Most foreign companies registered in Kazakhstan want to hire or relocate foreign employees. In this article, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about employing foreigners in Kazakhstan and successfully arranging work permits and other documents.
Firstly, employing foreigners in Kazakhstan can be done without obtaining a work permit in the following cases:
- The head of the branch or representative office (of a foreign entity)
- CEO of a local company fully owned by a foreign entity.
The Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan sets quotas for attracting foreign employees into Kazakhstan for each year. The quotas are expressed in percentage to the total work labor in Kazakhstan and divided by economy sectors. Then, the labor authority allocates quotas by regions of Kazakhstan. In some situations, companies do not need to regard to quotas. For instance, quotas are not applicable for intra-group transfers (IGT) for some economic sectors.
The system divides all foreign employees into four categories depending on the position of an employee. Namely, 1st – CEOs and deputies, 2nd – managers, 3rd – specialists and 4th – workers. If an applicant is intending to attract foreign employees for 1st and 2nd categories then there should be not less than 70% of local employees. For the 3rd and 4th categories, the threshold is 90%. This rule does not apply, inter alia, for small enterprises, state-owned enterprises, for branches and representative offices (of a foreign entity) that have not more than 30 employees.
Intra-group transfers (IGT) are not subject to quotas
An intra-group transfer is an option to transfer an employee from an entity incorporated in the WTO member states to its Kazakh subsidiary, branch or representative office. Hence, for the IGT there is a different categorization: heads, managers and specialists. A work permit under the IGT may be issued up to 3 years with an option to extend for another year. There is a different threshold for attracting an employee under the ITG, which is 50% of locals.
Depending on the type of a work permit (ordinary or the ITG) and depending on the category of an employee the following special conditions may be chosen by the applicant: professional education of a local, professional re-education of a local, creation of jobs.
Also, the government fee depends on the sector of the economy and on the category of an employee and varies between 137 and 225 MCIs (monthly calculation indicator). MCI for the year 2019 is equal to 2525 KZT. An applicant does not pay the government fee if a foreign employee is being attracted under the ITG. In addition, there are no guarantee deposits that need to be paid.
Facts about quotas per region
For the year 2019 the Government of Kazakhstan has set the following quotas per region:
- Almaty – 6042 work permits;
- Astana – 5449 work permits;
- Atyrau region – 10286 work permits;
- Mangystau region (Aktau city) – 2497 work permits;
- West-Kazakhstan region (Uralsk city) – 2572 work permits.
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