All type of visas for Kyrgyzstan are issued electronically through the “e-visa” portal. If you need further information about entry requirements or visa issues, visit the Kyrgyz MFA visa website or contact the local immigration authorities. Dial 102 for the police, 103 for the ambulance or 101 for the fire brigade. You should seek professional advice from a qualified lawyer in Kyrgyzstan and use a licensed property agency or a developer company before buying a property in Kyrgyzstan. Read the guidance on what actions you must do to drive legally in Kyrgyzstan.
Before you go
Medical facilities in Kyrgyzstan are not as developed as those in the UK. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
If you need emergency medical assistance, dial 103 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.
Visas and residency
Money can be transferred by Western Union or MoneyGram in an emergency. Some of the local banks that offer money transfer services are: This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCDO and the British High Commission will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority. Because of the predominantly agrarian nature of the economy and the fact that Kyrgyzstan’s services sector is relatively underdeveloped, there are few job opportunities for expats. Many expatriates working in Kyrgyzstan are employed by NGOs, and the UN Jobs board sometimes has openings advertised. Support for British Nationals Abroad: a guide sets out how British nationals can stay safe abroad and how the FCDO can help if you do get into difficulty. Note that every year the government sets a limit on foreign workers who can be employed.
Passports and travel
With effect from 1 April 2023 it’s obligatory to hold mandatory motor vehicle insurance for both local residents and visiting drivers. This must be made in addition to the voluntary motor vehicle insurance. For more information refer to local insurance companies. There are currently no COVID-related restrictions, including wearing of facemasks in public places in Kyrgyzstan. From 1 May 2022 the requirement for PCR testing or proof of vaccination status for entry into Kyrgyzstan was lifted. Your local Kyrgyz doctor or pharmacy is best placed to advice on availability of specific medications. To apply for a job you may need to provide:
Healthcare in Kyrgyzstan
Read guidance on: You may also need to get your UK divorce papers legalised to register a marriage in Kyrgyzstan. If you are planning to move to Kyrgyzstan and work, you may need a visa and work permit. Read the Kyrgyzstan government’s guidance on working in Kyrgyzstan as a foreign national and how to get a visa. Contact the relevant higher education provider in Kyrgyzstan to check what fees you have to pay. Information about education opportunities and contacts are available on provider’s website. Do not drive outside of a city if you receive an SMS warning from the Ministry of Emergency Situations (112) about deterioration of weather conditions and roads closure. If you wish to drive in Kyrgyzstan you should apply for an International Driving Permit. See also renewing UK driving licences if your licence is due to expire. In accordance with the Kyrgyz law, foreign nationals can work in Kyrgyzstan under permits granted by the designated authority. Permission to employ foreign workers can be granted to the following 4 categories:
Foreigners are required to carry a valid passport while in Kyrgyzstan at all times. Police may stop you and your identity will be checked. See our travel advice for Kyrgyzstan for up-to-date information on entry requirements, local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.
Most hospitals will accept card payment, but some may insist on cash in local currency. See our list of public and private hospitals. English speaking doctors/nurses are very rare. Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them. If someone dies in Kyrgyzstan read our guidance on: If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport. See travelling with pets for information on bringing pets to the UK.
Working in Kyrgyzstan
Foreigners can now register through the electronic services portal (available in Russian and Kyrgyz only). Foreign citizens can act as a host and register visitors staying in their homes. The registration coupon with QR-code on the forms can be obtained online and printed on a regular printer. If you retire in Kyrgyzstan, you can claim your UK State Pension or new UK State Pension. Contact the International Pension Centre for further information. Follow the advice of the Kyrgyz government and your local authority. You should also read the Kyrgyzstan travel advice. Pharmacies and chemists are widely available in Kyrgyzstan. They are often marked by a green cross. You may need to pay for medicine in cash. Basic medications (aspirin etc.) are available without a prescription. For prescription medication, you will need to present a valid prescription either from a local doctor or your doctor in the UK. You should check with your pharmacy in Kyrgyzstan if they will accept a prescription from the UK. You may need to get your UK prescription translated into Russian or Kyrgyz. To open a bank account in Kyrgyzstan you need to visit the bank with your identity documents. An application for opening a bank account must be made in person and it usually takes 2 to 3 working days to complete the process.
