Kyrgyzstan border permit and border crossings

+ Updates of the book EXPLORE KYRGYZSTAN

This page contains all the latest updates about the Kyrgyzstan border crossings and border permit. You will also find updated information about the book Explore Kyrgyzstan, particularly the condition of the routes described in the book. Many thanks to our readers and contributors who help us to update this page.

  • If you are planning a trip to Kyrgyzstan by van, 4×4, motorbike or bicycle, our book EXPLORE KYRGYZSTAN will be of great help.
  • If you wish to rent a vehicle (4×4, van, motorbike or bicycle) in Kyrgyzstan, you will find our recommendations here.

road book 4x4, van, motorbike and cycling in Kyrgyzstan

Update 07/22/2021 :

Kyrgyz air borders are open to travelers from all countries with a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival or proof of vaccination. Please note that some airlines require a PCR test even if you have been vaccinated. It is better to have both.

Only 69 nationalities are allowed to cross land borders of Kyrgyzstan:

1. Russia, 2. Georgia, 3. Azerbaijan, 4. Armenia, 5. Belarus, 6. Kazakhstan, 7. Turkmenistan, 8. Belgium, 9. Austria, 10. United Kingdom, 11. Germany, 12. Ireland, 13. Iceland, 14. Italy, 15. Lithuania, 17. Liechtenstein, 18. Luxemburg, 19. Portugal, 20. Turkey, 21. Switzerland, 22. Sweden, 23. Qatar, 24. UAE, 25. China, 26. Malaysia, 27. South Korea, 28. Pakistan, 29. Slovenia, 30. Kuwait, 31. Japan, 32. Uzbekistan, 33. Hungary, 34. Albania, 35. Bulgaria, 36. Taiwan, 37. Cyprus, 38. Northern Macedonia, 39. Mexico, 40. Thailand, 41. Romania, 42. The Netherlands, 43. Israel, 44. Poland, 45. Finland, 46. Croatia, 47. Norway, 48. Czech Republic, 49. Singapore, 50. Denmark, 51. Canada, 52. Estonia, 53. Maldives, 54. Argentina, 55. France, 56. Montenegro, 57. Greece, 60. Spain, 61. Slovakia, 62. Malta, 63. Serbia, 64. San Marino, 65. Sultanate of Oman, 66. Bangladesh, 67. Saudi Arabia, 68. Iran, 69. Vietnam

The land borders with Tajikistan and Kazakhstan are still closed.

Land borders with Uzbekistan are open.

The green corridor has been declared. This means that the tourist visa allows you to stay indefinitely in Kyrgyzstan without having to renew your visa after 2 months.

Map of Kyrgyzstan’s restricted areas and border crossings.

Below, you will find a map of the restricted areas and main border crossings in Kyrgyzstan. This map is taken from the book EXPLORE KYRGYZSTAN. You can buy a printed version here. The restricted areas have not changed for many years, but may change at any time. They seem to be doomed to disappear.

Comment obtenir le permis frontalier au Kirghizistan : prix, carte des zones à permis, faire le permis en ligne

Kyrgyzstan border crossings

Entering Kyrgyzstan by land

Unlike in some Central Asian countries, you do not need to pay an import tax or have a customs clearance document to bring a foreign vehicle into Kyrgyzstan. However, since 2015, you have to pay an eco-tax. In 2020 this eco-tax was 500 soms for a motorbike, 1,000 soms for a car, and 2,500 soms for a truck. If you arrive via Kazakhstan, you will not need to pay this ecotax. You will have to pay it if you arrive via Uzbekistan, Tajikistan or China.

Be careful, do not venture into border areas unless you have a border permit or are actually crossing at the border crossing.

Main border crossings open to foreigners in Kyrgyzstan

BorderBorder postCommentary
China
IrkeshtamThe busiest and easiest border crossing. Be aware that it is better to arrive early in the morning, as the office is closed from 11am to 2pm on the Kyrgyz side and from 1p.m. to 4p.m. on the Chinese side (Kyrgyz time) for lunch.
TorugartTo cross the no-man's land between the two border posts you have to pay for an expensive, certified Chinese guide. The pass is often closed in winter because of snowfall.
TajikistanKyzyl Art
You will need a GBAO permit to use the Pamir road. Beware of very corrupt customs officers. Border post is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
KulunduBe aware that 12 km further west there is another border crossing which is forbidden to foreigners.
IsfaraNo specific difficulties.
UzbekistanIzboskanNo specific difficulties.
DostykNo specific difficulties.
KazakhstanKordaïNo specific difficulties.
Ak-TilekNo specific difficulties.
Sypatay BatirNo specific difficulties.
Aisha BibiNo specific difficulties.
KarkyraThe post is only open in the summer (May to October). There is no currency exchange.

Vehicle insurance in Kyrgyzstan

Since 2018, it has been compulsory to insure your vehicle in Kyrgyzstan. Nevertheless, there are relatively few people who have insurance and it is rare to come across a customs officer who asks to see it at a border crossing. You can take out a local insurance in Bishkek or Och. There was no insurance available at the border in 2019. It is important to note that if you have an accident with a Kyrgyz driver, they are often not insured themselves. Rental vehicles always have insurance included.

Kyrgyzstan border permits

What is the border permit?

Some border areas are subject to strict regulations regarding the circulation of persons, especially foreigners. If you wish to visit these areas, you must apply for a permit in advance.

There are five restricted areas, which are shown on the map above.

