• Representative Offices Exempted from Foreign Worker Ratio Requirements
  • July 2, 2013
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Representative offices of foreign companies will be exempt from Kazakhstan’s foreign worker ratio rules when a new government resolution takes effect June 29, 2013. As a result, representative offices will not be subject to limits on the percentage of foreign workers they employ to stay below government-mandated levels.

    In addition, work permit applications from representative offices will be exempt from discretionary special conditions. Some common special conditions include requiring an employer to hire a local worker to replace a foreign worker after his or her permit expires, or requiring an employer to maintain local training programs during the validity of a foreign national’s work permit. The exemption from special conditions will also extend to any employer participating in specified government accredited programs, such as the Map of Industrial Development of Kazakhstan 2010-2014 program.

    It is not yet clear how local officials will interpret the new special conditions exemption, and some inconsistency in its application can be expected. The exemption is expected to apply to new work permits only. Soon-to-be exempt employers should still be required to fulfill existing special conditions that are attached to their current sponsored work permits.

    Kazakhstan’s foreign worker ratio rules are a major feature of the country’s immigration system, and the new exemption will make it much easier for representative offices to transfer qualified and experienced foreign experts to the country. The exemption from special conditions will also simplify representative offices’ ongoing work permit compliance obligations.