The Kazakh government has outlined new amendments to the country's migration laws that would expedite citizenship for ethnic Kazakhs from foreign countries.
Kazakhstan's minister of labor and social protection, Tamara Duisenova, said on April 22 in Astana that in, accordance with the drafted amendments, ethnic Kazakhs arriving in Kazakhstan from foreign countries and who are seeking permanent residence will be able to obtain Kazakh citizenship in one year.
The current law stipulates that repatriates must remain in Kazakhstan permanently for no less than four years before applying for citizenship and must wait up to three years until a decision is made.
Kazakhstan launched its repatriation program in 1991.
More than 944,000 ethnic Kazakhs have repatriated to Kazakhstan since then, making up more than 5 percent of the country's population of 17 million, of which 64 percent are ethnic Kazakhs.