Hot on the heels of the recent announced extension of the relaxed visa pilot scheme, introduced in July last year, it now looks as though visa- free travel to Kazakhstan could be introduced within the next 18 months.
Visa-free pilot scheme extended…
In July last year, the President of Kazakhstan announced the pilot, which removed visa requirements for UK (among other countries) citizens. That scheme was due to come to an end on 15 July this year, but was recently extended – evidence perhaps that the government’s objective of creating more favorable conditions for foreign business and investment is beginning to reap dividends.
The original scheme was aimed at those countries which had the highest record of investment in Kazakhstan or the best potential to invest in the future. Since July 2014, UK citizens with a valid passport have been able to enter, exit and travel through Kazakhstan on multiple occasions without a visa for up to 15 days at a time. Business travel requiring a longer length of stay have been open to permission upon application.
….and to be made permanent?
However, on July 9th, the First Deputy Foreign Minister confirmed that the country has plans to bring in visa-free travel for OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries from the beginning of 2017. In addition to the 34 OECD countries, (which include Britain) Malaysia and Singapore are also included in the new scheme.
This makes it a great time for potential exporters to the Kazakhstan to seize upon improved export conditions and the vast array of export opportunities the oil/gas and construction industries have given rise to there. For those seasoned exporters looking to expand to new markets, it is also good news and makes business and recreational travel, which the Kazakh government have been working to promote, a much easier proposition.
So could your business become Kazakhstan’s next big export success story?
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