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Travel Insurance Kazakhstan


Kazakhstan Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Republic of Kazakhstan
Capital City: Astana
Language Spoken: Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95% (2001 est.)

Kazakhstan Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

48 00 N, 68 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m highest point: Khan Tangiri Shyngy (Pik Khan-Tengri) 6,995 m

Land boundaries

total: 12,012 km border countries: China 1,533 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,051 km, Russia 6,846 km, Turkmenistan 379 km, Uzbekistan 2,203 km

Natural hazards

earthquakes in the south, mudslides around Almaty

Natural resources

major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium

Land use

arable land: 8.28% permanent crops: 0.05% other: 91.67% (2005)

Environmental current issues

radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers which flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices


Continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. Although Kazakhstan has some of the highest peaks in the CIS, the climate is fairly dry. The hottest month is July (August in mountain regions).

Time difference

time difference: UTC+6 note: Kazakhstan is divided into three time zones


15,233,244 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 23% (male 1,792,685/female 1,717,294) 15-64 years: 68.8% (male 5,122,027/female 5,357,819) 65 years and over: 8.2% (male 438,541/female 804,878) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 28.8 years male: 27.2 years female: 30.5 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

0.33% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

16 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

9.42 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

-3.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.55 male(s)/female total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 66.89 years male: 61.56 years female: 72.52 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.89 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Formal dress is often required for business meetings, however Kazakhs are very hospitable. When greeting a guest the host gives him both hands. When addressing a guest or elder, a Kazakh may address him with a shortened form of the guest's or elder's name and the suffix 'ke'. Office hours are generally 0900-1800 Monday to Friday


Travelers in Kazakhstan should exercise the same precautions concerning personal safety and protection of valuables as they would in any major city. The most common crimes foreign travelers encounter are purse snatching, pickpocketing, assaults, and robberies. Pickpocketing or robberies occur most frequently in the vicinity of Western hotels, transportation sites, and at open-air markets, including the central open-air market in Almaty (known locally as the "green market"). Avoid carrying large sums of money on the street. There have also been multiple reports of burglaries in Almaty residences occupied by expatriates. Though incidents of violent crime against foreigners are not frequent, over the past year there have been reports by expatriates and visitors of violent, late-night muggings. After dark, travel in groups or pairs to avoid such opportunistic attacks. Stay in well-lit, populated areas, and leave restaurants or bars if fights break out. The "lost wallet" scam continues to be common in Kazakhstan. One version of this swindle involves the discovery of a lost wallet in your presence. A first person will discover the wallet and offer to divide its contents with you. A second person will then appear, claim to be the owner of the wallet, and demand compensation for the missing money. A second version involves a person looking for a lost wallet who will ask you if you have seen it. The person asks you to reveal the contents of your pockets, wallet, or bag to prove that you do not have the missing wallet. The wallet seeker will then surreptitiously remove your valuables. When initially approached by the finder or seeker of the lost wallet, simply walk away. Never hand over your wallet or belongings to someone who approaches you on the street. The perpetrators will eventually go looking for another target. Another swindle has occurred at the Almaty International Airport. Men posing as "meet and greet" airport facilitators lure foreigners into cars purportedly to take them to their hotels. However, the driver takes the passengers to a secluded destination and then demands about $100 for gas to take the foreigner back to the city. Make prior arrangements with their contacts in Almaty for concrete identification upon arrival at the airport. Do not leave with anyone who does not show pre-arranged identification, even if the person is holding a sign with the your name.


There are 13 tourist hotels in Kazakhstan. Most towns in Kazakhstan have a limited supply of reasonable accommodation. All Intourist hotels demand hard currency from foreigners, and guarantee a basic level of comfort, although Western standards should not be expected.


The country code is 7. The area code for Almaty is 327. International calls can be made at a reduced rate from 2000-0800 local time. International calls should be made from a telephone office; these are usually attached to post offices. Hotel Dostyk in Almaty has IDD by satellite for residents only. Post office hours: 0900-1800 Monday to Friday. Visitors can also use post offices located within major Intourist hotels.


is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round 2-pin continental plugs are standard. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin continental plugs are standard.

