China and Kazakhstan Sign Visa Exemption Agreement
On May 17, 2023, China and Kazakhstan, neighboring nations, signed a significant agreement on mutual visa exemption. According to the agreement, travelers from both countries will be exempted from the requirement of entry visas for a stay of up to 30 days, with a maximum total of 90 days within every 180-day period.
The agreement is expected to come into effect in the following weeks, with the exact implementation date yet to be determined. Once implemented, Kazakh citizens holding ordinary passports will enjoy visa-free travel to China for various purposes, including tourism, medical treatment, business, international transportation, and transit. Similarly, Chinese nationals will be able to travel to Kazakhstan and stay for up to 30 days without the need for a visa, an extension from the current 14-day visa-free stay limit for Chinese passport holders in Kazakhstan.
The visa exemption agreement between China and Kazakhstan was signed as part of a comprehensive set of agreements that fostered bilateral cooperation in various domains, including economic, tourism, technological, and cultural sectors. These agreements were finalized during a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Kazakh counterpart, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who is currently visiting China to attend the China-Central Asia Summit taking place from May 18 to 19. The signing of the visa exemption agreement signifies the commitment of both nations to deepen their ties and enhance collaboration in multiple areas.
The implementation of this visa exemption agreement is expected to improve the ranking of the Kazakh passport on the Guide Passport Index by one position, elevating it to the 67th place, alongside Bolivia and Namibia passports, from its current position at 68th. With the addition of China to the list of visa-free destinations for Kazakh passport holders, the number of visa-free travel destinations will increase to 78. However, this agreement will not impact the ranking of the Chinese passport, which currently holds the 73rd position on the Guide Passport Index. Chinese passport holders can travel without a visa to 71 destinations, and Kazakhstan was already included among the visa-free travel destinations for Chinese passport holders. The significance of this agreement lies in the extended duration of stay that Chinese citizens can now enjoy in Kazakhstan without the need for a visa.