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Work in Kazakhstan

Welcome Booklet - For all expatriates joining or visiting Kazakhstan with KIS Orion

Introduction

This Guide is intended for all visitors who are required to travel to and work at KIS/Orion and client operations within Kazakhstan. Our office locations in Kazakhstan are: Atyrau, Aktau and Tengiz.

Kazakhstan

The Republic of Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia and borders China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as the Aral and Caspian Seas. It is the second largest of the former Soviet Republics (declaring its independence from the USSR in December 1991). Some of the population speak English, but the predominant languages spoken in this region are Russian and Kazakh (the national language). The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Kazakhstan is: 03

Currency

Only the national currency (KZT) is accepted in Kazakhstan. The current exchange rate is roughly 183 KZT to 1 USD. New or relatively recent dated US Dollar, Euro and Pound Sterling notes can be exchanged locally at various Banks or Exchange Bureau in the major centers throughout the country. It is usually possible to make cash withdrawals in US Dollar and Tenge from local bank ATMs in large cities. There are a wide range of banks in most cities many of their ATM machines accepting VISA and MasterCard for transactions. You can get additional information on www.nationalbank.kz

Before You Travel

Pre‐travel Checklist - Before traveling to the country you should have the following in your possession:
1. Valid passport (valid for at least 6 months & have three blank pages)
2. Letter of Invitation for Visa on Arrival OR a Valid Visa for Kazakhstan
3. 4 extra passport photos
4. The contact name and phone number of your host (also obtain an after‐hours phone contact)
5. Appropriate clothing for seasonal conditions (very cold in winter or hot in summer)
6. Medications as prescribed by your physician

Passport

A passport that has 6 months validity remaining is required. You should keep your Passport on you at all times whilst in Kazakhstan as this is required by law, and keep a copy of the relevant pages of your passport and a copy of the page containing your Kazakhstan visa with you, in a separate location from your passport (in case your passport is lost or stolen). It is recommended that you take with you several spare passport photos.

Kazakhstan Visa

You are restricted to visiting on business in Kazakhstan for a total maximum of 90 days in any one year. Anyone spending more than this amount of time will require a Work Permit. Your Work Permit will be obtained by the KIS/Orion. The process of obtaining a Work Permit can take from 6 to 12 weeks, and it is essential that individuals have in their possession the following documents:
• Original, or officially notarized copies of Education Certificates
• An up to date Curriculum Vitae (CV)
• Letters of reference from previous positions
Please note this is under the control of the various government bodies and time taken to obtain a foreign work license can vary considerably.
REMEMBER - Check that your passport and visa are valid for the entire time you are in the country.

Offshore Survival Certificates

Individuals who will be called upon to work offshore, or make frequent trips offshore, are required to have a valid:
• Basic Offshore Survival Escape and Induction Training (BOSEIT) certificate
• Offshore medical certificate
• Opito H2S Training certificate
Those in possession of certificates should bring them. Alternatively, appropriate certificates can be obtained by attending an appropriate course locally through our HR department.

Medical Examinations

You are required to pass a medical examination prior to initial assignment and at regular intervals thereafter. Those staff working offshore are required to undergo an appropriate OGP standard medical (e.g. UKOOA or similar). The examinations will be performed by a company approved or appointed doctor.

Vaccinations

The vaccinations recommended for operations in Kazakhstan are listed below together with the validity of each vaccination following completion of the primary course. Try to ensure you have them logged in your International Vaccination form and carry this booklet with you when travelling.
Standard Optional
Tetanus Every 10 years Meningococcal meningitis Every 3 – 5 years
Polio Every 10 years Rabies Every - 3 years
Typhoid Every 2 ‐ 3 years Influenza Every Autumn
Diphtheria One booster for entire adult life Japanese encephalitis Every 2 years
Hepatitis A Every 10 years Tick bite encephalitis Every year
Hepatitis B Every 3 – 5 years

Miscellaneous Items

Security – You are responsible for the security of your personal effects. It is to your advantage to take some form of lockable case/bag to safeguard your valuables.
Money‐ We strongly recommend not carrying more than US $3,000 (Or equivalent in other currencies), more than this amount will require declarations. Excessive amounts of cash will draw attention and may be detrimental to your safety: We recommend carrying only small amounts of cash at any time

