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Kazakhstan expands visa-free regime to 19 countries until 2017's end

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Photo courtesy of infopass.ru. Photo courtesy of infopass.ru.

Starting from July 16 of this year, Kazakhstan introduces a visa-free regime for 19 countries, Tengrinews reports citing the press office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

"According to the decree of the Government of Kazakhstan as of June 26, 2015, citizens of Australia, Hungary, Italy, Monaco, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Finland, France, Switzerland and Japan are exempted from visa requirements for a stay of up to 15 days from the moment of crossing the state border of Kazakhstan during the period from July 16, 2015 until December 31, 2017," the press office said.

Citizens of these countries may repeatedly enter Kazakhstan but each time their stay may not exceed 15 days, if they need to stay longer they either have to reenter the country or need to get a visa. According to the press office of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, the arriving foreign nationals will be registered at Kazakhstan's border crossing points when entering the country.

Earlier in June, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev declared that Kazakhstan would grant visa-free entrance to citizens of 10 more countries, along with those that enjoyed visa-free travel to Kazakhstan from July 15, 2014 until July 15 of this year within the frameworks of the pilot project launched by Kazakhstan last year.

By introducing the visa-free regime, Kazakhstan pursues several goals: it aims to strengthen the bilateral ties with these countries and to improve the investment climate, which has long been among country's key priorities. 

Moreover, by extending the visa-free regime until the end of 2017, Kazakhstan hopes to make travel to Kazakhstan much easier for tourists, thereby increasing the inflow of foreign visitors, especially in 2017, when Kazakhstan is hosting two major international events - Winter Universiade in Almaty and EXPO-2017 in Astana. 

By Assel Satubaldina

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