The asymmetric distribution of the nucleotide-bound state of Ran across the nuclear envelope is crucial for determining the directionality of nuclear transport. In the nucleus, Ran is primarily in the guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP)-bound state, whereas in the cytoplasm, Ran is primarily guanosine 5'-diphosphate (GDP)-bound. Conformational changes within the Ran switch I and switch II loops are thought to modulate its affinity for importin-beta. Here, we show that RanGDP and importin-beta form a stable complex with a micromolar dissociation constant. This complex can be dissociated by importin-beta binding partners such as importin-alpha. Surprisingly, the crystal structure of the Kap95p-RanGDP complex shows that Kap95p induces the switch I and II regions of RanGDP to adopt a conformation that resembles that of the GTP-bound form. The structure of the complex provides insights into the structural basis for the gradation of affinities regulating nuclear protein transport.