Work permits in Kazakhstan

Up-to-date information on attracting foreign labor in 2022
Work permit
In order to employ a foreign citizen in Kazakhstan, the inviting organization (employer) must issue an appropriate work permit.

In order to protect the local labor market, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved the Rules and Conditions for the issuance of work permits, including requirements for the qualifications (education, work experience) of attracted foreign workers.
Work permit
In order to employ a foreign citizen in Kazakhstan, the inviting organization (employer) must issue an appropriate work permit.

In order to protect the local labor market, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved the Rules and Conditions for the issuance of work permits, including requirements for the qualifications (education, work experience) of attracted foreign workers.
What is a work permit?
Permission to attract foreign labor (IRS) is a document of the established form issued by the local executive body (akimat) to the employer to attract foreign specialists to the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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Confirmation of the qualifications of a foreign worker
According to the current rules, in order to attract a foreign specialist, it is not required to provide certificates from previous jobs.

How to confirm the work experience of a foreigner?
Now the employer provides a letter confirming that the qualifications and experience of the foreign worker correspond to the position for which he is being hired. This is indicated in Appendix No. 3 to the Rules for the issuance of permits.
Confirmation of the qualifications of a foreign worker
According to the current rules, in order to attract a foreign specialist, it is not required to provide certificates from previous jobs.

How to confirm the work experience of a foreigner?
Now the employer provides a letter confirming that the qualifications and experience of the foreign worker correspond to the position for which he is being hired. This is indicated in Appendix No. 3 to the Rules for the issuance of permits.
More details
However, the rules do not provide for a sample of the letter itself. Therefore, based on practice, we recommend that you prepare a letter on the company's letterhead and confirm in it:
  • employee information - name, surname, citizenship and passport details
  • the level of education and specialty of the employee work experience

Please note that the education and work experience of a foreign worker must meet the qualification requirements for the declared position.
In this case, the employer is responsible for the accuracy of the information provided.

Corporate transfer
If you hire a foreign employee as part of a corporate transfer (ICT), then the list of documents remains unchanged:
  • certificate from the place of work
  • letters from the sending and receiving parties about the qualifications and professional experience of the employee
  • employment contract or intercompany transfer agreement / letter.

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    Reporting Information
    The employer reports information about invited foreign labor to the Department of Employment and Social Protection regardless of whether the work permit is obtained via the standard process, the intra-corporate transfer, or in accordance with paragraph 35 of Rules and conditions for the issuance and (or) extension of the permits to the employers to attract foreign labor.

    What is the deadline for the information submission?
    The employer submits the report no later than the 30th day of each month.
    What responsibility is entailed for not reporting information?
    Failure to submit a report entails the responsibility of the employer according to article 98 of the Code of Administrative Offences:
    • Warning;
    • A fine at the rate of 10 MCI in the event of a repeat offense.

    *1 MCI in 2022 = 3 063 KZT

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    Business trips of foreign employees
    The current rules provide for the possibility of sending a foreign employee on a business trip to other regions of Kazakhstan.

    According to paragraph 34, the work permit is not transferable to other employers and is valid only in the region where the work permit is obtained. However, it is possible to send foreign labor on business trips to other regions.
    It is important to mention that the total length of business trips cannot exceed the limit of 90 calendar days during 1 calendar year. If the foreign employee is planned to be on the business trip longer than 90 days, then the employer must obtain the work permit for additional region as well.

    In addition to that, the employer must report a departure of foreign workers to other regions of RoK and change of temporary address to Migration Service. The employer must submit a notification during 3 working days.

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    Conclusion of a treaty
    In what cases is it not necessary to conclude an employment contract with a foreign employee?
    In practice, the conclusion of an employment contract is not required if a foreign employee:
    • is the head of a branch or representative office of a foreign legal entity in Kazakhstan,
    • is involved in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer or, in accordance with paragraph 35 of the Rules and Conditions for Issuing Work Permits,
    • temporarily stays in Kazakhstan for business and other purposes that do not provide for employment

    In what cases is an employment contract required?
    A foreigner's employment in Kazakhstan on the basis of a work permit, a residence permit or a certificate of self-employment implies the conclusion of an employment contract in accordance with the current legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
    An employment contract is also required when hiring citizens from the EAEU member states (Armenia, Belarus, Russia, Kyrgyzstan).

    At the same time, an employment contract with a foreign employee is concluded on general terms and in accordance with the procedure provided for by the Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

    Important: admission of a foreign employee to work without concluding an employment contract entails an administrative penalty from the employer in the form of a fine according to article 86 of the Code of Administrative Offences.

