IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Kazakhstan has updated several rules affecting the issuance of work permits for intracompany transferees, or ICTs.

What does the change mean? Authorities will no longer be able to reject work permit applications based on the availability of local candidates, although the host company must still submit a workforce demand application 15 days ahead of the work permit application. Educational documents are no longer required, but both the foreign and local employers must provide official letters affirming the assignee’s qualifications and experience for the position. Additionally, the “special conditions” for employers who hire ICTs have been revised.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits for ICTs.
  • Who is affected: Multinational companies transferring employees to an affiliate office in Kazakhstan.
  • Business impact: The changes are a positive step as they ease certain requirements for ICTs.

Background: The updates clarify rules that took effect in September:

  • Work permit applications for ICTs will be approved regardless of whether local workers are available.
  • The local organization hosting the ICT must provide confirmation that it has submitted the workforce demand application when applying for a work permit.
  • ICTs do not need to submit educational degrees, but both the foreign and local employer must submit official letters affirming that the assignee’s qualifications and experience fit the type of work permit and the position.
  • The host organization may now choose one of several “special conditions” to be applied without further endorsement by authorities. Previously, authorities could either endorse the employer’s choice or revise it. Special conditions will apply both to initial and renewal work permit applications, but host entities will be exempt from special conditions if they participate in a program to increase the proportion of local workers in their workforces. According to special conditions, employers who employ foreign national ICTs are required to hire and train local citizens and permanent residents in technical and professional fields that are in demand in the labor market.

BAL Analysis: The new rules should make the process of transferring ICTs to Kazakhstan more business-friendly.