Getting a Kyrgyzstan Visa on Arrival – Three Things You Should Know

Did you know that you can receive a Kyrgyzstan visa on arrival at the Manas International Airport in Bishkek? This is true for Americans, Canadians, British and more when flying into the country. Since Kyrgyzstan embassies around the world are few and far between, instead of dealing with dodgy mail service or travel to a far away location to apply in person, many choose to just apply once in the airport and on Kyrgyz land. To help out with the Kyrgyzstan visa on arrival, here are three things you should know.

1. The visa you receive is a tourist visa

A tourist visa that is valid for 30 days of travel can easily be obtained at the airport on arrival. Thirty days is a sufficient amount of time to explore the country, from its old cities to its gorgeous mountains. Even if your main purpose for visiting is not for tourism, but maybe to study, it is usually possible to get the tourist visa and then have the school or other institution assist in a study visa once there.

2. You do not need an LOI for tourist visas

A letter of invitation (LOI) is often like the red light for travelers and applying for visas. When it comes to this extra step, a lot of people would prefer to just skip the country and go somewhere else. Luckily, the Kyrgyzstan 30 day tourist visa on arrival does not require a letter of invitation for certain countries, such as the US, UK and Canada! It is important to note that if you are planning to apply for a visa that is longer than 30 days, then you will need a LOI from a supporting Kyrgyzstan institution.

3. You do need to pay in dollars

Even though you are in Kyrgyzstan, and Kyrgyzstan uses the som as its currency, the visa on arrival will require payment in dollars. It always seems interesting to me that countries where it is often quite difficult to acquire dollars require certain payment to be made in the American currency. So, in order to avoid visa difficulties at the Manas International Airport, be prepared and stock up on a stack of bills before heading in.

To reiterate, applying for a Kyrgyzstan visa is easily achievable on arrival at the Bishkek airport for travelers from various countries. The key to making the application process for a Kyrgyzstan visa as easy as possible is to simply be prepared. In addition to this, it is also important to keep these three helpful points in mind.

Brooke spent 4 months in 2008 living in Kyrgyzstan while studying Russian. To help others with visas, she also put together these articles on Kyrgyzstan visa requirements and the Kyrgyzstan visa application.