Over a Million Ethnic Kazakhs Have Returned to Kazakhstan Since 1991


Since 1991, over 1.1 million ethnic Kazakhs have returned to live in Kazakhstan, the government has reported.

Since the start of this year 7,353 ethnic Kazakhs have received the status of kanda (Kazakh repatriates). Just under half (49.4%) arrived from China, 34.4% came from Uzbekistan, followed by Turkmenistan (6.3%), Mongolia (5.4%) and Russia (3.2%).

These kandas have settled in different regions of Kazakhstan, but labor-deficient regions — the Akmola, Abay, Kostanay, Pavlodar, East, and North Kazakhstan regions — have been promoted as potential new homes.

Kandas resettling in these regions are provided state support, namely a relocation subsidy of KZT 258,400 ($560) per family.

The Ministry of Labor has announced that since 2023 the pilot relocation program has implemented a “one window” mechanism for granting kandas status through Kazakhstan’s embassies. This initiative allows ethnic Kazakhs to address issues related to visiting Kazakhstan, securing employment, finding housing, and obtaining official status without physically entering the country. To date, 9,569 applications from ethnic Kazakhs have been processed under this new system.