Plug Types


Food And Dining

Kazakh dishes include kazi, chuzhuk, suret and besbarmak (made from horse meat or mutton). Shashlyk (skewered chunks of mutton barbecued over charcoal) and lepeshka (round unleavened bread) are often sold on street corners and make an appetizing meal. Plov is made up of scraps of mutton, shredded yellow turnip and rice, and is a staple dish in all the Central Asian republics. Other mutton dishes such as laghman and beshbermak include long thick noodles garnished with a spicy meat sauce. Manty (boiled noodle sacks of meat and vegetables), samsa (samosas) and chiburekki (deep-fried dough cakes) are all popular as snacks. Almaty is renowned for its apples ? indeed the city was named after them. Kazakh tea or chai is very popular and there are national cafes called Chai-Khana (tea-rooms) where visitors may sip this Kazakh specialty. It is drunk very strong with cream. Beer, vodka, brandy and sparkling wines are available in many restaurants. The national specialty is kumis, fermented mare?s milk. Cafes where this can be ordered are called Kumis-Khana. Refusing it when offered may cause offence. In the steppe and desert regions where camels are bred, the camel?s milk, called shubat, is offered to guests.
This is not customary at restaurants and cafes, but is increasingly common in international hotels. A service charge is included in hotel and restaurant bills. There is also a fixed charge in taxi and railway transport.
There are a number of nightclubs and casinos in Almaty and several other cities. Many restaurants play music after 2000. Kazakhstan?s most reknowned concert halls and theaters are all located in Almaty.

Entry departure requirements

Visa immigration information


Passport valid for at least six months required by all.


Required by all except the following:
(a) nationals of CIS holding passports, and holders of valid passports issued by the former Soviet Union and registered in the CIS (nationals of Ukraine do not require a visa for stays of up to three months; nationals of Turkmenistan always require a visa);
(b) nationals of Turkey for stays of up to one month.


Nationals of the following countries may apply for a single-entry tourist visa without obtaining an invitation letter validated by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Interior: nationals of countries referred to in the chart above (except nationals of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia) and nationals of Iceland, Korea (rep), Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland, who must instead provide a letter of introduction explaining the purpose of the visit.

Types of visa and cost

Tourist: US$40 (single-entry); US$57 (double-entry). Business and Private: US$57 (single-entry); US$74 (double-entry); US$125 (triple-entry); US$228 (multiple-entry, up to one year); US$452 (multiple-entry, up to two years). Transit: US$22


Tourist: one month (single-entry); two months (double-entry). Business and Private: three months (single-, double- and triple-entry); one or two years (multiple-entry). Transit: five days

Application to

The Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy), see General Info section.

Application requirements

(a) Completed application form. (b) Valid passport with one blank page to affix visa. (c) One recent passport-size photo. (d) Letter of invitation with reference number, validated by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Interior (not required by certain nationals - see note above). (e) Fee, payable by personal cheque or postal order (not cash). (f) Self-addressed, stamped registered envelope, if applying by post. Business: (a)-(f) and, (g) Letter of invitation from host organization in Kazakhstan with registration number approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kazakhstan. (h) Letter from own business company with details of the purpose of the visit and name and address of partner organization. Transit: (a)-(f) and, (g) Valid visa for country of final destination. (h) Air or railway ticket to third country.


(a) All nationals staying longer than five days must register with an OVIR office and pay a registration charge. Failure to do so will result in penalties on departure.

Working days required

One day.

Temporary Residence

Enquire at Embassy.

HIV entry requirements

An HIV test certificate must be presented for anyone staying for more than 1 month, within 10 days of arrival

Departure tax



Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the UK

125 Pall Mall, London Sw1Y 5EA
(Previously 33 Thurloe Square, London SW7 2SD, UK)
Tel: (020) 7581 4646 (ext 207/8 for visa section) or (09065) 508 978 (recorded visa information; calls cost ?1 per minute).
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1830; Mon-Fri 0900-1200 (consular section, closed Wednesdays except for nationals of Kazakhstan).

Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the USA

1401 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
Tel: (202) 232 5488.
Most visits to Kazakhstan are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office


US Department of State



Kazakh Tenge (KZT) = 100 tiyn. Notes are in denominations of KZT10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 3 and 1. Coins are in denominations of KZT100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 tiyn.

Currency restrictions

The import and export of local currency and import of foreign currency is unlimited provided declared on arrival. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported. Special bank permission is required for all amounts exceeding this.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1800. Banks close for lunch 1300-1400. All banks are closed Sat-Sun.

