I am an Indian citizen and planning to visit Russia on a tourist visa for about 15 days. I would be flying on Air Astana both on the onward and return journey.

My route is New Delhi - Astana - Omsk and my return journey will be Omsk - Astana - Almaty - New Delhi.

My question is: Do I need a transit visa for Kazakhstan? I do not want to leave the airports in Astana and Almaty and I will be inside them. The doubt I have is because the sector between Astana and Almaty will be considered a domestic sector and I am not sure if these two airports have a transfer / transit facility or zone between the international and domestic areas in the airports.

I did call Air Astana's New Delhi office and they said that a transit visa is required. Again I emailed them, and this time they said for any visa related query to contact the Kazakh Embassy in New Delhi. I called the Kazakh Embassy and all the gentleman kept saying was "Yes Yes Yes". Not sure if he understood what I was asking. I am even not sure if anyone in Air Astana understood me as well. I guess everyone thinks that I want to step outside the airport and see around. The fact is I am not interested. I just feel that paying US$ 90 for a transit visa is too expensive (being the fact that I am not even stepping outside the airport and just transiting the country for a mere 12 hours).

Can anyone help me? Has anyone traveled this route recently or have any answers to my doubts? I would be very appreciative.


2 Answers 2


For your return journey though it looks like you will need a visa as you will be getting on a domestic flight within Kazakstan!

The following information is from Air Astana website.

You will not need a transit visa for your outbound trip if you are transferring in the same terminal or a to a different terminal if there is a transfer zone

Transit visas are not required for those transiting through the same terminal, but necessary for those transferring to another terminal if no transfer zone is provided. Transit visas are issued upon provision of a visa valid to enter the country of destination and relevant tickets with confirmation of departure date from the transfer point on the territory of Kazakhstan, no later than 5 days from the moment of arrival to the port or station in Kazakhstan.

However if you do change terminals and there is no transfer zone you will need a transit visa as you do not fall into a category below it seems. In bold I have highlight that citizens not of the countries listed need a visa.

The attention of visitors to Kazakhstan is drawn to the following visa requirements:

Citizens of Georgia**, Ukraine**, Argentina*, Brazil*, Serbia*, Turkey*, Mongolia**, Ecuador* and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), namely Azerbaijan*, Armenia**, Belarus**, Kyrgyzstan**, Moldovia**, Russia**, Tajikistan*, and Uzbekistan* do not need an entry visa to Kazakhstan.

*Entry without a visa is restricted to 30 days.

**Entry without a visa is restricted to 90 days.

Starting from 1 January 2017 the visa free regime was expanded for the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA. The citizens of the above mentioned countries may enter the territory of the country with all types of valid passports for a stay for up to 30 days. The citizens of Hong Kong SAR can enter Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 14 days.

All other foreign citizens will need to obtain an entry visa to Kazakhstan.

I would advise you to contact Air Astana or check your booking and see if you will need to change terminal, and if you do check if there is a transfer zone between the terminals.


For the return trip, you will need a visa, because to get to the domestic flight you must clear immigration and enter Kazakhstan at Astana, and then exit at Almaty.

For the outbound, however, no visa is needed if the trip is in a single booking or you only have hand luggage.

So if it's in a single booking or you only have hand luggage, get a single-entry transit visa, otherwise get a double-entry transit visa

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