    Depending on the business entity, a fine of 60 to 150 MCI* is provided. Repeated violation entails a fine from 80 to 200 MCI.

    *1 MCI in 2022 = 3 063 KZT

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    Quota 2022
    If your company plans to attract foreign workers to Kazakhstan in 2022, then you must apply for a quota by September 30 of this year.

    What is a quota?
    The quota for attracting foreign labor (IRS) is the allowable number of foreigners who can be recruited to work in Kazakhstan.
    Quota 2022
    If your company plans to attract foreign workers to Kazakhstan in 2022, then you must apply for a quota by September 30 of this year.

    What is a quota?
    The quota for attracting foreign labor (IRS) is the allowable number of foreigners who can be recruited to work in Kazakhstan.
    More details
    Who is applying for a quota?
    The application is formed by the employer (legal entity, individual), which attracts foreign employees to the Republic of Kazakhstan.

    Where do you need to apply for a quota?
    The employer submits an application to the Department of Employment and Social Programs (under the akimat). In this case, the application must be submitted in those regions to which your company plans to attract foreign electricity next year.

    What is the deadline for applying for a quota?
    The application must be submitted no later than September 30 of the current year. In some regions, applications are closed for 3-5 business days.

    Important: in practice, obtaining / renewing work permits is difficult, and in some regions it is impossible if you do not submit an application on the need for foreign employees in a timely manner.

    What information should be included in the quota application?
    The app should display:
    • number of foreign employees with valid work permits
    • the number that your company plans to invite in the coming year (information should be indicated in the context of categories and positions)

    The application must contain a justification for the need to attract foreign specialists. In the justification, you indicate current and planned projects for implementation. When drafting the justification, you can specify information about the qualifications and experience of foreign employees, their job responsibilities for the project.

    As confirmation, in some regions it is necessary to attach a copy of the current contract for the provision of services / work with the customer.

    Make sure that a copy of the agreement contains the main provisions:
    • preamble
    • subject of the contract (scope of work)
    • terms and place of rendering services / works
    • details and signatures
      Not required:
      • confidential part of a contract
      • notarization of a copy
      • preparation of an extract from the contract

      If a contract is being negotiated, you can attach a letter of intent to conclude a contract with your prospective client or business partner.

      Who reviews quota applications?
      According to the current regulations, applications received from employers are considered by the Commission for the formation of a quota for attracting the IRS (under the akimat).

      If approved, the Akimat forms a general statement from the region and sends it to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

      The Ministry, on the basis of the submitted applications, approves the quota for attracting foreign labor for the coming year. Until January 1, the ministry distributes the quota between the regions.

      Can I decline a quota application?
      The commission may reject the application in whole or in part if your company:
      • it is possible to satisfy the need for foreign specialists at the expense of local labor resources (personnel)
      • there are violations of the procedure for issuing / extending work permits or labor legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, including arrears in wages and other payments to employees

      For whom is a quota not required?
      For foreign employees, a quota is not required:
      • attracted within the framework of corporate transfer
      • work without permission as an exception (for example, as a director of a branch of a foreign company in Kazakhstan)
      Our practical cases on
      the registration of work permits
      Case 1. DIPLOMA APOSTILLE FOR OBTAINMENT OF WORK PERMIT
      Situation. A citizen of Poland submitted a request for obtainment of work permit. During preliminary consultation we were advised that it would be difficult for the client to provide an apostilled copy of Diploma. According to the Rules, apostille is issued in the country in which the document originates. In our case, the client received Diploma in Poland but has been living in Germany for a long time. Thus, the client did not plan a trip to Poland for the purpose of Diploma apostille.

      Solution. We offered the client apostille services we provide in Poland. After making sure that our team was well experienced in apostilling of documents in the European countries and USA, the client approved a request and handed over Diploma. We discussed the processing time and started the procedure immediately. Our consultants carried out all necessary actions, contacted the authority in Poland responsible for documents apostille and mailed the document for further review and apostilling. After several days Diploma of our client was successfully apostilled and delivered to Kazakhstan.

      Result. Having entrusted WPK team with the apostille issue, the client chose a very convenient option because:

      • there was no need to waste time and travel to Poland;
      • we undertook all efforts on document apostilling;
      • the entire process which was duly coordinated by our team took a week, including mailing and delivery;
      • we timely obtained work permit for the client by promptly submitting a full pack of documents, including apostilled copy of Diploma, for consideration of the Committee.
      Any questions?
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      E-mail: aisana.a@wpk.kz
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