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US eases visa applications for Kazakhstanis

Consul in the US Consulate General in Kazakhstan ©Nikolay Kolesnikov Consul in the US Consulate General in Kazakhstan ©Nikolay Kolesnikov

Compared to other countries, Kazakhstanis are very rarely denied visas to the United States, Tengrinews reports citing U.S. Consul in Kazakhstan Ian Turner as saying.

"Kazakhstan has one of the highest levels of application approval. The level of denial in Kazakhstan is less than ten percent," Turner said.

One of the main reasons for denying visas to Kazakhstanis is their inability to prove "strong ties" with the country.

"If people can demonstrate that they have strong ties to their country, and they will come back after the trip, we will issue a visa. We allow people to reapply if they have additional information that they didn’t provide during the interview. In many cases, the Kazakhs are granted a visa to the United States even after the denial," said the representative of the United States.

Since August 2013, there is an option to renew a U.S. visa without an interviews. Kazakhstanis may renew a U.S. visa on the same conditions as their previous visa without having to visit the Embassy and have an interview. To do this, they only need to send the required documents.

In 2014, more than 4,000 citizens of Kazakhstan renewed their visas this way. Kazakhstanis obtaining visas this way were those who had obtained their previous visa within the previous four years on standard terms.

According to Turner, they are doing everything possible to make visiting the U.S. an easier and more pleasant experience for Kazakhstanis, since each of them is like an ambassador of Kazakhstan representing the country in the U.S.

“U.S. and Kazakhstan share a long time friendship and are strategic partners. Expansion of mutual contacts between people – it is one of the best ways to continue this relationship,” Turner said.

Kazakhstanis can also obtain visas to the U.S. from outside Kazakhstan. In 2014 there were more than a thousand citizens of Kazakhstan who used the option. He noted that this method of obtaining the permission to travel to the United States of America can be useful particularly for students, who are enrolled in preparatory courses in the UK and get admitted to US universities. They do not have to return to Kazakhstan to process the documents. The representative of the U.S. Consulate expects that in 2015 even more Kazakhstanis will be obtaining visas to the United States in this manner.

"Applications of Kazakhstan citizens are considered on an equal footing with nationals of other countries," Turner said.

Reporting by Alisher Akhmetov, writing by Dinara Urazova

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