Quota application. What is it?

Quota is a number of foreign nationals who allowed to get work permit and work. Quota grants for certain region and approves by Authorities in the beginning of calendar year. Number of issued work permits cannot exceed number of quotas. If an employer applied for a quota in Almaty and did not for Karaganda, so they can proceed with work permit in Almaty and cannot in Karaganda.

Quota for foreigners in Kazakhstan

Important notes:

  • Quota application to be applied in advance. Deadline is September 30. If an application is submitted in 2022, then you would have quota for upcoming 2023 year. We do not recommend expecting deadline as some regions stop accepting applications 3-5 business days prior deadline. Usually, Authorities start accepting documents in August and September.
  • Quota request must contain the number of current and planning foreign nationals in upcoming year.
  • Application must be submitted in each region where your company plans to get work permits for foreign nationals.
  • Quota is not required for foreign nationals who work as exemptions from Rules as well as those who are working under intra-corporate transfer.
  • Requests can be rejected by the Committee fully or partially if an employer has violations of labor legislation, as well as if it is possible to satisfy the demand for foreign nationals through training, re-training or advanced training of Qazaqstani nationals.
  • If you fail with quota request, work permit application and renewal processes in upcoming year would be complicated or impossible.

Quota application was not submitted. Are there any options?

It is a difficult situation if you did not apply for a quota and decided to attract foreign nationals. In such cases we arrange discussion between Authorities and an employer. There is an option if region has free quota. In case somebody applied but did not use. It depends on Authorities and sometimes work permits can be granted if a number of foreign nationals is a few.

Legal entity is just registered and we did not have a possibility to apply for a quota. What we can do?

There is a place for such cases, as quota application must be submitted one year previously. Company is just registered and physically cannot apply for a quota. What options have an employer?

  • If shareholders are 100% are foreign nationals, there is a way for first category employees to go as an exemptions from Rules and get work visa
  • Shareholders can apply for a visa for business immigrants. It is C5 category visa

And what about other foreign employees? In such cases we arrange discussion between Authorities and an employer. There is an option if region has free quota. In case somebody applied but did not use. It depends on Authorities and sometimes work permits can be granted if a number of foreign nationals is a few. It is important to describe business plans of company, scope of work, amount of taxes planned to pay. This can persuade Authorities to issue work permits.

Our company has quota. Nevertheless, our work permit application was rejected. Is it allowed by Rules?

Yes, it is legal and such scenario is possible. Quota is not a guarantee of granting work permit by Authorities. There are also other requirements which must be met:

  • Higher vocational education and providing of university degree. It must be with mark of apostille / legalization depending on country of issuance.
  • Confirmation of work experience by providing recommendation letter from inviting entity. It must be not less than 5 years for managerial positions.
  • Government fee payment.
  • Meet requirements of local ratio. For first and second category employees – not less than 70% of locals. For third and fourth categories – not less than 90% of locals.
  • And others.

We indicated ten foreign nationals in quota application. Can Authorities reduce our number?

Quota applications is gone through Committee review:

  1. First stage is Labor Authorities and Social Programs of region. It is a previous review and then application is forwarded to Labor Ministry.
  2. Labor Ministry examine all application, situation on previous year and then takes decision.

Number of foreigners in quota can be reduced partly of fully rejected. It is up to local labor market and if there are some positions which can be covered by locals, then application is to be reviewed. So, it is highly recommended all details of business plans in quota request: strategy, planning actions, job duties of foreigners, their importance and why there are no opportunities to replace them by locals.

We indicated 5 foreign nationals in application. Plans of company changed recently and is it allowed to increase this number?

Unfortunately, no. Current Rules does not allow to add and change initial request. It is an issue which had been discussing between employers and Authorities. It would be a good situation when just registered companies can apply for a quota within a year or change initial request by submitting additional queries.

We invite foreign nationals from Russia. Is it required to apply for a quota?

No, you should not apply for a quota for Russia nationals. There are some exemptions, who are not required to get work permit and quota:

– for citizens of EurAsEC members (Russia, Belorussia, Armenia, Kirghizia)

– for business immigrants and C5 category visa holders

– for residence permit holders

– for foreign nationals who stay in Kazakhstan on behalf of family reunion visa

– for first category employees in companies with 100% foreign shareholders

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