11.01.2017


Kyrgyz Student Visas
- The ins and outs of Kyrgyzstan -  

All SRAS students must read and understand this information before departure to Kyrgyzstan. Your responsibilities surrounding your visa continue even after you have received it! Contact us if anything related to your visa is unclear. 

In This Guide:

  1. Do You Need a Visa?
  2. Know Your Visa
  3. Starting The Application Process
  4. Processing And Receiving Your Visa
  5. Registering Your Student Visa
  6. Extending/Converting Your Visa
  7. Traveling With Your Student Visa
  8. Document Checks

 

1. Do You Need a Visa?         Back to Top

Citizens of the US, Canada, and most EU countries, who visit Kyrgyzstan for 60 days or less, do not need a visa. Students participating in the Kyrgyz Summer Adventure or any other program lasting fewer than 60 days, will simply go to passport control upon arrival to Manas Airport in Kyrgyzstan. They will stamp your passport with that day's date, thus marking the start to your 60 days in the country. Students on the Central Asian Studies program may have travel segments to other Central Asian countries timed so that they are in Kyrgyzstan for less than 60 days before departing on a short trip out of the country. A SRAS representative will inform you as to whether you will need to obtain a visa upon entry and provide the necessary documents. Note that students on regular RSL or internship programs can join these trips (for additional cost), but students on these programs will need visas if they plan to stay continuously in the country for longer than 60 days. Make sure to discuss your options with an SRAS representative as you arrange your studies abroad with us.

If you do not fall into one of the visa-free categories described above, then …

 

2.  Know Your Visa         Back to Top

  • As an SRAS student, you will be issued a student visa on the basis of an invitation from a Kyrgyz educational institution, valid for a period of study. By Kyrgyz law, you must be studying at that institution the entire time to keep the visa. Except for internships (unpaid), one may not legally work in Kyrgyzstan with a student visa.

 

3. Getting the Visa          Back to Top

  • If you do not have a passport, apply immediately. How?
  • If your passport expires sooner than six months after your intended departure date from Kyrgyzstan, you must renew immediately. How?
  • To begin the process of applying for a student visa through SRAS, login and apply for one of our programs.
  • SRAS, together with London School, will make sure that you get a "letter of invitation" - this is needed to process your visa at the airport.
    • Note that visas can only be received from consulates and at the airport. Visas are not available at train/road border crossings.
    • If your passport is issued by a government outside North America or Europe, you may need to process your visa at a local consulate. Contact SRAS for details if this applies to you.
  • Once at the airport in Kyrgyzstan, make sure you that apply for a business visa. You will do this at a window labled "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs" before the passport check booths. Note that if you check the "tourist/pleasure" option, your visa will be non-extendable and you will have to leave the country and return to obtain a new visa when the first expires. If your program is longer than one month, your visa will be extended after you arrive. London School will do this on your behalf - and in general they are tracking this for you, but it never hurts for you to check with them about it.
  • Processing at the airport is fairly straightforward. Make sure you have all the required materials:
    • Passport (original) with at least two free pages (opposing);
    • Visa application form (SRAS will get you this form in advance);
    • Invitation letter (issued before your departure from the states);
    • $70 processing fee - in cash, in the exact amount - this is very important! 
    • Currently, no passport-sized photos are needed.
  • Sometimes Kyrgyz visa requirements change and thus we may contact you for additional information if needed. In general, it is a good idea to check your login page on the SRAS site every few days to make sure everything is in order. 

 

4. Registering Your Student Visa         Back to Top

If you have entered on a visa (and not just an entry stamp), you need to be registered within three days of receiving the visa. The London School will do this on your behalf.

 

5. Extending/Converting Your Visa          Back to Top

If your program is longer than one month, your visa will be extended after you arrive. If you are an SRAS student, this is done for you by London School. For both the first and second extension the visa will be valid for only one month. If studies are longer than this, then the third visa extension can cover three months or more. You will need two color passport photos to extend the visa.

 

6. Traveling With Your Student Visa         Back to Top 

Each time you leave Kyrgyzstan and re-enter, you will need to apply for a new visa if you are staying for longer than 60 days. This means you'll need to get a new invitation letter from The London School before you leave. Please check with an SRAS consultant before you make any travel plans, so that we can brief you on any visa and registration concerns your plans might entail.

 

7. Document Checks - Know Your Rights In Kyrgyzstan!          Back to Top

  • While it is not nearly as common as in the large cities of Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg), Kyrgyz police can stop anyone at any time for any reason and ask to check documents. Generally they are targeting young people who look "suspicious."
  • While it is not a strict requirement to carry your documentation (passport) with you at all times, you should at least carry a copy of your passport/visa and your SRAS-issued emergency card.
  • Always keep your documentation in a safe place - never in your back pocket or in a jacket pocket - always in a front pants pocket (preferable) or your purse. 
  • Always carry a cell phone so that you can call the embassy and/or local program coordinator at any time in case of emergency. SRAS issues cell phones to students studying in Bishkek. 

 


Study in
Kyrgyzstan

Click to find study abroad opportunities in Central Asia!
The Library:
Central Asia

Click for more info on Central Asia - home of the Gabala radar station.
More Central
Asian Places

Click to find out more about places in Central Asia.

Find Out More!
 
Kygyz Politicos
Kyrgyz Phrase Book
The SRAS Russia Library
SRAS Travel Services
The SRAS Newsletter
Journal for Students
More Free Resources!

 

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