Last Updated: Thursday, 28 August 2014, 12:42 GMT

Kyrgyzstan: Whether citizens can travel abroad with an internal passport; whether international travel passports are issued to Kyrgyz citizens who have been called for military service (February 2006)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 13 March 2006
Citation / Document Symbol KGZ100943.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kyrgyzstan: Whether citizens can travel abroad with an internal passport; whether international travel passports are issued to Kyrgyz citizens who have been called for military service (February 2006), 13 March 2006, KGZ100943.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f147601a.html [accessed 28 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

International Travel

According to a Kyrgyzstan-based operations assistant with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), "the leading organization for migration" (IOM n.d.a), a Kyrgyz citizen may not travel abroad with an internal Kyrgyz passport (ibid. 8 Feb. 2006). The operations assistant added that Kyrgyz citizens may, however, travel to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan on an internal passport (ibid.). Similarly, a representative of the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights (KCHR), a Kyrgyzstan-based independent, non-governmental organization (KCHR n.d.), stated in correspondence to the Research Directorate that Kyrgyz citizens may not travel abroad with an internal passport except in the case of travel to certain member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) such as Russia and Kazakhstan (ibid. 1 Feb. 2006).

A 2005 resolution of the Russian parliament states that Kyrgyz citizens may travel to Russia with a 2004 edition plastic identity card, a 1994 edition of the Kyrgyz passport or, in the case of children under 16 years of age, a birth certificate indicating Kyrgyz citizenship (Russia 21 Sept. 2005). Other inter-governmental agreements approved by the Kyrgyz parliament in 2001 and 2005 stated that citizens of Kyrgyzstan may travel to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan with a 1994 edition of the Kyrgyz passport, an obshchegrazhdanskiy (general-civil) 2004 edition passport, a sluzhebniy (government service) (KCHR 1 Feb. 2006) passport, a diplomaticheskiy (diplomatic) passport, a passport moryaka (sailor's passport) or a svidetel'stvo na vozvrasheniye v Kyrgyzstan (certificate of return to Kyrgyzstan) (Kyrgyzstan 1 July 2005; ibid. 25 Apr. 2001).

Both the KCHR representative and the IOM operations assistant wrote in correspondence to the Research Directorate that citizens of Kyrgyzstan may travel to any country (except the United States) with the 1994 edition and any country with the 2004 edition of the general-civil passport, the government service passport and the diplomatic passport (KCHR 1 Feb. 2006; IOM 8 Feb. 2006).

Although the United States' visa reciprocity schedule stated that Kyrgyz diplomatic passports were to be issued for the first time by the end of 2006 (US 3 Jan. 2006), two Kyrgyzstan-based sources stated otherwise. The IOM operations assistant stated in 8 Feb. 2006 correspondence that beginning 9 December 2005, the National Agency of Information Resources, Technology and Communication, Natsional'noe agenstvo informatsionnykh resursov, tekhnologiy I svyazi (NAIRTS), together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would issue general-civil, diplomatic, government service and citizens' passports. A Kyrgyzstan-based representative of KCHR also wrote in 4 Jan. 2006 correspondence to the Research Directorate that "diplomatic" and "service" passports were currently being issued to government officials (KCHR 4 Jan. 2006).

A 2005 news article stated that the Kyrgyz government was slated to issue two types of passports, one for each of domestic and international use, though the article did not indicate when issuance of either passport was to begin (TCA 3 Feb. 2005). The new internal passport was to be made of plastic and the internal and international passports were to "me[e]t the latest international standards" (ibid. 19 May 2005). Aiming to "offer greater protection ... to fight such transnational crimes as human trafficking, international terrorism and organized crime" the new passport was to "ha[ve] several layers of seal, a special dye, personal data imprinted [under a] laminated covering, a machine-readable code, a digital photographic image of the holder and special paper with watermarks" (Cacianalyst 9 Mar. 2005; UN 4 Aug. 2004). This is in contrast to the old passport, which was prepared in handwritten format (ibid.), was "easy to forge" and "easy to come by" (TCA 3 Feb. 2005).

