Kazakhstan, also spelled Kazakstan, officially Republic of Kazakhstan, Kazakh Qazaqstan Respublikasï, country of Central Asia. It is bounded on the northwest and north by Russia, on the east by China, and on the south by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea, and Turkmenistan; the Caspian Sea bounds Kazakhstan to the southwest. Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia and the ninth largest in the world. Between its most distant points, Kazakhstan measures about 1,820 miles (2,930 kilometres) east to west and 960 miles north to south. While Kazakhstan was not considered by authorities in the former Soviet Union to be a part of Central Asia, it does have physical and cultural geographic characteristics similar to those of the other Central Asian countries. The capital is Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana, Aqmola, and Tselinograd), in the north-central part of the country. Kazakhstan, formerly a constituent (union) republic of the U.S.S.R., declared independence on December 16, 1991.
Kazakhstan’s great mineral resources and arable lands have long aroused the envy of outsiders, and the resulting exploitation has generated environmental and political problems. The forced settlement of the nomadic Kazakhs in the Soviet period, combined with large-scale Slavic in-migration, strikingly altered the Kazakh way of life and led to considerable settlement and urbanization in Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs’ traditional customs uneasily coexist alongside incursions of the modern world.
Kazakhs speak a Turkic language of the Northwest or Kipchak (Qipchaq) group. Russian, an official language, functions widely alongside Kazakh, which is the state language. Russian is the most widely understood language in the country.
Moving to Kazakhstan
Welcome to our page on moving to Kazakhstan. This page is a work in progress, but we will try our best to breakdown the steps to help you successfully transition into our space in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan.
The first step in this process is to submit an application for Freedom Nation Citizenship. If approved, a citizen liaison from Freedom Nation will contact you for an interview. This interview will help determine if moving to Kazakhstan is the right decision for you. Once complete, the steps outlined on this page will help you navigate the rest of the process.
Prior to the pandemic, American citizens were able to get a visa upon arrival to Kazakhstan. Now, the process has become more difficult. Here is the process step by step:
- Apply for entrance into the country through Freedom Nation – $50: Freedom Nation staff will prepare your documents and submit them to the Covid-19 Board in Kazakhstan for approval. Approx. time 2-4 weeks
- Covid-19 Board Approval: Once approved, the letter from the Covid-19 Board will be sent to you by email.
- Get your Kazakhstan Visa – $160: This letter must be taken by you to the to the Kazakhstan Consulate or Embassy in your country. At the Kazakhstan Consulate or Embassy you will need to present a completed visa application and a passport sized photo for a business visa. The fee for this visa is $160. Processing the visa can take up to 5 business days.
- Book your flight: After collecting your visa, you will have 30 days to travel to Kazakhstan. Your destination is Nur Sultan. If you want to get a 5 year visa, you must arrive in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan at least two weeks before your 30 day visa expires. If you arrive late, for any reason, you will have to leave the country and repeat the process again.
- Dependents: If you are traveling with children and you want them to receive a five year visa, you must get all birth certificates an apostile before traveling to Kazakhstan. Without an apostile for the birth certificates you will be unable to receive a visa for your children.
- Welcome to Kazakhstan: Upon arrival to Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan you will be greeted by a Freedom Nation Citizen Liaison at the Nur Sultan International Airport. You will then be taken to your agreed upon accommodation.
Long Term Visa
To apply for the long term stay in Kazakhstan (5 years) you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Qualify for Freedom Nation sponsorship
- Be present, in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, with at least three weeks remaining on your current visa
- Pay $250 for yourself plus $250/dependent
- Complete a new visa application for yourself and all dependents
- For children under 18 you must submit birth certificates with valid apostile
- Prepare all documents and passports plus one passport-sized photo for each applicant. *All documents must be submitted two weeks prior to the expiration of your visa.
- Contact your Citizen Liaison once you have gathered all documentation.
Although WiFi is widely available in public spaces and in apartments, you will need access to internet outside of these places. We recommend you get Google Fi or international roaming services to maintain communication. You will be able to get a local SIM card, but this may take a few days to sort out.
Renting an Apartment or House
When you are ready to find your own place, begin your search for living space on Krisha.kz. The currency of Kazakhstan is called the Tenge. Currently, the Tenge is approximately $1 to 424 Tenge. Check the current exchange rate for an exact figure. Rental prices vary greatly according to location and access. A luxury apartment can range from $600 – $1,500 per month depending on the number of rooms and apartment size.
Freedom Nation provides services to help in finding suitable rental property. When using our service you need to be prepared to pay the first month’s rent and security deposit. You will correspond with your citizen liaison to help you find what you’re looking for.
Freedom Nation citizens in Kazakhstan buy groceries in bulk on a monthly basis. This helps us get the best wholesale prices on our food. You have the choice of whether or not to participate in the bulk buys. Generally speaking, supermarkets and small grocery stores are everywhere, so you can buy your own food, if you choose to do so.
Freedom Nation Concierge Service
Qosil Service Desk – This is your first stop for any questions or services needed. Services include:
- Monthly Bulk Food Buying
- Needs outside of food
- Apartment repairs
- Relocation services
- Advice on big purchases such as homes, land, cars, etc.
- Miscellaneous requests including recommendations for doctors, dentists etc.
E-Hauling (Taxis and Private Cars)
Maps and Navigation
Kaspi (obtained after visa which allows fast cashless payment of goods and services, and entry into specific places, such as malls which require the code to scan into that location)
How do I prepare myself and/or my family for the cold winters in Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan winters average −20 °C (−4.0 °F), so prepare yourself with a warm winter coat and some long johns.
Do I need a car in order to get around in Kazakhstan?
Buying a car is not necessary to get around in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan’s version of Uber is called Yandex. You can get around easily with e-hauling services.
What kind of heating systems are in place inside the living spaces?
Most homes are heated by radiators.
Are there activities for children to do during the colder months?
Yes, there activities in parks such as sledding. Most winter activities can be done in Kazakhstan during the winter as long as the weather on that day isn’t extremely cold.
What type of food do the people eat there?
Most types of food are available in the big cities. Traditional Kazakh food includes horse meat and noodles.
Are supermarkets, malls and grocery stores found in Kazakhstan?
The big cities in Kazakhstan have many malls and grocery stores of all sizes and levels.
Is daily life expensive?
Daily life is not expensive compared to Western countries. It is not unrealistic for a family of four to live a good life for under $2,000/month.
Can a single woman live safely alone in Kazakstan?
Yes, a single woman can feel safe in Kazakhstan. Kazakh culture is very protective and respectful of women.
How long is the visa process?
If what is intended here is the 5 year visa, then it takes a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of two weeks.
What type of job opportunities are found there in Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan is not the place for job hunting. You should come to this space with a business mind.
Can one practice Islam openly?
Should I learn Kazakh, Russian language or both?
Learn some Russian.