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Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry mulling to simplify Schengen visa procedures

23 апреля 2012, 15:44
Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry. Photo by Vladimir Dmitriyev©
Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry. Photo by Vladimir Dmitriyev©
Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry is working on simplifying the procedure of obtaining Schengen visas for Kazakhstan citizens, Tengrinews.kz reports citing Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov.

“We are actively working and know very well that there is a big problem with getting Schengen visas. Of course we will resolve this issue. I have raised this issue several times in the meetings with the supreme commissioner of international affairs. The negotiations group is working and we hope to reach an agreement" with better trems, Kazykhanov said answering questions of the Majilis (lower chamber of the Parliament) deputies inquiring about simplification of visa regimes with other countries.

He said that 67 Kazakhstan consular services are currently working in 58 countries.

“In 20 years of independence we have managed to sign agreements with foreign countries on elimination of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports, i.e. they can enter 43 countries without visas. Holders of official passports can enter 34 countries visa-free. (An official passport is issued to a person who travels internationally on state business.) As for the holders of national or general passports, they can enter 15 countries without visas, but this is not the limit. We are currently working to expand the geography and open new consulates. You know that the most important is to protect the interests of Kazakhstan citizens in the near abroad, that’s why we have been paying much attention to Osh, Brest, Kazan and other close cities,” the Minister said.

He also noted that looking to attract more investments, Kazakhstan is currently planning to simplify visa regime for several countries and the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, in particular.

By Renat Tashkinbayev

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