A visa is a formal stamp, normally placed in the traveler’s passport, granting permission to enter (and/or leave) the country. Technically, however, it does not provide a guarantee that the traveler will be allowed to enter the country – as that decision is delegated to the official at the immigration, or passport control, post at the point of entry. (In practice, it is very rare for entry to be denied … although we are aware of occasions where this has happened – mainly in other countries. For example: in one particular case, in 2004 in Turkmentistan, the refusal was based on the fact that the group had been in China at the time of the SARS outbreak).

There is much confusion over the question of visas … partly because the law and regulations are constantly changing.

In fact, Kyrgyzstan operates one of the most liberal visa regimes in the former Soviet Union – and probably the most liberal in Central Asia.

Visa Regimes

The law and regulations concerning visas change from time to time … and this has been the cause of much confusion. There is also considerable discussion within Kyrgyzstan about ways of simplifying the system even further. The current (2006) situation is as follows: Most visitors to the Kyrgyz Republic require a visa, however, there are three regimes which operate.

Tourist visas

Tourist visas are usually valid for one month only and can be extended for a second month, for example at the Central OVIR office in Bishkek, although – in effect consular…

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Transit visas

A Transit visa is valid for a single entry, usually for three days only – although maybe up to five days – and is issued on the basis of an…

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No of entries

A visa can be for a single entry, double entry (two entries – for example allowing a visit to a neighboring country such as Kazakhstan or China as part of…

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Visa Free Regime

Citizens of the following countries do not need visas: Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Georgia,   Japan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Malaysia (for “service” and tourist…

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Simpified Visa Regime

In 2002 arrangements were made so that the citizens of some 28 Western countries could obtain a visa, valid for up to one month, from Kyrgyz Consular Office, without an…

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The “Ordinary” Visa Regime

The "Ordinary" Visa Regime, (although it is not referred to as such in the legislation): Citizens of all other countries are required to have an invitation – and this involves…

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