Astana, Kazakhstan, August 2
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
The U.S. embassy in Kazakhstan has issued a record number of visas for Kazakh citizens since early 2014.
"Exactly a year ago, on August 1, 2013, the agreement on a five-year visa regime entered into force between Kazakhstan and the U.S., which facilitated the travel between the two countries and the number of applications for visa reached a record level. Throughout this year, the U.S. diplomatic mission in Kazakhstan issued about 21,000 visas for the Kazakh citizens," the U.S. embassy said.
Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbaev stressed that the five-year visa agreement between Kazakhstan and the U.S. is another striking demonstration of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
He went on to add that Kazakhstan has issued around 11,500 visas for the U.S. citizens and the majority of them were business and tourist visas, which contributed to strengthening of the contacts between the people.
"Taking into account our strategic partnership and the active role of the U.S. companies in Kazakhstan, our government has decided to include the U.S. in the list of 10 countries, the citizens of which can visit Kazakhstan without a visa within 15 days. This is an important step for the further strengthening of the business relations between our nations," Ashikbaev said.
Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. to Kazakhstan, John Ordway, for his part, stressed that the number of applications for visa has increased by 41 percent as a result of pursuing this new policy.
"Kazakhstan is the first country in the Central Asia that benefits the agreement on a five-year visa regime alongside with other strategically important countries that have such agreements. At the same time, the U.S. is the first country in the world that signed a five-year visa agreement with Kazakhstan," the embassy said.