Your Journey

Normally, you will be issued an economy airline ticket to your destination in Kazakhstan from your home base airport. The most convenient flight to Atyrau, leaves from Amsterdam and is operated by Air Astana. This is a commercial airline and may be subject to airline delays or diversions. The flight time is about 4.5 hours. A light meal is served during the flight. Depending on the client your travel will determine how your tickets are issued.
The company will advise on all travel arrangements. There are also scheduled flights into Uralsk and Aktau. Almaty is very well served by international flights and is a genuine international airport. The regional airports have fewer facilities and you should prepare for the conditions on arrival. Be aware that the climate in Kazakhstan has very hot summers and extremely cold winters so dress suitably particularly if a delay is a possibility.
Anything that you bring into Kazakhstan, which is not your own personal property, may be subject to additional customs procedures, and may be confiscated if not properly documented and declared.
The general rule is that small personal items in your luggage such as mobile phone, 1 laptop/iPad or similar, camera, personal stereo and simple tools usually are ok and do not need to be declared on arrival.
Any tool boxes, spare parts, or materials, which are accompanying you, will need to be declared in a different way to your personal declaration. These will not be released to you at the airport on arrival. You are not expected to carry anything of this nature and if you intend doing so you must advise the company prior to the journey commencing. Do not attempt to bring:
• Video, DVD or paper based pornographic material
• Excessive amounts of alcohol or cigarettes (1 liters maximum of any alcoholic beverage and 200 cigarettes)
• More than 1 laptop, tablet computer
You will need to pass all your luggage through a scanner and may be asked to open your baggage for inspection. Please be patient, and comply with all instructions. Should you have any difficulties, a KIS/Orion representative will be on hand in the arrivals area at the airport to assist you.
Please check the link below prior to your travel to check current limits:
http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/KZ-Kazakhstan-customs-currency-airport-tax-regulations-details.htm

Arrival

All passengers will deplane onto the tarmac and into buses waiting to transport you to the arrival terminal. Once you crowd onto the buses it is a very short ride to the terminal where you will depart the bus and enter the immigration area.
WEATHER TIP: During the winter months it can be very cold and windy in Atyrau. If arriving during this time of the year you will want to have a heavy jacket with you as you deplane. Use caution when stepping and/or walking because icy conditions will exist (sensible shoes are highly recommended). During the spring and summer mosquitoes are plentiful – consider packing repellent wipes or spray in your carry-on luggage.

Immigration

Once you arrive at the terminal you will notice a number of booths. These are where entrants queue to get their visa and immigration clearance into Kazakhstan. Please make sure your arrival form is completed prior to getting to the booth, hand both your passport and the form to the immigration officer. While at the booth you will be asked to look straight forward at a camera mounted above the immigrations officers’ head. Please ensure that this card and your passport is stamped before being given back to you and retain the card as you will need to provide it to Immigration upon your exit from Kazakhstan
Once you have successfully cleared immigration you will be at the luggage carousel. The luggage attendants will remove luggage from the carousel and place them on the floor. You may have to look there for you luggage as well as the carousel. Once you’ve gotten your luggage you will move towards the exit where all luggage and packages will be x‐rayed and it is possible your luggage will be searched. If this occurs simply follow the officials directions (open your luggage). At no time should you pay money to any airport or governmental official.
Please note that you may need to apply to the KIS Orion Visa Department for the additional stamp within 5 calendar days after arrival in KZ – this is dependent on current rules being applied by RoK Authorities. Obtaining the stamp in your passport takes 3‐5 days. KIS Orion airport representative will advise of the current requirements
IMMIGRATION TIP: There are large signs above the immigration booths (in English) and they will be helpful to direct you. You will not be the only person in the immigration lines so don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. It is not unusual for the immigration and luggage collection process to take 90 minutes.
In addition to the Visa and passport stamps, you will be required to complete an Immigration Slip (#2 above ‐ Similar to an arrivals card). When your passport is stamped by the immigration official, he/she will also stamp your migration card. Keep this card with your passport at all times. This slip of paper must be presented and surrender to immigration officials on departure.
Following immigration, wait to collect your baggage. You will be expected to show your baggage ticket on collecting your luggage. After customs, proceed into the hall where you will be met by a KIS/Orion representative. Please check with the representative in order to ascertain which accommodation / Hotel you are to go to.
Individuals – including back to backs on normal crew‐change – may be booked for an overnight stay in a hotel different to that in which they will be accommodated in the long term. You will then be transferred to the relevant hotel or accommodation facility, which are a maximum of about 15 minutes away by bus in Atyrau. KIS/Orion’s airport representative will direct you to the appropriate transfer transportation
TRANSPORTATION SAFETY TIP: Under no circumstance should you take a non-KIS Orion taxi to your hotel destination. As you exit the immigration area and the airport you will be solicited for a taxi service. Do not accept these offers. There have been incidents of drivers charging extremely high fares and your personal safety is a concern if you are unable to pay. These taxi drivers may also try to represent themselves as KIS Orion or Client (eg Agip KCO, Shell, TCO) taxi drivers. Again – only take transport when KIS Orion airport greeter has specifically identified your taxi driver.