  • Chuy region: Chong-Kemin Valley
  • Issyk-Kul region: Karkyra, Sary-Jaz, Engilchek, Khan-Tengri national park, Sarychat-Ertash reserve, Ak-Shyrak, and Karasay checkpoint
  • Naryn region: Ak-Say Valley, Lake Kol-Suu, Kok-Kiya canyon, Lake Chatyr-Kul and Torugart checkpoint
  • Osh region: Trans-Alay chain (Lenin Peak)
  • Batken region: Leïlek and Batken districts

How much does the permit cost?

It is theoretically possible to apply for a permit yourself at the Department of Registration in Bishkek, which costs 200 soms. However, if you do not speak and write Russian, it is difficult to do it yourself without being accompanied. You can therefore apply for a permit at any travel agency for a small (or large) fee. Or you can apply online here. Agencies usually charge:

  • between 1,400 and 1,600 soms for one zone
  • between 2,300 and 3,000 soms for three zones

How long is the permit valid for?

Permits are valid for one month. It is possible to extend the validity of the permit by up to 2 months (see with the agency).

It is recommended to apply for a permit at least one week in advance for a “one zone” permit and one month in advance for a “three-zone” permit or more.

It is also possible to obtain a “one zone” permit within 48 hours for an additional fee.

Order your permit in advance

You can now apply for your border permit online on our website! The permit includes 4 zones:

  • Chuy region: Chong-Kemin Valley
  • Issyk-Kul region: Karkyra, Sary-Jaz, Engilchek, Khan-Tengri national park, Ak-Shyrak, and Karasay checkpoint
  • Naryn region: Ak-Say Valley, Lake Kol-Suu, Kok-Kiya canyon, Lake Chatyr-Kul and Torugart checkpoint
  • Osh region: Trans-Alay chain (Lenin Peak)

Please note that the Batken region (Leïlek and Batken districts) and the Sarychat-Ertash reserve are not included in this permit.

Kyrgyzstan border permit 4 zones
  • Validity: 1 month
  • Delivery time: 15 days (in 5 days with supplmement)
  • Price: 30€ / person
  • Include 4 zones : Issyk-Kul, Chong-Kemin, Naryn and Osh.

Keep the original version and make several copies of your permit

You can collect your permit in several cities: Bishkek, Osh, Karakol, or Naryn. Once you have obtained your permit, keep the original version and make several copies, as you will have to leave one at each military checkpoint. Your passport will also be required for verification. Check that there are no errors in the passport number, dates, and your name on the permit. A simple mistake and you will be stuck at the checkpoint.

Updates of the book EXPLORE KYRGYZSTAN

Piste pour accéder au lac Kol Tor et randonnée

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

 

Piste dans la vallée de Chong Kemin, randonnée au Lac Kol Kogur

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

piste 4x4 et randonnée à cheval jusqu'au lac Jashil Kul dans le parc de Chong Kemin

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

 

Le canyon de Konorchek, piste 4x4 et randonnée

Condition of the route (25/08/21): Be careful, check the weather! With the rain, the red sand becomes completely slimy. If you drive down to point 4, there is a real risk of sliding with your car and returning may be difficult!

piste le long du lac Issyk Kul bivouac sur le lac et canyon des rivières oubliées

Condition of the route (25/08/21):  Be careful, check the weather! With the rain, the section between the salt lake and the canyon of the forg. riv. becomes difficult. The sand turns into slimy clay and you risk slipping in the potholes if you do not have suitable tyres.

off-road track to tosor pass

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

 

piste jusqu'à la mine de Kumtor dans la vallée d'Arabel

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

 

 

off-road arabel pass

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

weather station in chong kyzyl suu valley, hots springs and hiking

Condition of the route (25/08/21): Before point 2, the track was washed away by the floods of July 2021. 2km before, a new track was built to bypass the collapsed section and to reach the other side of the river bank by a small bridge
( GPS: 42.3246686, 78.0620017)

piste engilchek source d'eau chaude

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

sary-jaz-tian-shan

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

vallée de Karkyra- forêt et yourtes de nomades

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

gorges de kichi naryn

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

naryn red hills

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

eastern song kul, 33parrots mountain pass

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

 

western song kul

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

southern song kul

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

kok kiya canyon

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

lac Kol Suu randonnée à pied ou à cheval

Condition of the route (25/08/21): On Route 19 towards Kol-Suu, one of the bridges is broken. The track therefore crosses a small ford.

On the track between Kol-Suu and Torugart, the floods of July 2021 have completely destroyed the bridge which was already in bad condition. The track has been diverted but is poorly marked with fords and many sandy passages in the river bed (level 4). The border post at Torugart permanently blocks access to the track and must be bypassed without any signposting.

piste entre baetov et tash rabat le caravansérail

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

parc de Bseh Tash et tombeau de Manas

Condition of the route (25/08/21): The connection between Route 21 and 22 which was blocked by a rock fall when we passed through in June 2019 is now accessible. However, it is clearly a level 5 trail: very very narrow trail on the side of a cliff, hairpin bends and two very technical fords.

réservoir de Toktogul

Condition of the route (25/08/21): Between point 5 and 6, a section of the route collapsed due to a landslide (from the beach to the main road via the hills). No bypass is possible.

lac tulpar kul vallée d'Achik Tash au pied du pic Lénine

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

lenin peak, off-road route to Lenin Peak Base camp

Condition of the route :  Nothing to report

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permit for border areas and border crossings in Kyrgyzstan
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