- chief executives and their deputies
- heads of divisions corresponding to the qualification requirements
- other specialists corresponding to the qualification requirements
- skilled workers corresponding to the qualification requirements
Civil partnerships are not registered in Kyrgyzstan and are not recognised.
Studying in Kyrgyzstan
You can book accommodation directly with hotels, or on larger booking websites. The reciprocal healthcare agreement between the UK and Kyrgyzstan terminated on 1 January 2016.
If you are resident in Kyrgyzstan and contribute to the national medical insurance directly or via your employer, you can register for healthcare and will have access to the state hospitals for routine medical care. However, the state medical facilities in Kyrgyzstan are not as advanced as those in the UK. This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Kyrgyzstan. Read about how our embassy in Bishkek can help. Only residents (holders of residence permit) and investment visa holders are allowed to own property in Kyrgyzstan.
Read the guidance if you need to travel with medicines. If you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault in Kyrgyzstan, see:
Read information about taking your vehicle out of the UK. See also buying a property abroad.
Life certificates for UK State Pensions
You can contact the Kyrgyz visa service at firstname.lastname@example.org or +996 312 66 30 70 and +996 703 42 88 65 (WhatsApp).
Money and banking
Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on bringing family members, tax and access to services. Contact your travel health insurance company in advance to find out whether they have a recommended or restricted list of hospitals to use. UK Travel insurance providers will not generally cover your healthcare costs if you live overseas.
Accommodation and buying property
If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Kyrgyzstan, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. If you cannot register for healthcare, you must ensure you have private healthcare cover for Kyrgyzstan. To stay up to date, follow the British Embassy Bishkek on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Check the Kyrgyzstan travel advice for passport validity requirements.
Driving in Kyrgyzstan
Check the entry requirements for Kyrgyzstan in our travel advice. The NHS has information for people moving abroad. You should also check if any prescription medicine is available in Kyrgyzstan or that it is legal to import any medicines you need. Kyrgyzstan has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol. A driver may be detained by police and convicted of drunk driving for driving a vehicle after consuming one alcoholic drink, regardless of whether the driver is intoxicated. If you plan to study in Kyrgyzstan, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel. ATMs are present throughout the country. Kyrgyzstan is still mainly a cash society; however, credit cards are accepted widely in shops and supermarkets in Bishkek. See what you need to do to export live animals from the UK. You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can: If you are staying for more than 60 days you must register within 5 days of entry into Kyrgyzstan and you must register for the period of validity of your visa. Make sure you also check the requirements for transporting pets with your airlines. You might also want to refer to transport companies or customs brokers for assistance.
You can apply for your first driving licence in Kyrgyzstan but you will be required to attend a training course and pass an exam in Russian.
Check that you have enough space in your passport for visas and entry and exit stamps. If your passport is due to expire soon (in the next 6 months or sooner) or you do not have spare pages for stamps, consider applying for a replacement passport in advance.
Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnership
You should get professional advice on paying tax in Kyrgyzstan. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Kyrgyzstan. If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Bishkek.
To bring a pet to Kyrgyzstan you will need to show an international vet passport, health certificate endorsed by the origin country, vaccination certificates (anti-rabies, deworming treatment etc.) and a copy of the owner’s passport.
Marriage and civil partnership
Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks. Find out about notarial and document services for British nationals in Kyrgyzstan. It is also important to bear in mind that the working language in Kyrgyzstan tends to be Kyrgyz or Russian rather than English, so if you do not speak either of these languages fluently you will often be at a disadvantage. The UK has a double taxation agreement with Kyrgyzstan so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.
See how to apply for export health certificate. If your child is born in Kyrgyzstan you should register the birth with the local authorities. You can then register with the UK authorities and apply for a UK birth certificate. Read the guidance on international parental child abduction if your child may be at risk of this. Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension. You can apply for or renew your British passport from Kyrgyzstan. If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether you will be able to access the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.
Medications are often supplied under different brand names in Kyrgyzstan so it is important to ask for the generic name of the relevant component. If your prescription medication is not available in Kyrgyzstan it may be possible to get supplies couriered from Kazakhstan and Turkey though this could take some time. Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad. If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service you must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not. Read the guidance for travelling by road in Kyrgyzstan.
Returning to the UK
If you are asked for a letter authenticating, certifying or validating your UK driver’s licence, you should contact the DVLA.
In addition, a translation to Russian or Kyrgyz language of the documents will be required. Import tax is applied if more than two animals are brought into the country.