Your guide to being an expatriate in Kazakhstan

Caffeinate Your Kazakhstan Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Kazakhstan, officially known as the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country located in Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north, China to the east and south, Kyrgyzstan to the southwest, and Uzbekistan to the west. Kazakhstan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and has since emerged as a stable, prosperous, and rapidly developing country. The capital and largest city is Nur-Sultan (formerly known as Astana until 2019).


Expat destinations in Kazakhstan

Demographics of Kazakhstan:

Ethnic groups

Kazakh 64.2%, Uzbek 14%, Russian 7.7%, Tatar 2.5%, Ukrainian 2.2%, Belarussian 1.3%, other 9.4%


Kazakh (official) 63.9%, Russian (official) 26.1%, Other and unspecified 10%

Religion Overview

Kazakhstan is a secular country, and as such, the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Approximately two-thirds of the population adheres to Sunni Islam, while the remainder follows various Christian denominations, including the Russian Orthodox Church, Baptist Churches, Pentecostal churches, Seventh-day Adventists, Evangelical Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses, and several smaller, often Russian ethnic-based religions. Kazakhstan has a small Jewish community, as well as communities representing the Baha’i, Buddhist, and Hindu faiths.

Major Religions


Kazakhstan's climate is extreme continental, with exceptionally cold winters and hot summers in most parts of the country. The snow-capped Tien Shan mountain range in the south-east helps shield northern and central Kazakhstan from the worst tempests that ravage the steppes in the east and south-east.

Economy Overview

Kazakhstan is an upper-middle-income economy and is rated as having a very high human development index. Its principal export is oil and gas, although it is striving to reduce dependence on this revenue stream. Kazakhstan ranks 43rd among 180 countries on the World Bank's 'Ease of Doing Business Index', demonstrating the country's commitment to an efficient, free-market economy and illustrating its economic potential. Kazakhstan's key industries, aside from the oil and gas industry, include agriculture, mining, and manufacturing.

Key Industries

  • High-tech and innovative industries
  • Service sector
  • Retail and wholesale trade
  • Finance and banking
  • Construction and real estate
  • Transport and logistics
  • Power generation and engineering

Major Companies

  • KazMunaiGas
  • Kazakhstan Indonesia Khanas Enlargement
  • Samruk Energy
  • KazChrom
  • Kazakhstan's authority for industrial and innovation development

Culture and Language Overview

Kazakhstan's culture is rooted in the nomadic traditions of the Kazakh people. The oral history tradition remains strong, illustrated by the development of the 'Sanghasy' - a festive oral poetry recited at solemn events - and the 'Zhetpesh' - a traditional horse race.

Cultural Highlights

  • Nomads and Eagles Festival
  • Maslikh - Sand Sculpture Festival
  • Musical Evening of Kazakh Folk Fairytales
  • Ralph Ellis - Shershen - Interactive Educational Environmental Programme
  • Horseman Games Festival
  • Ayagash-Oiirt Kindergarten School Festival
  • Shankly Carnival

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Kazakhstan's landmarks reflect its varied terrains, from its vast, arid deserts to its soaring mountain ranges. Its national landmarks include the historic Silk Road trading route, the charming town of Mangystau, located at the southern tip of the sea of the same name, and the remarkable 'concrete forest' in the suburbs of Almaty - the dense remains of uncompleted apartment buildings that date back to the Soviet era.

Notable Landmarks

  • The Singing Sand Dunes - Koyrinkol
  • The Kazak-Soviet Memorial at Petroglyphs Museum
  • Shymbulak Ski Resort
  • Kok-Tobe Hill
  • Mausoleum of Khoja Akhmed Yasawi
  • Central Square in Nur-Sultan
  • Medieval Marketplace (Harbiyet Korpesi) in Shymkent

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Manas Holiday (January 1)
  • Defenders of the Fatherland Day (February 23)
  • International Women's Day (March 8)
  • Nauryz (March 21)
  • Labour Day (May 1)
  • Astana Day (July 6)
  • Constitution Day (August 30)
  • Independence Day (December 16)

Political Stability

Kazakhstan’s political stability is firmly established by a pillared democratic constitutional governance structure and a long-standing peace process, promoting human rights and civil rights. This country comprises of mostly the Muslim community but this is respected, and this nation protects the rights of religious freedom allowing foreign religions to bloom without facing any obstructions from the authorities.

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