Currency exchange

The national currency, the Tenge, may only be obtained within Kazakhstan. Conversion of the Tenge back into hard currency may prove difficult. Foreign currency should only be exchanged at official bureaux and all transactions must be recorded on the currency declaration form that is issued on arrival. It is wise to retain all exchange receipts, although they are seldom inspected. Unless traveling with a licensed tourist company (in which case, accommodation, transport and meals are paid before departure), money should be brought in US Dollars cash and exchanged when necessary.

Credit cards

Major European and international credit cards, including Diners Club and Visa, are accepted in the larger hotels in Almaty and in major shops and restaurants. Facilities exist for credit card cash withdrawals in Kazakhstan.

Travellers cheques

To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Akmola region(8)316+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Aktubinsk region(8)313+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Almaty region(8)328+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Arkalyk(8)330+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Astana city(8)317+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Atyrau region(8)312+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Baykonur(8)336+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Karagandy region(8)321+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Kostanay region(8)314+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Kyzylorda region(8)324+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Mangistau region(8)329+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Pavlodar region(8)318+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Petropavlovsk(8)315+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Shymkent(8)325+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Taraz(8)326+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Uralsk(8)311+ 7 digit subscriber nr
Ust-Kamenogorsk(8)323+ 7 digit subscriber nr
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Avoid dental treatment in Kazakhstan as the standards of care are low and hygiene cannot be guaranteed.

Medication Availability

Reliable supplies of medication are not easily available in Kazakhstan

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in Kazakhstan

Medical facilities

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek maintains a list of foreign and local physicians who have agreed to give medical assistance to Expatriates. Basic medical supplies, including disposable needles, anesthetics, and antibiotics, are in short supply in the Kyrzgyz Republic. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood or rare meat. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Only pasteurized dairy products should be consumed.

Specific concerns

CDC reports a severe shortage of vaccines to combat diseases such as measles, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis - along with increased incidence of those diseases. Diphtheria occurs. Cases predominantly occur in urban areas, but increasing numbers have been reported in rural areas. Shortages of vaccine, antibiotics and diphtheria antitoxin are contributing to the problem. While proof of diphtheria immunity is not required for travel, travelers to areas where diphtheria is occurring should be up-to-date for diphtheria immunization. AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. Hikers should take protective measures against ticks.


Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: Encephalitis (tick-borne) - occurs Hemorrhagic fever - occurs Lyme disease - occurs Typhus (tick-borne) - occurs Food-borne and water-borne illness: diseases such as the diarrheal diseases (including cholera) and viral hepatitis are common. Brucellosis - occurs Trichinosis - common Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although cases have rarely been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends from November to April. Rabies - occurs (especially among stray dogs in urban areas and among foxes in rural areas)

Entry requirements

AIDS: According to the Department of State, testing is required for visitors staying longer than 3 months. A certificate indicating a negative HIV test conducted not more than 1 month earlier must be presented when registering with the Office of Visas and Registration. Persons not tested prior to arrival may be tested at the Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS at 7 Talgarskaya Street, Almaty. Contact Kazakhstan's embassy for details. Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers coming from infected areas.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

AEA International ClinicAtyrau Abaya Street 2a
Almaty First Aid HospitalAlmaty 93 Tole Bi Street 480083
AmbulancAksai 2 418440 Burlinski Region Druzhbi Narodov 2 Street P. O. Box 89
Central Clinic hospital of the medical center of the administration of the President of the RepublicAlmaty 139, Panfilov street 480091
Emergency First Aid Hospital490037 Semipalatinsk Zhamakaev Street 100
International SOS Clinic / SOS AlmatyAlmaty 11, Luganko Street 480051
International SOS Clinic AtyrauAtyrau 465050 River Palace Hotel, Ground floor level 55 Aiteke Bi Street
Kazak Scientific Research InstituteAlmaty 480090 Al-Farabi Avenue 146 of Paediatrics and Children's Surgery
Oblast Children's Hospital490037 Semipalatinsk Sechenov Street 1a
Presidential Medical CenterAstana 47300 53a, Moskovskaya street


Press: There are 70 newspapers and 50 magazines in German, Kazakh, Korean, Russian and Uygur published in the country. The most popular dailies are Ekspress K, Kazakhstanskaya Pravda and Yegemen Kazakhstan.
Radio: BBC World Service (website: and Voice of America (website: can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.