Visas and Work Permits 7 min

Work permits and visas in Kyrgyzstan: an employer’s guide

Written by Sally Flaxman
Sally Flaxman

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Businesses now have the opportunity to tap into a diverse pool of talented and qualified individuals from around the world, including Kyrgyzstan. But they also have the responsibilities that come with remote employment, including ensuring compliance with local laws.

Remote workers may wish to relocate to their chosen country, either permanently or temporarily, or work as digital nomads, frequently changing locations. Employers must ensure that each employee holds the appropriate visas and work permits. Failure to do so can lead to legal problems, fines, bans from visa applications, and even global reputation damage.

Many employers decide to work with an employer of record (EOR) like Remote to simplify the process of hiring abroad. From managing employee benefits and payroll to handling international taxes and compliance with immigration rules and labor laws, an EOR allows companies to expand globally with ease.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the work visas and permit requirements process in Kyrgyzstan and explain how Remote can make compliance easier when you’re hiring abroad. 

The importance of immigration compliance in Kyrgyzstan

Employers must be aware of the laws in every country where employees will be working permanently or temporarily. This includes knowledge of Kyrgyz immigration laws and policies regarding immigration, relocation, and obtaining the necessary visa for various circumstances.

Governments are beginning to enforce immigration laws, especially when digital nomads and remote workers enter the country to work. Penalties and other repercussions can ensue if an employee overstays their visa or does not possess the proper visa or work permit. Consequences can include disciplinary action, deportation, and prohibition from entering the country in the future.

Employers also run the risk of having future visa applications denied or receiving hefty fines, making compliance with immigration laws an important issue. Remember, you can reduce legal risks and make sure you operate in compliance with immigration regulations and other labor laws by working with an employer of record. Learn more about employee relocation by downloading our useful guide below.

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Do non-citizens need a work visa or work permit in Kyrgyzstan?

Kyrgyzstan's government allows some countries' citizens to stay in the republic indefinitely. The citizens of other countries may stay for periods of 30 days to up to 90 days without the need for a visa, depending on the country. 

What are the eligibility requirements for a work visa in Kyrgyzstan?

Types of work visas

For visitors who are not exempt from having to get a visa, several types of visas allow you to stay and work in Kyrgyzstan, each with a different purpose, eligibility requirements, and duration. For employment purposes, the following visas are available:

Employment Visa (W)

The Employment Visa (W) is for applicants getting a work permit or for individual entrepreneurship. This visa permits visitors to enter the country without requiring permission to work for the first 90 days. After that, a work permit must be approved. The duration of the W Visa is then valid for the duration of the work permit, which is up to one year.

Applicants can use the tool on the website to see if they require a visa and if they are eligible for an e-visa.

Business visa (B)

The Business Visa is issued for visitors to perform business activities in the country such as negotiations, meetings, or sports events. It also allows individuals to attend events organized by governments, international groups, or legal entities. This visa allows for visits for up to 90 days.

Work permits

All non-citizens must also have a Kyrgyzstan work permit issued by the State Migration Service to work in the Kyrgyzstan Republic. An application for a work permit, completed by an individual's employer, is sent after the applicant is approved for a visa.

How do you get a work visa for Kyrgyzstan?

Visa application

Foreigners wishing to visit or stay in Kyrgyzstan can apply for a visa either at an embassy or on the government website. Applying for the e-visa online saves time as there is no need for a personal interview at an embassy or consulate, and the visa received online grants the same rights as a traditional visa.

The following are required for visa applications:

  • Valid passport

  • Photo

  • Credit or debit card

All documentation and applications should be in the Kyrgyz or Russian languages or translated into one of these languages.

Work permit

After applying for the visa and getting approved, the individual will need a work permit. The worker’s employer applies for a permit to attract foreign labor to get a permit for their employee. As noted earlier, work permits for the Employment Visa allow a stay of up to one year.

The employer must apply with the State Migration Service and meet with the Interdepartmental Permitting Commission for consideration of the approval, potentially based on labor quotas and whether a local citizen could fill the role. If approved, the permit will be issued after the fee is paid. If denied, a written notice of the decision is sent within five business days.

These documents are required for work permits:

  • Notarized copy of translated passport

  • A valid Employment Visa (W)

  • A notarized copy of the translated diploma or other certification if the applicant is in the field of education, medicine, pharmaceuticals, or law

  • Matte color photo on a white background

What is the process for employee work visa sponsorship in Kyrgyzstan?

Any visitor who requires a visa should get a sponsor to work in Kyrgyzstan. By sponsoring an employee, the business assures the government that they are hiring someone who will be able to live and work in Kyrgyzstan.

The worker is permitted to relocate to Kyrgyzstan for employment after obtaining the necessary work permits and visas. Learn more about your sponsorship options in Kyrgyzstan by contacting our expert team at Remote who can advise on the best way forward.

What are the visa requirements for digital nomads in Kyrgyzstan?

In 2022, Kyrgyzstan introduced the Digital nomad visa for tech specialists from a select few countries. The visa allows individuals who work in the IT or software development industry to work in the country for up to six months. This visa can be extended for another six months.

For those who do not qualify for the Digital nomad visa, an Employment visa or a Business visa can also be used by workers to live and work in Kyrgyzstan for up to 90 days for employment or other business purposes.

How Remote makes compliance in Kyrgyzstan so much easier

Hiring or relocating employees abroad can be challenging for both the employer and the employee. From handling the large amount of paperwork involved in obtaining work permits to remaining compliant with local employment laws, it's tricky to manage the relocation process. Especially, if you don't have a solid understanding of labor rules in the country of hiring.

By educating yourself on the process and working with Remote, companies can make relocation easier. Remote also handles payroll processing, benefits administration, and other HR activities such as hiring and paying employees. With Remote, global hiring becomes simple.

Download Remote’s Relocation Guide to learn more about how to plan the international relocation of team members. You can also contact our specialists for specific questions about global employment, the work visa sponsorship process, and how Remote can support you while hiring abroad.

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