According to the chairman, around 5.6 million foreigners entered Kazakhstan in 2022. Out of those who entered, 650,000 foreigners stayed temporarily.
The number is not a lot, especially when compared with the pre-pandemic figure. In 2019, Kazakhstan welcomed 7 million foreigners. The figure last year was 2 million short.
“Even though quarantine restrictions were lifted, land borders weren’t fully opened until April 11,” Mr. Atalykov explained. “Only from then on immigration flow began to recover.”
Most of the foreigners turned out to be from neighboring CIS countries. Russia took first place for the number of immigrants – 2,900,000 people. In second place were the citizens of Uzbekistan – 2,300,000 people. Kyrgyzstan followed with 730,000 people. More than 330,000 people were from Tajikistan. And almost 90,000 citizens of Turkey entered the country.
On the question of Russian immigration
The chairman was also asked questions regarding the large inflow of Russian citizens observed last year due to the geopolitical situation and mass mobilization.
“Highest influx was observed during the summer months when 1.2 million Russians visited Kazakhstan. The largest number of arrivals was in July with more than 485,000. In August, it was 400,000. In September, 406,000 Russians entered, mostly between September 21 and 30,” he said.
“In those days, the average daily immigration of Russians jumped from 8,000–9,000 up to 30,000 a day. Since October 1, the average daily number of entering Russians stabilized and does not exceed 6,000–7,000 per day.”
Since September 21, about 205,000 Russian citizens have left for other countries—Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkiye, and UAE. Meanwhile, about 146,000 decided to stay for reasons including employment, education, and business.
According to immigration rules, Russian citizens can stay in Kazakhstan for 90 calendar days from the moment of crossing the border. If there are reasons for a longer stay, the host country must issue a temporary residence permit. Since September 21, 36,000 received temporary residence permits.
Some Russians decided to apply for permanent residence and citizenship. Among 3,578 applications for permanent residence, 965 have been accepted. The conditions require the person to have a solvency of ₸4.5 million and no criminal record.
“Obtaining citizenship is followed by compulsory residence in our country for 5 years and renunciation of citizenship of one's own country,” said Mr. Atalykov. "Exceptions from the five-year residency are ethnic Kazakhs, former compatriots, or women who are married to a Kazakh citizen."
How to legalize your stay
Foreigners are not obligated to visit the police station to announce their arrival. The responsibility falls on the host, who is a citizen of Kazakhstan. The host must submit a notification of the foreigner’s arrival within three days.
Violation of the terms of stay is punishable by administrative responsibility, which may include deportation from the country with a ban on entry for 5 years.