Kazakhstan

Individual - Other issues

Last reviewed - 02 July 2020

Temporary visas

The application package for a temporary visa includes a letter of invitation (LOI) from a host organisation in Kazakhstan, a passport photo, and the completed application form. The timeline for obtaining a visa is ten business days, and the consular fee is approximately USD 200. Usually visitors are applying to the nearest country where a Kazakhstan embassy or consulate is available. 

In December 2019, the Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an online application for an LOI on its website (www.vmp.gov.kz). This service is available for the following types of visas:

  • Single entry business visas category B1, B2, and B3.
  • Single entry private visa category B10.

The process takes up to five business days from the date of submission. 

Based on the LOI, a foreign national may also obtain an electronic visa (e-visa) for Kazakhstan, if applicable. It is important to note that entry to Kazakhstan under an e-visa is possible only through the International Airports of Nur-Sultan and Almaty.

The citizens of the following countries are able to visit Kazakhstan on a visa-free regime for 30 days for each entry. The total duration of stay shall not exceed 90 days within 180 days:

Australia Iceland Poland
Austria Indonesia Portugal
Bahrain Ireland Qatar
Belgium Israel Republic of Korea
Bulgaria Italy Romania
Brazil Japan Saudi Arabia
Canada Kuwait Singapore
Chile Latvia Slovak Republic
Croatia Liechtenstein Slovenia
Cyprus Lithuania Spain
Czech Republic Luxembourg Sweden
Colombia  Malaysia Switzerland
Denmark Malta Thailand
Estonia Mexico Turkey
Finland Monaco United Arab Emirates
France Netherlands United States
Germany New Zealand Vatican
Greece Norway Vietnam
Great Britain Oman
Hungary Philippines

The purpose of visit must be business, tourism, or private only. Work is not allowed. 

Work permits

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Kazakhstan, as established by immigration laws. Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally incorporated entity. 

Citizens of Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) members (i.e. Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia) are exempt from work permits and work visas.

The most common scenario used by companies engaging foreign personnel to Kazakhstan are:

  • intra-corporate transfer
  • provision of foreign personnel (secondment), and
  • direct hire.

Attraction of foreign personnel to Kazakhstan is allowed only within the limits of the quota, which is the annual number of foreign workers employed by the government for labour in Kazakhstan. Companies should apply for the quota by 1 August on an annual basis. Certain engagement options are exempt from the quota requirement. 

Generally, work permits are issued within the quota for:

  • The first category: CEO and deputies only.Up to three years, extensions are allowed for one, two, or three years.

  • The second and third categories: Heads of structural divisions, departments, and specialists.Up to one year, extension is allowed three times; overall validity is up to four years.
  • The fourth category: Skilled workers. Up to one year, no extension is available.

Starting 28 April 2018, Kazakhstan legal entities with 100% foreign ownership are no longer required to apply for work permits for foreign individuals acting as CEO or deputies.

The application for a work permit is done online and takes up to 40 calendar days after the submission of documents to the labour authorities.

Registration requirements

Registration of passports with migration authorities has been cancelled for foreign nationals arriving in Kazakhstan from CIS and EEU countries. Allowed duration of stay is 30 calendar days. This can be extended up to one year by obtaining a temporary residence permit based on the employment contract/business trip order/work permit, etc.

Notification on arrival must be submitted within three business days from the arrival for all foreign nationals arriving to Kazakhstan, regardless of the basis of entry and purpose of visit. This can be done in three ways: 

  • The Visa Migration Portal.
  • The eGov website.
  • Submission of written notification to the relevant migration authority (in case of technical issues with the Visa Migration Portal or eGov website).