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03 february 2023

The procedures for employment of foreigners are changing in Belarus

Due the adoption of the Law dated 30.12.2022 No. 233-З, the Law “On External Labour Migration” is set out in a new edition.

In particular, the following amendments have been introduced:

  • The obligation for Belarusian employers to obtain permission to attract foreign labour has been eliminated. Valid permits will expire and are to be returned to the citizenship and migration departments at the location of the employer within a month from the date the new version of the Law comes into force.
  • Obtaining a special permit for the right to engage in labour activity in Belarus (Work permit) will be carried out without the conclusion of the committee on labour, employment and social protection in relation to the following groups of foreigners:

- hired as directors of commercial companies in the incorporation of which they participated (as the owner of property, founder, shareholder), possessing professional knowledge, skills and abilities, as evidenced by documents on education, having at least two-year work experience, as well as the monthly salary specified in the employment contract that exceeds five times the monthly minimum salary established in Belarus;

- who are highly qualified employees and whose profession is not included in the list of professions for which foreigners are hired without considering the restrictions on the protection of the national labour market.

  • The grounds for refusal to extend the Work permit have been established. For example, an extension may be refused if the employer fails to pay mandatory insurance contributions to the budget of the state non-budgetary fund for the social protection of the population of Belarus during the period the foreign employee have been working.
  • A fixed-term employment agreement is to be concluded with a foreign employee for a period not exceeding the validity period of a Work permit. The conclusion of an employment contract is not allowed.
  • The list of foreigners who are not covered by the scope of the Law has been expanded. For example, it includes (1) employees seconded to work in representative offices of foreign organizations for a period not exceeding 2 months, (2) foreigners who are seasonal workers and are employed under employment agreements in agriculture for a period not exceeding 6 months in a calendar year, (3) foreigners who have received vocational, secondary specialized and higher education in educational institutions of Belarus and are employed in their profession and (or) assigned qualifications, etc.

At the same time, Belarusian employers that, on the day the new version of the Law comes into force, have hired the foreigners not falling within the scope of the Law are obliged to notify the citizenship and migration department at the place of their location of employment agreements concluded and not terminated with such foreigners. The notification is to be made in writing within a month from the date the new version of the Law comes into force.

The new version of the Law will come into force on 01.07.2023.