Kygryzstan: Border Crossing and Documentation

This post is about the government documentation we needed and obtained to bring our car and ourselves into Kyrgyzstan.

Kygryzstan in General

Getting our car into Kygryzstan was straight forward and only required us to declare the car to customs at the border. Getting ourselves in was even easier, as Kygryzstan has a visa free program for many nations including the Unlted Kingdom and Belgium. Getting out was even easier.

Before the Border

We didn’t do any official paperwork prior to the border. We talked to others about the border crossing and did a little research on the Internet, but that was all.

Entering Kygryzstan

We crossed from the border town of Korday in Kazakhstan which is onky separated with Kyrgyzstan by a bridge over the dividing river. The M39/E40 road basically continues straight through the border oto the other side once in Kygryzstan. For those who like lat/long oordinates, the Kygryzstan checkpoint we used is located at N43.025026° and E74.703548°. The steps involved in the crossing:-

  • Step 1: After driving 50m or so from the Kazakhstan perimeter Stephen reached the perimeter security fence of the checkpoint. It was not long before the barrier was raised and Stephen and Sterlin headed to the inspection area. Unlike most recent border crossings, there was no white slip of paper to control and record our progress through the checkpoint. Caroline being a car passenger had to walk across.
  • Step 2: Once in the inspection area, Stephen was directed to back up and turn left into the adjoining car park. The attending custom official did not speak much English, but more than enough for us to realize he was helping us and not trying to make our life difficult. Once parked, Stephen was directed into a office to complete a customs declaration card for Sterlin. The form was in Russian, which would normally slow us down a little, but fortunately the form was exactly the same as the Russian form we had filled out hen we entered Russia. And the Russian form we had was in English. So Stephen just copied all the information off the Russian form onto the Kygryzstan form. When we entered Russia, we had to complete two forms, one for the officials and one for us. Here in Kygryzstan Stephen only had to fill out one form. But Stephen also provided a photocopy of our Russian form as well, just because he had an extra copy. Stephen also presented copies of the car registration documentation.  There is one small diffence in the forms, the threshold amount for declaring money in Russia was USD $10,000 while in Kygryzstan it was only USD $3,000. Stephen did not declare any money or personal goods. The official did something with the form and his computer. He wanted to know our exit date and the next country of entry. Our proposed exit date was written on our declaration form, stamped and handed back.
  • Step 3: Stephen drove Sterlin back to the inspection area. After parking, the next step was to pass through immigration. This meant getting out of the car and walking through the checkpoint. Caroline had already crossed.  Immigration was completed in less than 1 minute. The passports were probably scanned, but it all happened so quickly, it was hard to tell. Our passports were stamped with the date of entry. There was no other useful information on the stamp like latest exit date. There was no arrival/departure card or immigration card to be filled in or retained. There was no inspection of the vehicle.
  • Step 4: That was it. We drove to the perimeter security gate, waved goodbye to the guard and we were in Kygryzstan.

Everyone was friendly. There was no inappropriate suggestions of bribes. And we were through in less than 20 minutes.

After the Border

400 meters after the border we were stopped by traffic police for a “random” check. Although we suspect everyone is stopped. We handed our substantial folder of documentation especially prepared for traffic police and such occassions. After he worked out we did not speak Russian he waved us on. Although painless, a pity the good border crossing had to be spoilt with this.

We had purchased third party insurance in Kazakhstan, which was supposedly valid for Kyrgyzstan, so need to worry about that.

Registration after the Border

There are no registration requirements in Kyrgyzstan.

Leaving Kyrgyzstan

We departed Kyrgyzstan on the border crossing with Uzbekistan at the town of Osh. The actual border post is located at N40.570663° and E72.762096° on the A373 highway. Leaving Kyrgyzstan was extermely easy at the whole process took a mere 12 minutes. The fastest land border exit we have had. The steps in detail:-

  • Step 1: We drove up to find what looked like a deserted checkpoint and a very locked gate. We really thought we were in the wrong place or the border was closed. We found the perimeter guards hiding from the heat in a little shack to the left. Once passports were inspected he quickly opened the gate and directed us through. There was no other vechicles in border crossing, just us. like our entry into Kygryzstan, there was no white slip of paper to control and record our progress through the checkpoint
  • Step 2: Out of the cars and assisted the officials in an extremely a brief vechicle inspection. Most of the inspection was spent talking about the World Cup football result from the previous nights game. We handed over the customs declaration form we had completed at when we entered Kygryzstan. They were a little confused by this form, but took it off us anyway.
  • Step 3: Locked the car and headed into the immigration office which is on the right of the inspection area. Handed over our passports and were quickly and effortlessly stamped out. There was one other person in front of us, presumably a person crossing the border on foot.
  • Step 4: The customs officier decided that there was some customs paperwork for us to complete after all. Turns out there is another office to the left and behind the vehicle inspection area. The customs declaration form was processed somehow and returned to us.
  • Step 5: We drove to and through the perimeter security gate.

It all sounds very easy because it was. Kygryzstan is by far the easiest land border entry and exit we have had on the entire trip.