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The procedures, restrictions, prerequisites, etc of getting a visa for the same country can vary a lot depending on which embassy or consulate in which country you apply from. This is most certainly the case for Chinese visas.

Especially considering that The Stans/Central Asia are less well travelled, it's harder to find good information on them.

I'm considering travelling to either or both of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan from China since I don't need a visa for either country.

If I decide not to continue further but return to China I would have to get another Chinese visa. What do we know about the difficulties of getting such a visa between these two countries.


I'm an Australian citizen. I just received a one month extension to my double-entry visa. I've encountered major differences getting a Chinese visa just between Laos and Vietnam. I expect the northern neighbours not to be simpler.

  • Have you looked at chinese-embassy.info/asia/kgz.htm? I expect you are right it will not be quicker or easier than in Laos or Vietnam. – Colin McLarty Aug 14 '15 at 18:37
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    Also Vietnam had restrictions that Laos did not have (only single entry visas) but despite searching and asking I did not find them until I handed my application form over at the embassy in Saigon. I also know of vast differences between Iranian embassies in various locations so it's not just China. – hippietrail Aug 14 '15 at 18:51
  • Isn't this question the kind we covered under meta.travel.stackexchange.com/questions/3061/… ? This is a question that noone else will need the answer for or at least not soon enough that the answer relevant. Also, noone will be able to answer because, again, who would have experience with Chinese visas obtained in both Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan ?? – chx Sep 26 '15 at 11:24
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    @chx: You need to familiarize yourself with the Stack Exchange concept of "the long tail". Please check the blog, podcasts, and Stack Exchange meta. – hippietrail Sep 26 '15 at 14:09
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    @chx: As someone who has traveled the "stans" I can tell you that hostels and guesthouses in that part of the world are full of people who (1)have travel plans in both Kyrg. and Kaz., and (2)who intend to enter China. Also, you don't need a person with both Kyrg. and Kaz. Chinese visa experience: if one person posts about the Kyrgyz experience and another posts about Kazakh experience, it may be enough to draw conclusions. Btw, I traveled Kaz.->Uzb.->Kyrg.->China but got my China visa in a totally different part of the world, still curious about this answer. My guess would be Kaz. is easier. – Eugene O Oct 1 '15 at 4:59
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+100

In addition to what you say, the procedures for Chinese visa are also quite volatile over time, so be sure to check the sources for updates and try your luck.

The best info I found is on the excellent Caravanistan site for China-visa. There you find a section with the latest updates on getting visa on the road from not only Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan but also Usbekistan, Tajikistan and pretty much every other country around that part of the planet. For Almaty (Kazakhstan) there is also a forum where you can read and post the latest updates and here for Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). Make sure to read up to the last page.

In the Almaty forum you find the following entry from May 2016

From Bishkek and Almaty, Chinese visa sounds tricky. It seems since februry [sic!] 2016 rules have changed again.

On the next page in the same forum there is the report as of May 2016 from two Frenchies suggesting that it is possible to get "business" visa from an agent in Bishkek. Cost at least 150$ for the "invitation letter" and time required unclear from the post. (You then convert the business visa to something else once in China as described on Caravanistan, the point is to get in. Details for the agent in the forum). As it appears the way they issue the visa you do have to fly, i.e. no overland (if you already have a visa from home or elsewhere the land borders are open, unlike some travel agents may tell you, see top of the caravanistan page).

Having only seen the stans from 30k+ feet above the ground I can not do a comparison but summarize what is said in the sources. If you actually want to travel around there, make sure you to check them yourself and have a backup-plan or two at hand. As of today it seems defs easier to get the visa from home if possible.

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