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Porous borders and lack of a robust system that would help Kyrgyzstan to regulate migration processes create a number of difficulties for migrants from this Central Asian country. A majority of migrants from Kyrgyzstan travel to Russia and Kazakhstan in search of better opportunities to improve their living conditions. Most of the migrants are involved in individual entrepreneurship, travelling back and forth to sell goods. Many migrants from Kyrgyzstan are also recruited to work in agriculture, construction sites and the public service sector (department stores, restaurants, cafes, etc.).

With this in mind the Kyrgyz Republic intends to aim labour market policy at forming and ensuring social and economic prosperity, legal and legislative bases, recognizing international agreements and ideological background and conditions for the dynamic development of communities and the country.

It is the understanding of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic that the policy should help to overcome negative consequences and assist in achieving a higher employment rate of the population, sufficient control of migration processes on directions, scales and composition by contributing to sustainable economic growth, strengthening state safety and providing an adequate environment to protect the rights and promote the interests of migrants.

IOM carries on its assistance to the Government and people of the Kyrgyz Republic in elaborating and implementing sustained and sound migration policies, improved legislation and appropriate administrative structures. IOM will also extend projects in the area of good governance focusing on anti-corruption and transparency in dealing with migration for development.

Facilitating Migration

IOM's initiatives in the field of Facilitating Migration include capacity building in labour migration management and consular services for citizens applying for visas at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow and implementation of the US Refugee Admissions Programme in Bishkek.

Migrant Processing and Assistance

IOM Bishkek provides consular services to people residing in Kyrgyzstan who wish to apply for Canadian visa services at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow.

Refugee Processing and Assistance

The US Refugee Admissions Programme (USRAP) funded by the US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), is one of the largest continuing activities of IOM, currently operating in over 40 countries. The USRAP is aimed at processing and resettling applicants under multiple eligibility criteria, including refugees, referred by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), refugees who apply directly under Priority 2 and refugees eligible for family reunification. IOM activities under USRAP include: processing, medical, cultural orientation and movement services.


  • Canada Visa Services in Kyrgyzstan
  • US Refugee Admissions Programme (USRAP)

Regulating Migration

Central Asian Regional Migration Programme

The programme will re-assess the condition of labour migration in the region and assist the governments and civil society of both sending and receiving countries to improve labour migration management through revised national policies and legislations as well as capacity building. The project will also foster regional dialogue and cooperation on labour migration. Key to this process is the protection of rights of labour migrants. The programme will be implemented in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, and aims to contribute to poverty reduction in Central Asia through the improved livelihoods of migrants. Its purpose is to protect the rights and enhance the social and economic benefits of migrants and their families.

Regional Migration Programme

Funded by the UK Government, the Regional Migration Programme (RMP) is a logical continuation of IOM’s previous Central Asian Regional Migration Programme (CARMP) and the Central Asian Labour Migration Project. RMP is implemented by IOM in partnership with UN Women and the World Bank in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.  The programme is designed to ensure longer term sustainability of the CARMP/RMP intervention. This programme aims to contribute to better protection of rights and enhancing social and economic opportunities of migrant men, women and their families. It continues focusing on enhancing the infrastructure of overseas employment services provided by the Government, capacity building of migration officials and workers, increasing the awareness of the population about the risks pf irregular migration. Building upon the best practices of establishing an Employment Centre in the capital Bishkek within the previous phase, the programme aims to create a similar Employment Centre in the largest city of Osh in the south of Kyrgyzstan.

Global Joint Programme on Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Strategies

In February 2014, Kyrgyzstan was included in the second phase of the Global Joint Programme on Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Strategies among such countries as Bangladesh, Ecuador, Jamaica, Moldova, Morocco, Serbia, Tunisia.  The Programme is funded by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Bureau for International Cooperation and Development (SDC), and is implemented by IOM and UNDP. The desired impact the programme aims to achieve in Kyrgyzstan is to enable the government and its partners to better measure, and make more visible the human development impacts of migration, and to govern the migration phenomenon so as to increase the human development outcomes and mitigate the risks for migrants, their families and communities at origin and destination. The overarching objectives the programme hopes to achieve are to enable countries to integrate migration into their national development planning documents/processes, continually monitor and adjust their approaches to migration and development, and foster an active and mutually beneficial partnership among participating countries on migration and development and migration management.

Capacity Building of the Migration Agencies in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to Better Manage Labour Migration on National and Bilateral Levels

Within this project IOM intends to assist the Governments of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to build their capacity to improve the management of labour migration at the national and regional (bilateral) levels.

During the reporting period, IOM developed the design of information materials to be distributed among potential labour migrants. This information material will further be provided to Ministry of Labour, Employment and Migration (MOLEM) and NGO partners for further dissemination.

IOM managed to develop a concept of Pre Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Pre Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) materials, particularly video materials. IOM intends to develop three video materials: one general on PEOS, and two PDOS for Kazakhstan, Russia and other countries.

Combating Trafficking in Human Beings – Prevention, Protection, Partnership

IOM's counter-trafficking initiatives provide direct assistance to victims of trafficking and establish an effective framework for them through a capable, strong and efficient network of more than 30 cooperative non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and international and governmental agencies.

The programme includes: support of the NGO network; support of the “Hotline 189” counter-trafficking Call Center; counter-trafficking awareness-raising campaigns; maintenance of shelters for the trafficked victims in Bishkek and in Osh; maintenance of Adaptation and Rehabilitation center for Minors in Osh, assistance in return and reintegration of the victims; and development of NGOs sustainability.


  • Central Asian Regional Migration Programme
  • Regional Migration Programme
  • Global Joint Programme on Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Strategies
  • Capacity Building of the Migration Agencies in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to Better Manage Labour Migration on National and Bilateral Levels
  • Combating Trafficking in Human Beings – Prevention, Protection, Partnership


Last updated:
Main text: May 2014
Facts and figures: September 2014

Population (2015):5.9 million
Area:199,951 km sq
Languages :Kyrgyz, Russian
Currency:Kyrgyz Som (KGS)
GDP per Capita PPP (2014):USD 3,322
HDI Rank (2014):120 of 188
Remittances (2014 estimate):USD 2,246 million
Net Migration Rate (2015-2020):-3.2 migrants/1,000 population
Immigrants (2015):3.4%
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants (2015):59.6%
Population under 15 (2015):31.4%
Adult HIV Prevalence (2014):0.30%

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
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Tel: +99.63 12 61 24 56, +99.63 12 61 24 57, +99.63 12 61 24 58, +99.63 12 61 24 59
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Email: office@iom.kg
Website: http://www.iom.kg