On January 31, the United States imposed immigrant and diversity visa restrictions that suspend the entry of Kyrgyz immigrants in order to protect the security and welfare of the United States.The U.S. Government continues to issue nonimmigrant visas for other purposes, such as tourism, business, students and exchanges.
The visa restrictions, as designated in Presidential Proclamations 9645, have been imposed on several countries with deficiencies in the security of their travel documents following an extensive review. These deficiencies include the lack of an electronic biometric passport, failure to report lost and stolen passports, and inadequate information sharing on suspected terrorists.
According to the Kyrgyz Republic’s General Prosecutor’s Office, from 2015-2017, 64 criminal probes were launched into the illegal issuance of Kyrgyz passports. The Ministry of Interior noted that in 2019 alone, the State Registration Service illegally issued 36 passports.
In December 2019, the State Registration Service announced that Kyrgyz passports were falsified by individuals involved in a serious criminal case in Germany.
The United States is concerned about the integrity of Kyrgyz passports and the issuance process. We encourage the Kyrgyz government to develop a constructive path forward to adequately control the issuance of passports, to expedite the development of electronic and biometric passports, and to provide prompt information about its lost and stolen passports to INTERPOL.
The United States will continue to work with the Kyrgyz Republic to address procedural deficiencies. The Presidential Proclamation will be implemented in an orderly way. No visas will be revoked under the Proclamation. The Proclamation does not apply to individuals who are inside the United States or who had a valid visa on January 31.
The restrictions are not intended to be permanent. Waivers may be available on a case-by-case basis and individuals with a pending immigration case are advised to contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy for more information at the following email address: ConsularBishkek@state.gov.
The United States remains committed to strengthening our bilateral relationship to enhance the security, sovereignty, and prosperity of the Kyrgyz people.