Work permit in Belarus
Our law office has extensive experience working with foreign citizens and foreign companies on obtaining work permits in the Republic of Belarus. Our lawyers are fluent in English, which, naturally, makes it easier to work with foreign citizens and foreign companies in this field. We serve a large number of foreign companies and representative offices of foreign organizations, issuing about 200 work permits annually.
Every year, tens of thousands of foreign citizens come to work in the Republic of Belarus. According to the general rule, all foreign citizens must obtain a work permit in order to work legally in the Republic of Belarus (Official name “Special permit for the right to work in the Republic of Belarus”).
WHAT IS A WORK PERMIT? (SPECIAL WORK PERMIT)
A special permit for the employment of foreign employees is a document that allows an employer to attract foreign citizens to work legally. This permit must be obtained for each foreign employee, excluding certain categories of citizens stipulated by law.
A foreigner can be hired by both legal entities or sole traders – the organizational form does not matter in this case. It can also be a foreign company if their representative office is established on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
Without such a permit, an employer simply cannot hire a foreigner, otherwise they will be held liable and risk paying large fines and losing the opportunity to legally attract foreigners to work.
WHO DOESN’T NEED TO APPLY FOR A SPECIAL PERMIT TO WORK IN BELARUS
The necessity to obtain a special permit for employment applies to all foreign citizens who do not have a permanent residence permit or a residence permit in the Republic of Belarus. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. They are stipulated in the Law “On external labour migration” and various international agreements with the Republic of Belarus.
Exceptional foreign nationals exempt from the requirement of obtaining a special permit include: citizens of EAEU members states; foreigners receiving higher education in universities of the Republic of Belarus or those who have already graduated from them and have been working for 1 year after graduation in the relevant field; winners of international awards; HTP residents; persons receiving refugee status; persons who came to the country for academic work at universities, persons invited to install or teach how to use the equipment; representatives of consulates, diplomatic missions and other international organizations, journalists of foreign media, the clergy.
WHERE TO APPLY FOR A SPECIAL PERMIT
In order to obtain a special permit, an employer must apply to the Office of Citizenship and Migration.
Such permits will be issued only after the submitted documents have been processed, no grounds for refusal have been found and a positive decision that the foreign citizens or stateless persons can work under the employment contract in our country has been made.
TERMS OF CONSIDERATION OF DOCUMENTS FOR ISSUING SPECIAL WORK PERMITS
The term of consideration of documents for the issuance of the permit in question is 15 days, which are calculated starting from the next day following the day when an employer submits documents to the state body.
The exceptions are foreign nationals who are investors in the Republic of Belarus, as well as the employers that are residents of HTP or “Infopark”. For them, the maximum review period will be 7 days.
GETTING A SPECIAL WORK PERMIT FOR A DIRECTOR
There are some peculiarities in obtaining a work permit for foreigners who come to the territory of the Republic of Belarus for the purpose of working as a director of the company in which they are founder or owner.
Like other foreign nationals, a director must receive a special permit, but in this case, the migration services do not refer to the Labour, Employment and Social Protection authorities for information. Therefore, it does not matter whether there are other candidates for the position of director among Belarusian nationals. The same rules apply to highly qualified employees.
If an employer needs to obtain a permit to attract foreign labour, the number of foreign employees does not include the director in question, along with highly qualified employees.
STATE FEE FOR ISSUING A SPECIAL WORK PERMIT
The state fee for issuing a special work permit in Belarus is 5 basic units, and a single extension of such a permit will cost 3 basic units.
This procedure will be free of charge for investors who are being attracted to the country to implement the terms of the investment agreement with the Republic of Belarus.
REFUSAL TO ISSUE A SPECIAL PERMIT TO WORK IN BELARUS
As a rule, a special work permit is refused for either alternative reasons or unconditional reasons.
Let’s look at the most common reasons why government agencies may not issue a work permit due to improper actions of an employer.
One of the grounds for refusal may be the lack of evidence from an employer that they had searched for employees among citizens of the Republic of Belarus and did not find suitable candidates. To avoid this, the employer should post a vacancy in the “National Bank of vacancies” before hiring a foreigner.
If Belarusian nationals who meet the criteria required by the employer apply for the job, it may too result in refusing to issue a special permit for a foreigner.
The employer will not receive a special permit if the legal entity where a foreign worker is being attracted to is at the stage of bankruptcy.
Providing false information or false documents to obtain the appropriate permit for an employee leads to definite refusal for the employer.
The employee and their background can also play an important role in issuing or refusing to issue a work permit.
If a foreigner is included in the list of persons whose entry to the territory of the Republic of Belarus is prohibited or undesirable, they will not be able to get a special permit.
If an employee has been awarded a criminal sanction that prohibits them from engaging in activities offered by the employer, a permit will also be refused.
Reasons for refusal may also be concealed under the guise of protecting the national security of the country. Such a reason is not explained by legislation or state authorities, which makes it difficult for the employer and the employee to eliminate it.
An employee will also be denied if they have violated administrative law 5 or more times.
The citizenship of a foreign employee also plays a role in obtaining a permit. A person will be refused if they are a citizen of a country that is unfavourable in terms of migration.
Repeated submission of documents is allowed, but first it is necessary to eliminate all the reasons why the employer was refused previously.
This article concludes that a special work permit is an essential attribute for a foreign citizen who wants to work in Belarus. The employer should not only take care of obtaining all the necessary permits for foreigners, but also take responsibility for the choice of employees, as some reasons why the public authorities may disrupt the employer’s plans for a citizen may be hiding in the identity of a potential subordinate.
Our lawyers are ready to provide you with the following legal assistance in obtaining a work permit in Belarus:
– consulting on all issues of obtaining (extending) a work permit in Belarus;
– preparation of all necessary documents for obtaining a work permit in the Republic of Belarus for foreign employees, as well as its extension, including accompanying you to the citizenship and migration authorities;
– development of employment contracts with foreign citizens and assistance with their registration in the Republic of Belarus;
– registration of termination of employment relations with a foreign employee and relinquishment of a work permit to the citizenship and migration authorities.
Our highly qualified lawyers will help you go through the procedures indicated above quickly and correctly in accordance with the current legislation of the Republic of Belarus and get a work permit in Belarus as soon as possible. If you need to get a work permit in Belarus, please contact us and we will be happy to help.