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08 february 2018

Employment of Foreign Citizens in the Territory of the Republic of Belarus

As on February 2018

From time to time employers of the Republic of Belarus have a need for involvement of foreign experts to work within the territory of the Republic of Belarus. In this case it is important to consider that the legislation of the Republic of Belarus provides a special order of recruitment of foreigners who are going to work for Belarusian employers.

The main instrument regulating an order of employment of foreign citizens in the Republic of Belarus is the Law of the Republic of Belarus dated 30.12.2008 No. 225-З “On external labour migration”. This procedure is also regulated by a number of bylaws adopted in its implementation.

In general, it is necessary to obtain a special permission to work for hire in the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter referred to as the Special permission) to work in Belarus.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. In particular, it is not required to obtain the Special permission for:

  • citizens of the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgystan);
  • heads of representative offices of foreign organizations in the Republic of Belarus;
  • foreigners permanently residing in the territory of Republic of Belarus (i.e. those having permission on permanent residence).

The employer of the Republic of Belarus is obliged to obtain a permission to attract foreign labour (hereinafter referred to as the Permission) in case it has intention to employ more than 10 foreign citizens, except for:

  • foreign citizens who have high level of professional knowledge, work experience for more than 5 years and salary in the amount of not less than BYN 3975 which equals approximately EUR 1750) (hereinafter – high-qualified employee);
  • foreign citizens which are employed as head of commercial organization in creation of which they participated (in the capacity of property owner, founder, shareholder). 

Let us examine in detail the procedures of obtaining the Special permission and permission to attract foreign labour.

 

Special permission to work for hire in the Republic of Belarus

Special permissions are issued upon the application of the employer of the Republic of Belarus in the name of particular foreign citizen.

In this application, in addition to other data, the employer should justify the need for involvement of the foreigner to work for the employer at available vacancy. In describing of justification of need for hiring the foreign citizen the employer should also specify the measures he took for search of citizens of Belarus for the available vacancy, for example, about the direction of data on free workplaces (vacancies) to the job placement department of Bodies for Labour, Employment and Social Protection of the Population.

It is related to the fact that the legislation of the Republic of Belarus establishes a priority of citizens of the Republic of Belarus for the available vacancies of employers of the Republic of Belarus. In this regard, migratory bodies carry out an inspection concerning the possibility to employ the citizen of the Republic of Belarus and/or the foreigner permanently residing in the Republic of Belarus. For this purposes the migratory body sends the request to the Body for Labour, Employment and Social Protection. The negative conclusion of the Body for Labour, Employment and Social Protection on possibility of hiring of the foreign citizen is one of the bases for refusal to issue the Special permission.

For high-qualified employees and foreign citizens employed at position of head of commercial organization in creation of which they participated, Special permission is issued by migration department without taking into account conclusion of the Bodyfor Labour, Employment and Social Protection.

In general, the term of consideration of the application amounts to 15 days from the date of filing the application. Shorter term (7 days) is established for certain categories of legal entities:

  • investors and (or) the organizations, created in the Republic of Belarus by this investor or with his participation in accordance with the established procedure, after the conclusion of the investment agreement in implementing the investment project, as well as
  • the organizations – residents of Hi-Tech Park Belarus and members of the Scientific and Technological Association “Infopark”.

Special permission can be issued for the following term:

  • 2 years – in relation to high-qualified employees;
  • 1 year – in relation to other employees.

Term of Special permission can be prolonged once. After one time prolongation Employer is entitled to apply for receipt of new Special permission.

State fee charged for consideration of the application, generally, amounts to 5 basic units (currently 122.5 Belarusian rubles that equals to approximately 50 euro). The Special permission is issued free of charge if the employer of immigrant worker is the investor and (or) the organization created in the Republic of Belarus by this investor or with his participation in accordance with the established procedure, after the conclusion of the investment agreement in implementing the investment project.

If a foreign citizen works for several Belarusian employers, he is obliged to receive the Special permission to work for each of them.

After obtaining the Special permission the employer of the Republic of Belarus should enter into a labour contract with the foreign citizen. It is important to take into account the following:

  • the term of validity of a labour contract cannot exceed the term of the validity of the Special permission;
  • labour contract should comprise special provisions provided by the Belarusian migratory legislation (including conditions under which the immigrant worker move to the Republic of Belarus, conditions concerning nutrition, accommodation, medical care of the immigrant worker);
  • labour contract should be made in the Russian and (or) Belarusian languages, as well as in native or other language clear for the foreign citizen (if Russian and (or) Belarusian are not native or clear for foreign citizen);
  • labour contract should be registered in the Citizenship and Migration Body within a month from the date of its conclusion;
  • amendments and/or additions to labour contract are to be registered in migration department within one month after their inclusion.

The Special permission is issued according to the permissive principle. One of the possible bases for refusal is the negative conclusion of appropriate Bodies for Labour, Employment and Social Protection.

Permission to attract foreign labour

Indispensable condition of issue of the Permission is the existence of the positive conclusion on possibility of attraction of foreigners to the Republic of Belarus for working within its territory. Such conclusion is provided by Committees for Labour, Employment and Social Protection of the Regional Executive Committees and Minsk City Executive Committee (at the location of the employer) at the request of migratory body.

For obtaining the Permission the employer submits the application to the Citizenship and Migration Body attaching the set of documents determined by the legislation.

Decision-making term on the application amounts to 15 days. Maximum term of validity of the Permission is 1 year. State fee charged for issuance of the Permission is 5 basic units (currently 122.5 Belarusian rubles that equals to approximately 50 euro).

If after the expiry of one year from the issuance of the Permission the employer intends to continue to use the work of more than ten foreigners not having permissions on permanent residence in the Republic of Belarus, he should make an application to the Department for the extension of period of validity of permission to attract foreign labour to the territory of the Republic of Belarus. Moreover, it is necessary to file such application beforehand so that the term of validity of the Permission does not interrupt.

The bases for refusal to issue the Permission are established in Art. 27 of the Law "On External Labour Migration". Along the lines of issue of the Special permission the existence of the negative conclusion of the Body for Labour, Employment and Social Protection on possibility of hiring foreign citizens belongs to such bases.

Liability

For recruitment of foreign citizens without the existence of necessary permissions the employer can be brought to administrative responsibility in accordance with part 4 of Art. 23.55 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Belarus. Sanction: warning or fine up to 20 basic units (currently 490 Belarusian rubles that equals to approximately 200 euro).

Furthermore, the foreign citizen can be made responsible on the basis of part 1 of Art. 23.55 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Belarus. In this case the following sanctions are possible: warning, deportation or fine up to 50 basic units (currently 1225 Belarusian rubles that equals to approximately 500 euro).

 

We will be happy to provide any further information or assistance should you are interested in the above procedures.

Please contact VMP Labour practice team - partner Svetlana Dashuk (svetlana.dashuk@vmp.by) or senior associate Natalia Talai (natalia.talai@vmp.by).

 

 

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