Kazakhstan to change migration policy

Kazakhstan to change migration policy

Kazakhstan intends to change the country’s migration policy.

Kazakh Minister of Labor and Social Protection Tamara Duissenova has already submitted the Draft Migration Policy Concept for 2017-2021 for the Government’s consideration.

She stressed two main factors advocating for the expansion of migration policy framework, Kazinform reported.

“One of them is that our country is now becoming a large transit and migration hub. The second is the expected internal impacts this process has. For the past five years alone, nearly 300,000 foreigners have arrived in our country for work, and 204,000 people are our brothers who returned to their homeland. The pace of the migration activity in the country is increasing. It has doubled during the reported period,” the minister said.

As of mid 2017, the population of Kazakhstan has reached 18 million people.  Every year more than 400,000 children are born in the country.

She further talked about the demographic imbalance in Kazakhstan.

Duissenova said that by 2050, under the current demographic trends, the population of the southern regions will increase by 5.2 million, and the population density in the above regions will be four times higher than the figures related to the northern parts of the country.

“As many as 38 percent of the population live in the southern regions, except for Almaty City, while the percentage they yield to the gross regional product is only 17 percent. In the northern regions, 29 percent of the population produces 25 percent of the gross regional product,” she explained.

The labor minister added that there are imbalances in the labor productivity as well.

“The southern regions with the highest population density have the lowest productivity, whereas the northern regions with low density have a higher productivity level. In the next five years, the drift of labor will be slowing down. These are the consequences of the demographic situation that came about in the early 1990s and the resulting decrease in labor supplies,” she said.

Considering all these challenges, the concept aims to improve the demographic-economic balance of the country, build an open market of professional employees based on temporary and long-term migration, and ensure the national security against the migration-related threats, according to the minister.

Earlier, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry suggested creating an integrated online system of migration control in order to digitalize migration flows. The system will register foreign citizens automatically and issue e-visas.

Currently, in addition to a visa, Kazakhstan requires foreigners to obtain a migration card, which is issued by the Border Service of Committee of National Security after registration with the local authorities.

Cards are required and issued upon arrival to visitors aged 16 and above.

by Kamila Aliyeva, AzerNews