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 2023
    Departments for Employment and Social Programs have started accepting quota applications for engaging foreign specialists in 2023.

    In this video we will share key information on the quota application process.
    Quota 2023
    Departments for Employment and Social Programs have started accepting quota applications for engaging foreign specialists in 2023.

    In this video we will share key information on the quota application process.
    More details
    Formation of quota application
    Quota application is formed by the employer which brings foreign specialists to Kazakhstan.

    In practice, obtaining or renewal of work permits can be difficult if such application is not submitted timely.

    Deadline for submission of quota request
    Application should be submitted to the employment department no later than September 30.

    Currently, in some regions applications can only be submitted online through eGov portal or eOtinish service.

    It is necessary to submit quota requests to the regions where your company plans to employ foreign workers next year.

    Quota application details
    Quota application must include:
    • number of foreign employees with valid work permits
    • number of foreign specialists that you plan to invite in 2023

    This information should be specified in the context of categories and job titles.
    Quota request must include justification for engaging foreign workers with indication of the projects being implemented in Kazakhstan. You should provide copies of the existing contracts with customers as confirmation.

    Rejection of quota request
    All the applications are considered by the Committee for quota formation (akimat). The Committee may reject quota application if the employer has violations of the labor legislation or conditions for issuing work permits.

    The Committee may also reject the application if the employer can meet the need in foreign specialists at the expense of local personnel.

    Quota exemption
    Quota is not required for foreign employees:
    • attracted under intracorporate transfer (ICT)
    • working under exemption without work permit (for example, as an investor or director of the companywith 100% of foreign shares)
    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?
    Order paid consultation.
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