New Rules for Obtaining of Work Permits Approved

In March 2012 “new” rules for obtaining of permits for the foreign labour came into effect. Employers attracting foreign workers will face a number of changes, the majority of which are favourable for the employees.

1. The requirement to publish an announcement about existing vacancies in the national and local newspapers is cancelled. Henceforth to search respective candidates in the internal labour market it would be sufficient to provide information about available jobs to the relevant employment and social programs body. Therefore, the employees will not have to incur any expenses to pay for the announcements.

2. Employees’ classification by categories is changed, which, in its turn, effects calculation of the Kazakhstani content in the staff. Employers are allowed to have in their staff maximum 30 % of employees of the first and second categories (chief executive officers and their deputies, heads of structural subdivisions) and not more than 10 % of employees of the third and fourth categories (specialists and qualified workers).

3. A procedure for obtaining permits with the territory of 2 and more regions initially is introduced. At that the pre-existing possibility to extend the territory of the current permit to the other regions is preserved. This innovation will allow the employers to react expeditiously to the necessity of presence of their foreign specialists on production sites.

4. The allowable term of stay of foreigners in a business trip without obtaining of the permit is increased from 60 to 120 calendar days within one calendar year.

5. A list of specialties is introduced, under which the permit for employment is to be obtained by the foreign citizens themselves, and not by the employer.

6. Special conditions imposed upon the employers will not provide for replacement of foreign specialists by Kazakhstani ones any more. In this connection the employers will have no need to search for a Kazakhstani candidate, who would be able to replace the foreign worker. Besides, this will allow avoiding situations which occurred earlier, when the employers could not extend the permit due to the undertaken obligation of replacement.

7. There is a clear description of the possibility to obtain a permit for the first category for a term up to three years. Since previously the permits for a term of over one year were issued for the chief executive officers only (even then not always and not to all), the provided possibility to obtain permits with a longer term of validity, for the deputy chief executive officers too, patently create essential conditions for development of long-term relations with foreign top managers.

8. The pre-existing procedure of secondment of foreign employees is replaced by the procedure of corporate transfer, under which the foreign citizen can be employed for a term of up to three years.

9. The list of documents to be presented to obtain the permit is updated. Additionally it will be necessary to provide a confirmation of presence or absence of prior conviction, medical certificate confirming absence of any diseases preventing from performing the labour activity on the selected specialty, and medical insurance.