Foreign labour force is employed in the Republic of Kazakhstan through the work permits to be issued by the local executive bodies of the territorial unit. Territorial local executive bodies are in charge of the work permits issuance and extension or refusal, suspension or revocation thereof against the quota limit, established by the authorised employment state agency.
A work permit cannot be taken over by another employers and it shall be valid in the territory of the relevant territorial unit, except for cases when the employees - foreign nationals, employed on the basis of the work permits, are sent to the companies and organisations in the territory of another territorial units for the period of at most 90 calendar days within one year.
A work permit issuance and extension is charged with a state fee to be paid in a timely manner established by the authorised employment body. This does not apply to the secondment of foreign nationals and stateless persons, employed through intra-corporate transfer.
The documents for the work permits issuance and extension are filed with the local executive bodies in manner, established by the authorised employment agency, inter alia through the online system of permissions and notifications.
The number of foreign labour force employed under the work permits should be in line with the percentage ratio in relation to the Kazakhstani personnel established by the authorised employment agency.
The following employee categories are established in order to determine order and conditions of issuance and extension of the work permits:
1) First category - chief officers (heads) and their deputies;
2) Second category – chief officers of structural subdivisions as per the qualification requirements, established by the professional standards, qualification manual of positions of chief managers, experts and other personnel;
3) Third category - experts, as per the qualification requirements established by the professional standards, qualification manual of positions of chief managers, experts and other personnel;
4) Fourth category - skilled workers as per the qualification requirements, established by the professional standards, qualification manual of positions of chief managers, experts and other personnel
The work permits issuance is subject to the quota limit established by the authorised employment agency.
The work permits are issued and prolonged by the local executive bodies subject to as follows:
1) Number of the Kazakhstani citizens is not less than 70% of number of employees of the first and the second categories;
2) Number of the Kazakhstani citizens is not less than 90% of number of employees of the third and fourth categories.
The above rules on the issuance and extension do not apply to the:
1) Small-scale entities;
2) State agencies and organisations;
3) Foreign employees arrived in the Republic of Kazakhstan for the self-employment;
4) Work permits, issued against the quota limit for countries pursuant to the ratified international agreements on cooperation in labour migration and social protection of migrant workers;
5) Representative offices and branches of foreign legal entities with personnel less than 30 person.
In the event of secondment of foreign employees by a foreign legal entity which carries out its activities in the Republic of Kazakhstan without a branch or representative office, to the Republic of Kazakhstan under a contract for the performance of work provision of services; or secondment of foreign employees for the performance of work, rendering services in the daughter company (subsidiary), branch or representative office of a foreign legal entity, in which such foreign legal entity directly or indirectly holds shares or participatory interests, the authorized person of the receiving party files an application with the local executive body online through the information system "State database" E-licensing ", or a hard copy of a standard application form at place of foreign labour employment, along with the required documents.
The employment relations are regulated by the document (letter or agreement on transfer/secondment) between a foreign employee and foreign legal entity – employer, which makes intra-company transfer or secondment, within the employment period. By virtue of points 1-2 article 97, Eurasian Economic Union Agreement, there is no need to get work permits for the foreign employees – citizens of states-members of the Eurasian Economic Union Agreement of 29 May 2014, ratified by the Kazakhstani Law of 14 October 2014.
The state fee rates for the work permit issuance are set out in the Governmental Decree of 18 August 2016 No.459 “On fee rates for the issuance and/or extension of work permits for foreign labour attraction into the Republic of Kazakhstan (point 9, Rules 559).
The validity period of the work permits are as follows:
1) First category - 1, 2, or 3 years as per the application, with prolongation for 1,2 or 3 years;
2) Second and third categories - 12 months with prolongation for 12 months, but not more than three times;
3) Fourth category - 12 months without prolongation;
4) Seasonal workforce - 12 months without prolongation.
The local executive body takes up a decision on approval or rejection of application for the work permit within seven business days from the day of receipt thereof.
The quota and work permit rules do not apply to employment of foreign nationals and stateless persons in the following organisations:
Chief officers of branches and representative offices of the foreign legal entities;
Foreign nationals and stateless persons who can be employed without work permits by virtue of the governmental decree, as set forth below.
List of persons to be employed without work permits issued by the local executive bodies
Foreign national and stateless persons who are any of as follows:
Foreign Labor Categories
chief executives and their deputies
heads of organization departments, that meet qualification requirements established by the Competency Catalogue for heads, specialists and other employees, standard qualification profiles for heads, specialists and other employees of organizations
specialists, that meet qualification requirements established by the Competency Catalogue for heads, specialists and other employees, standard qualification profiles for heads, specialists and other employees of organizations
qualified workers, that meet qualification requirements established by the Uniform Wage-Rates and Skills Guide for jobs and occupations of manual workers, wage and qualification profiles of manual workers.