The RK Government has introduced important amendments to the Rules on Establishing the Quota for the Employment of Foreign Labour Force.1 In accordance with the RK Government Decree No.189 dated 13 April 2018, the list of persons exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit has been extended to include the following categories of foreign employees:

  • Heads and deputy heads of Kazakhstan legal entities wholly owned (i.e. 100% shares/interests) by foreign companies;
  • Employees working at a national management holding at positions equal to, or higher than, those of heads of subdivisions with higher education as evidenced by supporting documents provided in the order prescribed by the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
  • Employees engaged in the capacity of members of the board of directors of a national management holding.

This Resolution was published yesterday, 23 April 2018 in Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper and will come into force after ten calendar days of its first official publication, i.e. on 4 May 2018.

This is a major change in the sphere of employing foreign citizens which should allow local entities with 100% foreign ownership to appoint and hire foreign persons as CEOs.

At the same time, it is not clear from this legislative instrument how many CEO deputies may fall under the exemption from the work permit requirement and what are the criteria for determining what categories of deputies would be covered by the exemption. A local employment authority would likely clarify this issue, and thus some further guidelines on the application of this provision are to be expected. Dentons will also be proactive in seeking clarification of this issue with the competent authority.