Kyrgyzstan is one of the countries I am yet to discover which is the reason I’m already doing my research for my trip there this June 2019 -- its Celestial Mountains, towering valleys, huge and mirror-like lakes, and of course, its rich and diverse culture. What makes this country even more interesting is it’s almost untouched by the effects of mass tourism-- you’ll still find affordable hostels, affordable restaurants, and nature which is almost unspoiled by men, if not totally unspoiled.
Every year, I go on a 1-month solo backpacking trip and for 2019, my target is to go around Central Asia. If time permits, I hope Kyrgyzstan will be a part of this journey too! As early as now, I’m already planning my itinerary and something that’s quite challenging for me (especially now that we live in a sailboat) are the visas applications. I have a Philippines Passport and here’s what I found out about applying for a Kyrgyzstan Tourist Visa-- Philippines Passport holders are eligible to apply for an e-visa! YAY!!
TWO WAYS ON HOW TO APPLY FOR A KYRGYZSTAN TOURIST VISA FOR PHILIPPINES PASSPORT HOLDERS
Since the Philippines is listed as one of the countries under the Facilitated Visa Regime, there are two ways on how we can apply for a visa:
You can apply for a Visa on Arrival at Manas Airport in Bishkek; or
Apply for an E-visa prior to your trip which I will discuss below.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE VISA ON ARRIVAL AND THE E-VISA
The main difference is that the Visa on Arrival is only available at Manas Airport in Bishkek while the E-Visa can be used for entry at Manas International Airport,Osh Airport or through land crossings with China (at Irkeshtam and Torugart), Kazakhstan (at Ak-jol, Ak-Tilek, Chaldybar, Chon-Kapka), Tajikistan (at Bor-Dobo, Kulundu, Kyzyl-Bel) and Uzbekistan (at Dostuk).
REQUIREMENTS FOR A KYRGYZSTAN TOURIST E-VISA
You won’t believe this. The only thing you need for it are: 1) Scanned ID Photo; 2) Scanned Passport Biodata Page; and 3) A Debit/Credit Card to make the necessary payment. YAY!!
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO APPLY FOR A TOURIST E-VISA FOR KYRGYZSTAN
STEP 1: Go to the E-visa Portal and fill in the required fields. Personal details such as your name and birthday as well your Passport Details will be first asked of you.
STEP 2: A confirmation link will then be sent to your email. If you can’t find it in your inbox, check your spam folder. If there’s none, then maybe your passport is about to expire. In that case, you have to renew your passport and try applying again with the new one.
STEP 3: Fill in the Additional Details such as your Address, Telephone number, Your Itinerary, Address in Kyrgyzstan, Your Occupation and Your Work Address, Degree of Education, Places You’re Going to Visit in Kyrgyzstan, Planned Travel Dates, etc.
STEP 4: Upload a Digital Photo and the Biodata Page of your passport. You may also attach other documents such as Bank Certificate, Employment Certificate, etc. but that is not mandatory.
STEP 5: Once done, they will now summarize everything you have answered. Check if everything is correct as you will be asked to confirm it and you cannot change anything after that.
STEP 6: Pay the Visa Fee via Visa, Mastercard, Visa Electron, Maestro, and Cirrus debit or credit cards.
STEP 7: Wait for the results. Once approved, your e-visa will be sent to your email! :)
FAQS ABOUT THE KYRGYZSTAN TOURIST E-VISA APPLICATION
1) What are types of visas being issued to tourists?
They have a Single Entry and Double Entry Visas.
2) How much is the visa fee?
Single Entry valid for 30 Days- 41.20 USD
Single Entry valid for 90 Days- 51.50 USD
Double Entry valid for 30 Days- 66.95 USD
3) Who can apply for the Tourist Visa?
Anyone wishing to visit the Kyrgyz Republic for the sole purpose of tourism.
4) I can’t upload my digital photo! Help!
It’s probably because the size of your file does not meet to requirements. Minimum size should be 30 kb and maximum size should be 4MB.
5) What file type is required?
6) Is the visa fee fixed?
No. It is actually paid in the local currency so it is subject to changes.
7) Is there any way that I am exempted to pay the Visa Fee?
Visa Fees are waived in the following cases:
An existence of agreement between the Kyrgyz Republic and your country on mutual renunciation of consular fees
Existence of agreement between Kyrgyz Republic and an International Organization’s representation on renunciation of consular fees
On registration of visas to foreign citizens and stateless persons who are ethnic Kyrgyz (only in case of presenting respective documents, confirming ethnicity)
On registration of entry of officials of state, governmental and parliamentary delegations of foreign states
On registration of entry of foreign citizens into Kyrgyzstan for the provision of economic, humanitarian and other assistance (only in the case of presenting respective documents: contracts, statutes, etc.)
On registration of visas to sports delegations members and their accompanying persons, officials of international sports organizations, visiting the Kyrgyz Republic to attend in the large-scale international mass sports competitions for the period of the event according to the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic decision.
8) How long does it take to know the application results?
Within 2-7 days, you’ll get an email from them with the results.
9) Is it automatically approved?
No! I’ve read so many horror stories about them. Some are even concluding it’s a fraud but I honestly think that the reasons why they are denied is because they are not eligible to apply for an e-visa in the first place!
For Filipinos, we are really included under the Facilitated Visa Regime but I still suggest you answer the application form seriously and submit a Return/Onward Ticket too.
10) Can I get a payment refund in case of denial?
11) Can I re-apply for a visa in case of denial?
Yes, but you can only do so within 1 year from rejection. Yikes!