Regarding the new international passports, one news article explained that regional offices are to send passport applications to a central office, where information "[is] checked and then put into the database storing all the necessary information," including a photograph of the passport holder (UN 4 Aug. 2004). According to this article, the profile of the passport holder will be accessed through the database when the passport is used to cross a border (ibid.).

Issuance of International Passport to Military Recruits

The IOM operations assistant and KCHR representatives stated in correspondence to the Research Directorate that an international passport may not be issued to a Kyrgyz citizen who has been called for military service (IOM 8 Feb. 2006; KCHR 18 Dec. 2004; ibid. 1 Feb. 2006) or who is completing his military service (ibid.). However, according to a KCHR representative, it may be possible for someone who has been called for military service to receive such a passport through corrupt means (ibid.). The IOM operations assistant explained that if a citizen received an international travel passport before being called for military service, this international passport is not taken away from the bearer while this individual is fulfilling his military service (IOM 8 Feb. 2006).

In order to take up permanent residence outside of Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz citizens must receive an "exit" stamp from the Department of Passports and Visas of the Ministry of Interior, deregister from their place of residence and, if the individual must still complete his military service or is in military reserves, sign out from the military department (IOM n.d.b).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Central Asia Caucasus Analyst (Cacianalyst). 9 March 2005. Vo..6, No. 5. Nazgul Baktybekova. "Passport Crisis in Kyrgyzstan." [Accessed 10 Jan. 2006]

International Organization for Migration (IOM). 8 February 2006. Correspondence from operations assistant, Kyrgyzstan.
_____. N.d.a. "Mission Statement." [Accessed 13 Feb. 2006]
_____. N.d.b. "Movements." [Accessed 30 Jan. 2006]

Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights (KCHR). 1 February 2006. Correspondence from a representative.
_____. 18 December 2004. Correspondence from a representative.
_____. N.d. "Administration of Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights." [Accessed 1 Mar. 2006]

Kyrgyzstan. 1 July 2005. Ot 1 iyulya 2005 goda No. 279, Protokol k Soglasheniyu mezhdu Pravitel'stvom Respubliki Belarus', Pravitel'stvom Respubliki Kazakhstan, Pravitel'stvom Kyrgyzskoy Respubliki, Pravitel'stvom Rossiyskoy Federatsii i Pravitel'stvom Respubliki Tadzhikistan o vzaimnykh bezvizovykh poyezdkakh grazhdan ot 30 noyabrya 2000 goda. Received by the Research Directorate in correspondence from IOM Kyrgyzstan.
_____. 25 April 2001. Ot 25 aprelya 2001 goda No. 190, Soglasheniye mezhdu Pravitel'stvom Respubliki Belarus', Pravitel'stvom Respubliki Kazakhstan, Pravitel'stvom Kyrgyzskoy Respubliki, Pravitel'stvom Rossiyskoy Federatsii i Pravitel'stvom Respubliki Tadzhikistan o vzaimnykh bezvizovykh poyezdkakh grazhdan. Received by the Research Directorate in correspondence from IOM Kyrgyzstan.

Russia. 21 September 2005. Ot 21 sentyabrya 2005 goda No. 575, O vzaimnykh bezvizovykh poyezdkakh grazhdan Rossiyskoy Federatsii i grazhdan Kirgizskoy Respubliki. Received by the Research Directorate in correspondence from IOM Kyrgyzstan.

The Times of Central Asia (TCA). 19 May 2005. Elena Skorodumova. "Passport Crisis in Kyrgyzstan Takes New Spin." East View Website. [Accessed 30 Jan. 2006]
_____. 3 Februray 2005. Larissa Lee"Kyrgyzstan Starts Distribution of New Passports." East View Website. [Accessed 30 Jan. 2006]

United Nations (UN). 4 August 2004. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). "Kyrgyzstan: New Passport to Help Combat Human Trafficking." [Accessed 10 Jan. 2006]

United States (US). 3 January 2006. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. Visa Reciprocity and Country Documents Finder. "Kyrgyzstan." [Accessed 10 Jan. 2006]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: The Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in Washington did not provide information within the time constraints of this Response.

Internet sources, including : AKIpress, Amnesty International (AI), Center for Defense Information, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Child Rights Information Network (CRIN), EurasiaNet, European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Factiva, Global Security, Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Crisis Group (ICG), International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), Littler Global, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Relief Web.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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