Hotel Accommodation

On arrival you will be accommodated at one of the hotels contracted by the company to provide staff accommodation or on client facilities. If you are transiting to your work location you will be transferred to your work location the following day. You will be advised of all travel routings and timings.
Unless notified differently, if in hotel accommodation the company will cover costs of your accommodation, food and laundry (not dry cleaning). You are responsible for settling all other charges personally as you check out of the hotel. For avoidance of doubt, these charges include all bar bills & telephone calls.
Upon arrival you will be requested to complete a registration form. This is purely administrative, please assist the hotel by fully completing this. On this form you should clearly state how you intend to settle your account, i.e., direct, or through an arranged account with the hotel. Whilst staying at the hotel, you may enjoy the facilities on offer, if you have any questions/concerns, please contact the HR & Training Manager for assistance.

Departure

On departing Kazakhstan a similar procedure exists. You must be at the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight to ensure that you are allowed to check in. Please note that it is illegal to export caviar, antiques, alcohol (especially vodka), cigarettes etc. If in doubt, seek advice from KIS Orion first.
You will then proceed through Immigration Control.
Please bear in mind:
• You will not be allowed to take out more money than you brought in
• You cannot take out Kazakh Tenge
• You will be expected to take out all the goods which you declared on your entry into Kazakhstan

Leisure time

Shopping in Towns/Cities
Various supermarkets and shops are available in Atyrau, Almaty, Aktau, Aksai, Uralsk and Tengiz.
Though choice may be limited, most daily items can be purchased. The major centers now have most
items available.

Transport to/from Offices/Site

This will vary dependant on location and client and you will be advised on arrival.
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY TIP: Pedestrians should use extreme caution when crossing streets in Atyrau. Cross only in well lit crosswalks and only at marked intersections. Traffic is often congested and you should never walk in front of a moving vehicle and expect that it will stop for you even at a pedestrian crossing

Train Travel

TRAIN STATION SAFETY TIP: Whether you are departing from or arriving in Atyrau it may be dark. The Atyrau train station has poor lighting and extreme caution should be used when ascending or descending stairs or while walking in other dark areas. If you have a small flash light it is suggested that you have it available during your travels to improve visibility. As mentioned earlier snow and ice can build up on the sidewalks and along the rails where you will get onto and off of the train.
TRAIN SAFETY TIP: Extreme caution should be used when exiting the train as adjacent rails may have an approaching train. Safety announcements may be made but they will not be made in English. Keep a close eye on others (nationals and expatriates) as the train arrives at the station and look both ways down the track as you disembark.

Accommodation/Entertainment

All staff are accommodated in fairly modern, secure western-style rooms with reliable water, heating,
air conditioning and electrical supply.Breakfast, lunch and dinner are supplied in Atyrau, Aksai, Aktau and Tengiz or in some cases a daily allowance is paid. There are bar facilities in each location selling a wide range of international drinks (which are usually more expensive than you would find at home). Please note the personal safety guidelines and also policy on alcohol consumption.

Personal Security

Walking the streets of Kazakhstan are no different than other cities in the world. As in your home town, there are places where it’s perfectly safe to walk in and probably just a few where particular precautions have to be taken. Please also remember we are all guests in our host country and should be conscious of the differing cultural aspects of the communities and respect these.

General Guidelines

• Do not be seen to be carrying large amounts of money, and be careful how you dress in order not to attract too much attention, e.g., by wearing expensive watches or jewellery
• Take a mobile telephone and familiarize yourself with its operation. Have KIS Orion emergency contact details in your phone to use if required
• Leave a contact number with a colleague where you can be reached, and inform him/her on your return.
• Do not travel alone; move around with a colleague or friend: Medium sized groups are preferable
• As with any place, dark side streets, corridors, stairwells etc should be avoided. Stay on main roads which are well lit and in plain view of other people
• Carry only a notarized (i.e. legally certificated) photocopy of your passport and visa with you, and remember: if stopped and questioned by the Authorities, present photocopy of your passport. Do not hand over your actual passport. A notarized copy can be prepared for you locally.
• You have been issued with an emergency contact card. If you find yourself in difficulties then use it. Should you have any particular concerns; the appropriate person on the list can assist you.
IN MOST CASES COMMON SENSE IS THE RULE – ENJOY YOUR STAY