For the procedure of work permit obtainment for foreign resident, the employer and the foreign resident who may confirm his qualification background are required. Qualification is confirmed by the provision of educational degree and letter on work experience.

To obtain the work permit for the foreign resident, the employer must have the registered company in Kazakhstan. In addition to the constituent documents in most cases (there are exceptions),  the employer should have local staff to match the ratio between local and foreign employees and the available quota. Sometimes the Authorities may request the service contracts to confirm the scope of work activities.

A foreign specialist should confirm the qualification background. It is necessary to provide a diploma on higher education fully apostilled/legalized for use in Kazakhstan. In some cases, the Authorities may require an additional mark of nostrification of the diploma. In addition, the foreign employee needs to confirm his/her work experience by providing letters of recommendation from previous employers. There is an approved form of a letter of recommendation, which should be adhered to. These are the basic requirements for foreign employees. Additionally, the foreign resident must provide a copy of the passport, the address of permanent residence in Kazakhstan and abroad, and other technical points. The documents for family members will be required if there are accompanying persons.

To work in Kazakhstan the foreign resident must:

– obtain the work permit issued for a company registered in Kazakhstan

– obtain a residence permit

– obtain the permit on self-employment

– apply for a passport registration in the Migration with “work” purpose for citizens of Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan

– apply for a work visa (in exceptional cases, when a work permit is not required)

Firstly, there is need to collect a package of documents from the employer and employee. After the application is registered on the portal, it will be reviewed on the special committee, which takes final decision. Once the decision is made, it will be necessary to pay the state fee. The amount of the fee depends on the position of the foreign resident and the type of company’s business activity. After paying the fee and registering the receipt, the work permit is issued within 3-5 business days.

A quota is the maximum permissible amount of foreign labor in the particular region. Employers planning to hire the foreign resident must apply for a quota. The application for a quota should be submitted in advance, before August 1 of the current year, if the attraction of the foreign residents is planned next year.

In order to obtain the work permit for a foreign resident, the employer must have Kazakhstani local citizens in its staff. For the first and second categories (managerial positions) the content of foreign personnel should not exceed 30%, for the third and fourth categories (specialists and qualified workers) the content should not exceed 10%. There are exceptions to the Rules when a company is exempted from this compliance.

A work permit is not required for heads of the branches and representative offices of the foreign legal entities, for CEOs and their deputies in companies with 100% foreign participation, for investors when the amount of investment exceeds the established level, for business immigrants, for citizens of EAEU members (Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia). The full list of work permit exemption is regulated by the Rules.

In order to obtain a work permit, the employer needs to pay a state fee. The amount of the fee varies and depends on the MCI, the position of the foreign employee and the type of company’s business activity.

The procedure of work permit obtainment takes about 1-1.5 months. The most points on the procedure depend on the foreign employee and the employer, how quickly the information will be provided. This is an average time frame. Once the work permit is released, the foreign resident will need to apply for a work visa.

Intra-corporate transfer (ICT) is the transfer of a foreign employee from one affiliated company to another, which is located in Kazakhstan. By the ICT procedure, the employer searches for candidates in the domestic labor market, as well as it is a subject to additional obligations in the form of special conditions, and is exempted from paying the state duty. One of the advantages of the ICT is non-requirement of the local labor contract.

According to the labor code, the basis for conclusion of an employment contract with the foreign resident is a work permit. However, without a work visa, a foreign resident will not be able to enter Kazakhstan. Thus, we recommend to apply for a work visa and only then conclude the employment contract. Thus, the completion of the process of immigration of the foreign resident will be his entry into Kazakhstan with a work visa.

Spouse (s) and children under 18 of a foreign employee can obtain a similar visa as an applicant without the right to work. A visa is issued for the same period. To obtain visas, it is necessary to provide a birth certificate for children and a marriage certificate for the spouse (s) fully apostilled/legalized for use in Kazakhstan.

There are two points the attention on which should be paid upon travelling to Kazakhstan. The first point is the submission of notifications of arrival, which is required for each foreign resident and must be submitted within three business days from the date of entry. The second is passport registration of foreign residents. Not everyone needs it. It is necessary to clarify the question upon specific request.

In most cases, a work permit is issued for 12 calendar months and may be renewed two or three times. There are exceptions when the work permits are issued for a longer period and when work permits cannot be renewed. We recommend starting the procedure for extending a work permit 2-3 months prior the expiration date.

Previously obtained work permits cannot be re-issued to another organization or job position. At the same time, it is possible to re-issue a work permit for another foreign employee, provided that the name of the company, position and region are preserved.

In most cases, a work permit issued for a foreign employee is subject to renewal. The list of documents is similar to the procedure of work permit obtainment, with the exception of the originals. Originals are not required for the renewal process.

If violations of the migration law are detected, passport control officers remove foreign specialists from the flight, write out a protocol and send the foreign resident to the administrative court. The Court’s decision binds him to pay a fine or deportation, followed by a ban on entry into Kazakhstan. We recommend checking the passports of foreign specialists before their departure from Kazakhstan or consult with immigration lawyers.

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