crossing the state border.

Those wishing to stay longer will have to obtain a business visa from the ministry of internal affairs or an investor visa from the ministry of foreign affairs.

The one year deadline is being seen as a trial period, with an extension possible.

“This is a special step by our country that aims to facilitate cooperation with other countries attract investment and create favourable conditions for international travel on the eve of the international specialised exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana,” said first deputy minister of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan Rapil Zhoshybayev.

Though Kazakhstan unilaterally eased visa restrictions for these countries, Kazakhstan will continue to negotiate with those and other countries to ease visa requirements for citizens of Kazakhstan.