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Permanent residence in Kazakhstan

Application for a residence permit in Kazakhstan has become much harder lately. For years Kazakhstan was happy with the influx of foreigners to increase population again after the mass exodus of Slavs and Germans post-independence. But now, stricter regulations seem to be targeted at curbing the immigration trend. Most immigrants seeking permanent residence in Kazakhstan are Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, but there are also many Russians, Chinese, Tajiks, Turkmens, Afghans and Turks who are trying to stay in Kazakhstan.

Application for Kazakh residence permit

What does this mean in practice for you, wanna-be permanent resident of Kazakhstan? First off, if you have no ties with Kazakhstan (i.e. you or your parents never had a Kazakh passport) you will need to be married with a Kazakh national for 3 years. Having a baby is not a valid reason for family reunion. If you can prove you are exceptionally useful to Kazakhstan (you have qualifications that are in high demand, for instance) you might be able to get a residence permit even though you have not been married for 3 years yet.

Secondly, you can only apply for permanent residence while in Kazakhstan on a private visa. Once you are in Kazakhstan on a private visa, you can apply at the Ministry of Internal Affairs with the following documents, all properly translated and with apostille if necessary:

A tour company might be of help with all of this. Of course, this being Kazakhstan, shortcuts are available for those willing to pay for it. Certain “agents” claim they can fix you up with a residence permit for anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 USD.