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The U.S. Mission Kazakhstan advises all prospective nonimmigrant visa applicants that due to the high volume of Summer Work and Travel applicants who will be applying for visas, no non-Summer Work and Travel nonimmigrant visa appointments will be available during the following weeks:
U.S. Consulate General Almaty: April 29-May 3 and May 13-17
U.S. Embassy Astana: May 6-10 and May 20-24.
The U.S. Mission Kazakhstan advises the public to please schedule your visa interviews accordingly. Applicants in need of an expedited appointment during those weeks, request consideration for an emergency appointment through their personal accounts or Call Center. Only those requests that meet our criteria for an emergency appointment will be granted an emergency appointment.
Temporary Visitors to the U.S.
All visa applicants must CAREFULLY double-check information entered on their DS-160 visa application form. Incorrect data will result in significant delays and require a second interview/appointment.
Due to biometrics processing procedures, the Consular Section is unable to issue visas the day of the interview. All applicants are encouraged to apply for visas well in advance. Appointments cannot be expedited simply because you purchased your tickets. You should not buy your plane tickets unless you have a valid visa in your possession.
Applying for a Visa in Astana or Almaty
To apply for a non-immigrant visa to the United States, follow these steps:
1. Check your passport:
a) Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in the United States (e.g. if you plan to go to the United States for 1 month in March, your passport must be valid at least through October).
b) Your passport must have at least one blank visa page.
2. Check your photo:
To complete your online visa application, you need a digital photo. Please read carefully the requirements to upload your photo and the photo specifications. If the photo you upload does not meet the criteria or is not a photo of yourself, you will be given the option to continue without a photo. In this case, if you have successfully submitted the application, you may bring a photo meeting the above requirements to your interview. The photograph should measure 2 inches by 2 inches (approximately 50 mm by 50 mm) with the head centered in the frame, taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance. The photo must be in color, only on a white background. Hats or head coverings are only allowed if worn for religious reasons and if they do not obscure any facial features. Eyeglasses are acceptable in photo only if the lenses are not tinted and there is no glare, shadows, or rims/frames obscuring the eyes. Bringing a photo with you to the interview rather than uploading a photo to the online application form may prolong the visa issuance process.
Please note: Your picture can be rejected at the time of your visa interview, if it does not correspond to the requirements specified above even if it was accepted by the online image quality assessment test. Therefore, it is recommended to bring your photo meeting the above requirements to your interview even if you have submitted your photo with an application.
Step 2. Visit U.S. Visa Information Service Website to pay the fee, fill out an application form, and make an appointment.
Please be aware that only the following circumstances will be considered for an expedited appointment:
- Urgent medical care, or to accompany a relative or employer for urgent medical care, or to visit a relative suffering from an immediate, life-threatening medical condition.
Attend the funeral of or make arrangements for repatriating the body of an immediate family member (mother, father, spouse, brother, sister, child, grandparent, or grandchild) in the United States.
Attend to an urgent business matter when the travel requirement could not be predicted in advance.
Begin or resume a valid program of study in the United States within 60 days when no regular visa appointments are available. This option is limited only to students and exchange students who are within 60 days of their start date and are otherwise unable to schedule a regular appointment. It is also limited only to applicants who have not been refused a visa within the last six months at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
All applicants who wish to have an expedited appointment are required to first pay visa fees and schedule a regular visa appointment before requesting an expedited appointment.
For more information, including the documentary evidence required to qualify for an expedited appointment, visit U.S. Visa Information Service Website
Step 3. Come to an Interview with a Consular officer. In some categories submit an application through PonyExpress. For more information visit U.S. Visa Information Service Website.
Step 4. Receive Your Passport And Visa Via PonyExpress
All passports with issued visas are returned to applicants via express mail to any address in Kazakhstan within 2-4 business days. If you are in a hurry, next-business day pickup is available at the main PonyExpress offices in Astana and Almaty.
You should never pay for travel arrangements before having a visa in your possession. The U.S. Embassy Consular Section accepts no responsibility if you do so, nor will we expedite visa processing because you have fixed travel dates.
What is on your visa
Some of the information printed on the visa is the category, the expiration date, and the number of entries allowed. The expiration date means the last day when you can ENTER the USA. Upon arrival in the United States, the U.S. Immigration officer at the port of entry determines the duration of your stay.
There are two fees for the issuance of non-immigrant Visas:
| Category||Processing Fee||Issuance Fee for 3 Months||Issuance Fee for 12 Months
|B1/B2, I and R
||$160||$0 (single entry only)
||does not exist
|D,F, M and J
||$190||$0 (single entry only)||$230|
||$190||$0 (single entry only)||$230|
|O, P and Q
||$270||$0 (single entry only)||$0|
All visa fees must be paid in U.S. dollars.
If you are refused a visa, you can apply again. However, we do not recommend re-applying without additional or new information that can demonstrate your strong social and economic ties to Kazakhstan or changed circumstances of your life.
If you are refused a visa, the Visa Processing Fee will not be refunded.
For more information about visa refusals under 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, please refer to Visa Denials at Department of State website.