The authorities in the Republic of Korea have offered an option to citizens of Uzbekistan who are in the country illegally to return home without facing legal repercussions. To do this, they must voluntarily leave South Korea by February 29th to avoid being subject to deportation rules and be able to return legally in the future. According to the Agency for External Labor Migration of Uzbekistan, illegal migrants can apply for voluntary departure with the immigration service of Korea up until three working days before the expected date of departure. Applicants need to present their passport and an airline ticket. The service will then issue the migrant an identity card, with which Uzbekistani nationals will be able to return to their home country without hindrance. South Korea is one of the most popular destinations for Uzbeks, both for work and studies, with Uzbeks occupy fifth place by size of foreign diaspora in the country and numbering more than 69,000. Among them are a large number who are in Korea illegally; according to this indicator, Uzbekistan ranks third. The most popular scheme involves obtaining a D-4 visa, which is granted to foreign citizens who study the Korean language. Having received this and reached the Korean peninsula, citizens of Uzbekistan then start working and stay in the country illegally. In recent years, the Government of Uzbekistan has established regulations for legal and safe labor migration to South Korea, and at the start of 2024, the republic announced its intention to attract 100,000 Uzbeks to work in the country. Workers are required in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, services, and construction. To enter the South Korean workforce legally, Uzbeks need to pass language qualification exams and interviews. Labor migration to South Korea is also well established in neighboring Kyrgyzstan. Over the past 16 years, 5,000 Kyrgyz have been employed. Citizens of Kyrgyzstan can work there under a contract for four years and nine months, and receive more $2,000 per month. This year, Korea has allocated a quota for labor migrants in the amount of 3,300 people - an increase of 18% on 2023. By contrast, the issue of labor migration to South Korea from Kazakhstan is still at the negotiation stage. If the parties reach an agreement, Kazakhs will be able to work in Korea for three years - provided they successfully pass the language and professional tests. However, the lack of an agreement does not stop those who wish to earn money in Korea: according to the immigration service of Korea, since the beginning of 2023 about 7,000 Kazakh citizens have been staying in the country without labor visas. The number of companies interested in hiring illegal migrants in South Korea is constantly expanding for one simple reason: it's profitable. Migrants are not protected in any way in case of labor disputes, and they earn much lower wages than legal workers. Accordingly, the number of migrants who die working in dangerous industries is also increasing. From 2019 to 2022 alone, 61 Kazakh...
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Citizens of Uzbekistan will now be able to stay in Azerbaijan without registration for up to 15 days, according to Uzbekistan's Ministry of Internal Affairs. The same rules apply to citizens of Azerbaijan in Uzbekistan, due to a protocol entering into force that amends an agreement between the government of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan on visa-free travel. Previously, the period of stay without registration in Uzbekistan was five days, and in Azerbaijan for Uzbeks -- 10 days. The visa-free regime between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan is already in force: Uzbeks can stay in Azerbaijan for no more than 90 days, and Azeris in Uzbekistan for no more than 30 days. In August of last year, Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited Azerbaijan following his re-election and signed a document on the establishment of the Supreme Interstate Council between the two countries with his counterpart, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev A key component of bilateral cooperation is logistics. Currently the countries are discussing the creation of a logistics company within the Trans-Caspian corridor -- and building warehouse infrastructure and logistics centers in the ports of Baku and those located in third countries. The two countries actively cooperate in many spheres, as evidenced by the sharply increasing trade turnover between the two republics: it has grown by 40% since the beginning of 2023. The two countries plan to increase bilateral trade to $1bn annually. This will be facilitated in part by the Uzbek-Azerbaijani investment fund, which now has authorized capital of $500m. Three-quarters of that capital is slated to go to Azerbaijan, with a quarter for Uzbekistan. Today, over 200 companies operate in Uzbekistan with Azerbaijani investments.
According to the Statistics Agency under the President of Uzbekistan, 17,336 people emigrated from the country by the end of 2023, with women making up 52.3% of the total. Over 80% of those who left were of working age. This figure almost doubled compared to 2022, when 8,790 people left the country. The most popular destination for migrants from Uzbekistan in 2023 was Kazakhstan, with 81.1% (14,000) choosing this neighboring country. Russia (15.4% or 2,600 people) and South Korea (0.6% or 107 people) were the second and third most popular choices, respectively. In contrast, Uzbekistan saw an influx of 2,955 immigrants in 2023, mostly from Russia (39.8%) and Kazakhstan (24.6%). Others moved from Tajikistan (9.7%), Kyrgyzstan (5.1%), Turkmenistan (2.1%), and other countries (18.7%). Labor migrants constituted the majority of those leaving Uzbekistan. The Agency for External Labor Migration of Uzbekistan reported a sharp increase in the number of citizens employed through organized recruitment in other countries, totaling 38,400 in 2023. Russia was the leading destination for Uzbek workers (29,200), followed by South Korea (4,900), Great Britain (1,900), Kazakhstan (1,300), Germany (477), and Turkey (277). A small number of Uzbeks also found employment in Romania, Bulgaria, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, the UAE, and Latvia. However, these official statistics do not account for the significant number of Uzbeks working abroad illegally. Specialized Uzbek agencies estimate that over 2 million Uzbeks live and work abroad permanently, with over 60% working in the Russian Federation.
DUSHANBE (TCA) — Tajikistan’s labor migrants abroad send home much more money than direct foreign investments coming to Tajikistan, Avesta news agency reported. According to Tajik government sources, in 2013-2019 the economy of Tajikistan received a little more than US $3 billion of direct foreign investment. In November, Jamshed Nurmakhmadzoda, chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan, said that in January-September 2019, Tajik labor migrants abroad sent home $2.490 billion, a 7-percent increase on-year. Experts say that the main source of living of hundreds of thousands of Tajik families is money sent home by their family members working abroad. Most Tajik labor migrants work in Russia. It was earlier reported that over the past five years (2013-2018), Tajik labor migrants sent home via bank transfers more than $15 billion, which manifold exceeds the amount of direct foreign investments during the period. Avesta earlier reported that the amount of money sent home by Tajik labor migrants from Russia in January-September of this year exceeded Tajikistan’s annual budget. It was also reported that remittances from labor migrants abroad account for more than 75 percent of all income of Tajikistan’s population.
NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s decision to ensure that all babies born in the country are registered at birth and issued birth certificates has been welcomed by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, UN News reported. Continue reading
DUSHANBE (TCA) — The amount of money sent home by Tajik labor migrants from Russia in January-September of this year exceeded Tajikistan’s annual budget, Avesta news agency reported. During the first nine months of this year, Tajik labor immigrants in Russia sent home US $2.49 billion, a 7-percent growth on-year. According to Tajikistan’s Finance Ministry, the country’s state budget in January-November 2019 amounted to 20.568 billion somoni or more than US $2.1 billion according to the official exchange rate of the Tajik National Bank. The total state budget of Tajikistan for 2019 from all sources of financing is 23.7 billion somoni or more than US $2.448 billion. That means that during the first three quarters of this year, Tajiks working in Russia sent home the amount exceeding their home country’s annual budget. It was earlier reported that remittances from labor migrants abroad account for more than 75 percent of all income of Tajikistan’s population.