Monday, June 5, 2017

[VISA] Kyrgyzstan (On Arrival)

I must confess that I’ve been a jerk to that lady at the visa-on-arrival counter, but then again the only way to assure that someone will help you is to make sure that your problem becomes hers. Kyrgyzstan offers visa-on-arrival for Philippine passport holders, and we are one of the several countries that can just fly there without even having a letter of invitation. The thing is, you need to have some cash at hand. I did not have cash. I know they don’t accept credit cards, but I took a chance.

The ATM at Dushanbe’s airport wouldn’t give me dollars, and the exchange rate from Somoni to USD was atrocious. So I said what the heck, let’s just fly to Bishkek without cash. I just had to tell everyone who asked that Philippines passport holders are visa-on-arrival in Kyrgyzstan. When we deplaned at Manas International Airport, I headed straight to the consular window to the left and accomplished the application form. It’s just one page and very basic.

You need one passport-sized photo and the letter of invitation from your school if you are here to study Russian. I don’t know what you can show for a business visa. All I know is that the visa fees are almost the same. You pay USD70 (~PHP3,500) for a single-entry visa valid for 30 days. Double-entry will cost you USD100 (~PHP5,000). A 15-day tourist visa option is also available for USD50 (~PHP2,500) if I remember it correctly. Surrender your requirements to the officer along with your passport.

She will process and stamp the visa on your passport BEFORE asking you to pay, which sealed the deal for me. When she gave me the receipt, I played dumb and handed over my Visa card. She shook her head and I apologized because “I didn’t know” that you can only pay in cash. She then had no choice but to accompany me all the way from immigration to ATM at the arrival area. After getting my hands on the cash, I handed over KGS5,000 (~PHP3,750) and then we were done.

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