Kazakhstan – Covid-19 – Immigration update

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Update : July 3rd, 2020

Quota applications due by end of July

What is the change?

Companies in need of work permits for foreign workers in quota-subject job categories in 2021 must file quota applications by July 31.

  • Implementation time frame: Applications are being accepted and will continue to be accepted through July 31.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies seeking work permits for quota-subject foreign workers in 2021.
  • Business impact: Failure to file a quota application may prevent a company from being able to hire foreign workers.

Filing a quota application is an annual requirement for companies that rely on foreign workers in job categories subject to quotas. The quota application must contain the number of work permit holders the company currently has as well as the number the company intends to hire in 2021. Applications must be submitted in any region of Kazakhstan where the company has operations. Companies should not include foreign workers who do not require a work permit or those who will be working as an intra-corporate transferee. Authorities may reject applications in cases where employers have a record of violating immigration or labor law.

Because of potential quarantine-related delays, it is recommended that employers not wait until the end of July to submit their applications. It is also recommended that applications be submitted on time or it may not be possible to obtain work permits or permit renewals. The application form can be found here.

After an applicant has received a work permit it will also be necessary to obtain an entry permit from the Interdepartmental Commission because of the quarantine.

Update : May 20th, 2020

State of emergency lifted, foreign visitor relief measures

What is the change?

Kazakhstan has lifted the national state of emergency and implemented several measures to provide relief to foreign visitors.

Key points:

  • The state of emergency was lifted on May 11.
  • Foreign nationals who were staying in the country during the state of emergency but were unable to leave because of conditions beyond their control are not liable for violating their stay terms.
  • Following the end of the state of emergency, the government granted two months for foreigners in the country to settle their legal status. During this two-month period, foreigners will not be sanctioned for violating the terms of their stays. They are also free to leave Kazakhstan until July 10. Processing exit documents at the migration service is not necessary during this period.
  • Foreigners in the country have the right to replace expired documents or extend their stay periods, if they are planning to remain, but must do so by July 10.
  • After the two-month period has ended, effective July 11, foreigners who are still in the country who have not renewed their period of stay, will be liable.
  • Host entities can request extensions from the migration service for a work permit, general power of attorney, a labor agreement, a contract for services provided, and other documents, like a labor patent.
  • Appropriate visas or temporary residence permits will be granted by the migration service.

The lifting of the national state of emergency and the relief measures for foreign visitors will impact the movement of people into and out of Kazakhstan.

Update : April 30th, 2020

Visa-free travel for many foreign nationals suspended

What is the change?

Kazakhstan has suspended visa-free travel for nationals from 57 countries to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key points

  • The unilateral visa-free regime has been suspended for nationals from 57 countries until Nov. 1. A list of the countries is here.
  • After Kazakhstan’s borders are opened, nationals from the 57 countries will be required to have a visa to enter the country.
  • At that time, new visas will only be issued to such nationals who have medical certificates demonstrating the absence of COVID-19. The medical certificate must be granted within 48 hours before applying for the visa at the consulate.

The visa-free travel suspension and visa application changes will impact the movement of people into Kazakhstan.

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