Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Hong Kong SAR, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Serbia do not need visas to enter Kazakhstan.
Citizens of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, United Kingdom and USA Jul 2009 can obtain single-entry up to 30 days or double-entry up to 60 days tourist visas without providing a letter of invitation.
Citizens of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, United Kingdom and USA Aug 2010 with valid Kyrgyz tourist visa can travel also to Almaty Oblast and Zhambyl Oblast of Kazakhstan. However if you have two-entry Kyrgyz visa and you cross the border from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan, you can't return back on this visa to Kyrgyzstan. Most customs officers don't know about this agreement, which can cause long obstructions at border crossings.Update Nov 2011. NO officials know of this agreement and you will be turned away with a stamp on your Kyrgyz visa that says no entry The similar agreement applies reciprocally in Kyrgyzstan, but not for all abovementioned nationalities, see Kyrgyzstan#Get_in.
For more information you should contact a Kazakhstan diplomatic mission in your area or Kazakhstan MFA's website Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan. Note that as of June 2012 the Consulate General of Kazakhstan in New York says it only accepts money orders, but they actually accept cashier's checks as well.
Note: Although the Kazakh government has set certain policies regarding which countries do not require LOI's, this does not always reach the embassies. Be prepared for the worst and coming up against an official who might flat out refuse to give you a visa without a LOI. This is an issue at the Kazakhstan Embassy in Moscow Australian Passports.
Air Kazakhstan stopped flying at the end of March 2004. The most important carrier is now Air Astana (http://www.airastana.com/) which flies to Almaty, Astana, Aktau, Aktobe, Atyrau, Abu Dhabi,Uralsk, Kyzylorda, Moscow, Delhi, Beijing, Istanbul, Bangkok, Hannover, London, Amsterdam, Baku, Kuala Lumpur, Frankfurt, and Seoul.
Lately in 2011, Air Astana stopped flying to/from Dubai, but started its flights from Abu Dhabi.
Air Astana keeps monopoly on the international routes by limiting the outside airlines to Kazakastan.
Lufthansa has also seven days flights to Almaty, from where you can go anywhere via local carrier SKAT, which flies to most cities in Kazakhstan. British Airways Almaty-Heathrow route taken over by bmi from Sept 2007 and KLM now fly several times a week to Heathrow and Schiphol. There is also non-stop connection twice a week from Prague, operated by Czech airlines. Turkish Airlines is good passenger carrier, with flights to Istanbul ask a travel agent about the student fares, which can be a great deal.There are twice a week flights from Seoul to Almaty; one is Asiana Airlines, and the other is Astana.Airbaltic also flies to Almaty; if you reserve tickets in advance, you can go there for â¬130 from Riga.
Freighters travel regularly between Baku and Aktau, and it is possible to hitch a ride. Note, though, that it is common for ships to get held up, even for weeks, before entering port, so you had better stock up on food and water before boarding. See freighter travel to better understand how this works.
Trains in Kazakhstan are slow but comfortable and clean. Popular routes include Almaty to/from Moscow 77 hours, Novosibirsk 35 hours and ÃrÃ¼mqi, China 34 hours. Count with 3â4 hours stay at Russian border or 6â8 hours at Chinese border. Trains in Kazakhstan can also be booked online.
It is fairly easy to travel from ÃrÃ¼mqi to Almaty via sleeper bus, especially if you aren't in a hurry and don't mind living on a bus for a good 24 to 36 hours. The border crossing itself is a bit of a hike, and you may be made to carry all of your belongings with you for quite a ways in some seriously warm weather. The bus trip and "baggage fees" are around US$45. You can pick up your Kazakhstan visa at the consulate in Urumqi as well, but be prepared to chill for at least a week waiting, and be sure to get a copy of your passport before handing it over.