Have Dual Citizenship? You Won’t Be Able to Work for the Government in Kazakhstan

Special correspondent of the "News" department
The state is going to tighten its control in this field

On March 18 Senate of Kazakhstan (the upper chamber of the local parliament) deputy Nurzhan Nursipatov requested Erlan Turgumbayev, minister of internal affairs, and Anar Zhailganova, head of the Agency for the Civil Service Affairs, to pay more attention to the dual-citizenship practice in Kazakhstan. 

As the deputy has reminded, President Tokayev ordered last year to fire any top officials from the state or quasi-public sectors with dual nationality. At the end of 2020, the government introduced new legislation that requires people with foreign nationality to not work in the state agencies or quasi-public sector.

However, as the deputy noted, new amendments to the Labor Code and the law on civil service do not cover law enforcement bodies.

«I think what we have done is not enough. For example, such legislation as the law on law enforcement service, on military service and military personnel status, and law on the special state bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan do not have a clause on dual-citizenship,» Nursipatov said. 

According to the deputy, the law enforcement agencies have to know about the dual nationality of their personnel before officers or their relatives acquire foreign citizenship.

Currently commanders would know about this only after the officers have already lost their Kazakhstani citizenship.

Therefore, Nursipatov suggests more serious measures to be taken because otherwise, this problem would never end.

Among possible measures is a ban for military and law enforcement personnel to apply for a foreign residence permit; special background investigation about dual citizenship before a specific officer starts his or her service and even while serving in state agencies.

On February 25 President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called on to stop the practice of dual citizenship in Kazakhstan. In his 2020 address to the nation, he ordered the removal from office of top managers of the state agencies and quasi-public companies who have dual citizenship.

«Like many other countries, Kazakhstan does not allow dual citizenship. This is not allowed by our Constitution. However, we have known lately about many such cases among some top officials. This is very serious because we are talking about our national security. We have to stop this practice. Last year I ordered to terminate officials with dual citizenship either in the state agencies or quasi-public enterprises. We need to tighten control and make the price for this crime bigger. I want the government and the Agency for the Civil Service Affairs to prepare a report on this,» stated Tokayev in the fifth meeting of the National Council on Public Trust. 

Earlier, it became known that the head of the Department of Sport in Shymkent city’s administration Oleg Pochivalov has broken the law as he has two passports: Kazakhstani and Russian. After that Shymkent police announced that his Kazakhstani citizenship has been canceled.

According to Article 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the country’s citizens aren’t allowed to have any other nationality. If someone wants to obtain foreign citizenship, he or she should surrender Kazakhstani nationality within 30 days.

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