Information on Kazakh passports; on when they were first issued, their colour, length of validity and whether the bearer's nationality is shown in the passport [KKT23806.E]

According to information obtained from a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in London, UK, prior to the issuance of the Kazakh national passport in February or March 1995 (25 Apr. 1996), inhabitants of Kazakhstan used the Soviet passport for international travel purposes and the internal Soviet passport solely for internal identification purposes (ibid.) Both versions of the Soviet passport were red, the letters CCCP appeared on the top of the front cover, and there was a hammer and sicle insignia with stars in the centre of the cover (ibid.). The Soviet external passport, which is still in use by Kazakhs for external travel and recognized by Kazakh authorities, revealed the bearer's place of birth and residence as being Kazakhstan, but "definitely" did not show, for instance, that the bearer was a Jehovah's witness or Jewish (ibid.).

Soviet internal passports were first issued in the mid-1970s (ibid.), were written in Russian, contained pages for police authorizations and a page for information on the passport bearer's children (24 Apr. 1996). They also contained a domestic stamp where the successive addresses of the bearer, since the age of eighteeen, were written (25 Apr. 1996). For information on whether ethnicity or nationality was listed in Soviet internal passports please refer to Responses to Information Requests SUN19164.e, of 13 December 1994 and SUN21131.e of 27 July 1995.

According to the same source, Kazakh national passports for international travel began to be issued in February or March 1995 (25 Apr. 1996). These passports are not intended for internal identification purposes or to replace the old Soviet internal passports as Kazakhstan has issued internal identification cards for this purpose (24 Apr. 1996). The identification cards cannot be used for travel outside of Kazakhstan and are of indeterminate validity (ibid.).

There are three types of Kazakh national passports: a regular passport is light blue, an official passport is black and a diplomatic passport is red (ibid.). All three versions of the passport have gold writing on the top of the cover page, a national symbol in the centre and two phrases, one in English and one in Kazakh, on the bottom of the front cover (ibid.). The length of validity is five years (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, London, UK. 24-25 April 1996. Telephone interviews with a representative.