Foreigners wishing to take up employment in Kazakhstan will need a valid work visa and work permit. The Kazakhstani government has been making an effort to streamline the visa application process, but the bureaucratic remnants of Soviet rule still linger, making application a cumbersome process.
Nevertheless, as long as prospective expats are careful to ensure that all their documentation is in order, they should eventually be granted their valid work visa for Kazakhstan.
Applying for work permits for Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan, there are two important documents that a foreign worker must obtain to take up employment in the country.
The first is a work permit, which the employer applies for on behalf of the foreign worker or workers he or she plans to employ. The second is a work visa, which allows the foreign worker to enter Kazakhstan for the purposes of taking up employment.
First, the employer must arrange and apply for a work permit on the expat worker's behalf. The government has annual quotas for the number of foreigners allowed in each profession. Work permits will only be granted in cases where the quota has not yet been met.
Once the relevant authorities have authorised the work permit, the expat must then apply for their work visa. The length of validity varies, but work visas are extendable by one year as long as employees can present their current work permit and a contract confirming the continuation of the job.
*Visa regulations and requirements for work permits are subject to change at short notice, and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For more on consular concerns, read Visas for Kazakhstan
►Looking for a job in the country? See Working in Kazakhstan for some advice
"Apart from the usual hubbub about having documents apostilled, translated and notarised, it was fairly straightforward. I handled the documents and applications on our end and the language centre handled everything on their end. They sent me templates with clear instructions to be followed for our reference letters. Shortly thereafter, we received our invitations and applied for our visas."
Check out our interview with South African expat Jolene to learn about moving to Kazakhstan.
Are you an expat living in Kazakhstan?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Kazakhstan. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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