Visa and work permit for foreigners
intending to work in Uzbekistan
A foreign national intending to carry out employment activity under a direct employment agreement with an Uzbek (local) company shall require an Employment («E») visa issued for the period of individual work permit of the foreigner. The work permit is issued for 3-12 months at the discretion of the Uzbek Ministry of Labor, and can be renewed unlimited times.
If a foreign national is sent to Uzbekistan by and on behalf of a foreign company under a service agreement (or another agreement) of the latter with an Uzbek company, the foreign national shall not be treated as carrying out employment activity in Uzbekistan, shall not receive salary from Uzbek company and shall need a Business («B-2») visa for visiting and residing in Uzbekistan. No direct employment with Uzbek company is allowed under business visa.
VISA RECEIVING PROCEDURE
Employment visa receiving procedure in Uzbekistan is a bit complicated and shall require passing following steps:
Step 1. The employer (Uzbek company) shall file required documents for a special license allowing to hire foreign nationals and a work permit for each foreigner, and receive the Ministry of Labor’s confirmation letter on issue of the work permit. Such letter is issued within 14 calendar days from the date of filing documents to the Ministry of Labor. Please note that special license is granted to the employer for 12-month period despite the quantity of hired foreign nationals.
Step 2. The employer (Uzbek company) shall pass accreditation (authorization) procedure at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan (hereinafter – the MFA). Such accreditation is made once – at the time of first invitation of a foreign national, and is granted to the employer within 20 calendar days upon filing all required documents to the MFA. Accreditation is aimed to check whether the inviting company has ever infringed Uzbek immigration laws or not.
Step 3. Upon receiving accreditation of the MFA, the employer shall file visa supporting documents (including the Ministry of Labor’s confirmation letter as stated in Step 1) to the MFA with respect to the foreign national. The MFA shall issue a telex number (i.e. a visa confirmation number) within two weeks, which shall be sent by the employer to the foreign national staying outside of Uzbekistan. Please note that the telex number is valid during 3-month period, and the foreigner shall receive his Uzbek visa before expiry of the same.
Step 4. The foreign national shall file a visa application form indicating the telex number to Uzbek consulate/embassy outside of Uzbekistan and receive a short term Business («B-2») visa for entry to Uzbekistan.
Step 5. Upon arrival to Uzbekistan the foreign national shall take a HIV blood test at the authorized hospital in Uzbekistan and provide test results to the Uzbek Ministry of Labor. The latter shall issue his work permit within 7-14 calendar days.
Step 6. The employer shall file a visa application form to the Uzbek Ministry of Internal Affairs (hereinafter – the MIA) and amend foreigner’s «B-2» visa to «E» visa during his stay in Uzbekistan. «E» visa shall be issued within 2-3 days for the period of newly received work permit.
Receiving visa and work permit are two different procedures. Visas are granted by the MFA and MIA, while the work permits are issued by the Ministry of Labor.
Employment visas are granted for the period of work permit, while Business visas can be received for up to 1-year period. It is not allowed to carry out employment activity in Uzbekistan under Business or other type of visa, except Employment visa.
A foreigner is allowed to be hired only for the position stated in his work permit. Changing position name and/or transferring to another position shall entail amendment/replacement of the work permit. Uzbek local company, which invited foreign nationals to Uzbekistan and/or hired them under employment agreement, shall bear responsibility for their compliance with Uzbek immigration and labor law. Uzbek authorities shall fine the Uzbek company in case of any infringement of laws.
INVITATION SUPPORT FROM UZBEKISTAN AND FEES
Visas: The inviting party shall provide an invitation letter and telex number to the foreigner as described above. Please note that the telex number is granted by the MFA only if the applicant foreigner is outside of Uzbekistan at the time of filing his visa application. The Inviting party shall pay US$5 for each telex number.
Single entry visa fees (Business and Employment):
- up to 7 days
- up to 15 days
- up to 30 days
- up to 3 months
- up to 6 months
- up to 1 year
Note: US$10 is added to above rates for every additional entry to Uzbekistan.
Multiple entry visa fees (Business and Employment):
- up to 6 months
- up to 1 year
Work permit: The employer shall file a special application form and other documents of the foreign national to the Ministry of Labor to obtain the work permit. A state duty at the amount of 10 Minimum Monthly Wages (i.e. 1,302,400 Uzbek Soum, which is around US$452 as of 10 April 2016) shall be paid directly by the employer despite the term the work permit is granted for. The same amount of the state duty is paid separately for receiving 12-month license for hiring foreign nationals.
VISA AND WORK PERMIT ISSUE TERMS
No matter whether a visa/work permit is obtained for short or long term, visa/work permit applications shall be reviewed during the same period as described above.
Visa: It may take about 0.5-1.5 month(s) in total to receive an Uzbek visa;
Work permit: It takes about 1-1.5 month(s) to receive a special license and work permit from the date of filing of all required documents to the Ministry of Labor.
BRINGING DEPENDENTS TO UZBEKISTAN
The foreigner holding a work permit and Employment visa is allowed to bring his dependents to Uzbekistan under «PV-2» (private) visa. The Uzbek employer shall file an invitation letter, visa supporting documents to the MFA to receive a telex number as described above. Dependents shall receive their visas at Uzbek embassy/consulate abroad on the basis of provided telex numbers.
BILATERAL TREATIES WITH DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
A bilateral visa-free regime has been established with Kyrgyzstan (up to 60 days), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Uzbekistan has a simplified visa procedure for the citizens of Austria, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, France, Switzerland and Japan. Multiple entry Tourist visas are issued for up to 1 month for citizens of these countries, and no tourist voucher is required.
Multiple entry Business visas are issued for the same for up to 1 year (for Malaysia citizens - up to 6 months), and no invitation of the Uzbek company or citizen is required. Visas are issued within 2 business days.
Hungary and China (up to 30 days), Viet Nam and the Republic of Korea (up to 60 days), Brazil, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia and Turkey (up to 90 days) has set bilateral visa-free regime for holders of diplomatic passports and their family members.
Uzbekistan and Japan issue visas without consular fees on a mutual basis.
Jamol Ryskiyev, Partner
Ryskiyeva and Partners Law Firm