Situation. The company involved foreign employees (US citizens) who periodically arrived to Kazakhstan under the visa-free regime and carried out work without a work permit. At the same time, foreigners were officially in the internal documentation as employees of the company, signed documents, had business cards and doorplates on the office doors with the positions held.
As a result, the first inspection by the labor inspectorate revealed the fact of illegal involvement of foreign labor. The company was imposed a fine and a one-year ban to invite foreign employees to Kazakhstan.
In this case, the employer would really be sure that the visa-free regime allows inviting foreign specialists to Kazakhstan without issuing any visa, including a working visa. In addition, if there is no need for a working visa, why it is required to draw up a work permit? The employer applied to us with this question.
Visa and work permit. First, let us determine the concepts.
VISA is a document that gives a foreigner the right to enter the territory of another country. By itself, a visa does not give a foreigner the right to work in a foreign country. This right should be provided by another official document – WORK PERMIT.
At the same time, any state can unilaterally abolish the requirement for issuing visas for citizens of specific countries, that is, establish a visa-free regime. For example, Kazakhstan in 2017, with the aim of increasing investment and tourism attractiveness, introduced a visa-free regime for 45 states. Citizens of these countries can arrive to the Republic of Kazakhstan without a visa and stay up to 30 days. The purpose of such trips can be tourism, business meetings, search for business partners, etc.
Therefore, if you invite a foreign citizen to work in Kazakhstan, regardless of whether a visa-free regime is in effect or not, you should get a work permit for it in advance. Then, based on the issued permit, it is required to issue a C3 "work" category visa for the foreigner invited for the period of validity of the permit itself.
Result. Our consultants conducted an audit of documents and explained to the employer the requirements for attracting foreign labor to Kazakhstan, defined the qualification criteria for each position for which specialists were required. Only after the expiry of the sanction, in accordance with the legislation, the work permits were obtained for foreign employees, and working visas were issued for their stay in Kazakhstan.