Misuse of the status of “Repatriate” hinders the integrity of society
It is known that the Head of State Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev proposed to abandon the word “Compatriot” and use the term “Repatriate” in 2019, in relation to the Kazakhs who returned to their historical homeland. A public opinion supported this initiative and positive changes were made in the legislation.
However, there is an ambiguous attitude towards repatriates in today`s Kazakhstani society. Many people do not understand who is repatriates. At the same time, repatriates who have acquired the citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the country are still called repatriates or compatriots incorrectly. Unfortunately, this perception is one of the factors that negatively affects the feelings of our brothers and sisters from abroad, the attitude of the citizens of the country and the maintenance of socio-political stability in the country.
This is associated with the different interpretations of the term “Repatriate”.
In the broadest sense, the word “Repatriate” means brothers, members of the same ethnic group, regardless of geographical and state-territorial affiliation. In other words, all Kazakhs, both in Kazakhstan and abroad, are repatriates on the basis of their unique historical background and ethnic origin.
The current public perception of ethnic Kazakhs living abroad, immigrating to Kazakhstan for the permanent residence, and acquiring Kazakhstani citizenship is understood in the context of repatriate. The latter position creates a problem in the form of the formation of an artificial social group, which has a wide range of social problems that are very difficult to solve for other people in the country. This misconception can lead to the emergence of a new, politically organized group based on the former sub-ethnic origin, that threatens the integrity of Kazakhstani society in turn.
For the reference:
SUBETHNOS is an ethnic system within an ethnos, that differs in its behavioral stereotypes and pits its members against each other on a complementary basis.
In general, sub-ethnic groups are defined by the peculiarities of their culture and language (dialect), the geographical origin of the general ethnos, and they feel those differences. The sub-ethnic group uses its own name, and its members are emotional at the same time, belonging to both the ethnos and the subethnos.
If we view it legally, repatriate is a status given to foreign Kazakhs who have decided to move to the permanent residence and those, who are in the process of obtaining citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Thus, the status of “Repatriate” covers the period from the final acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan. At the same time, in our opinion, the term “Repatriate” can be applied to Kazakhs living abroad.
However, in public opinion, it is necessary to define the ethnic Kazakh who has returned to his historical and ethnic homeland clearly, and who has not received a passport or identity card of a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan yet, but he is in the process of obtaining it. Hence, repatriate is an ethnic Kazakh who has a certificate of the repatriate now.
According to the subparagraph 13 of Article 1 of the Chapter 1 of the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated July 22, 2011 № 477-IV “On the migration of population” (hereinafter – the Law):
“Repatriates are the ethnic Kazakhs and (or) members of the Kazakh family of his nationality, who were not previously the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, came to the historical homeland and received the appropriate status in the manner prescribed by this Law”.
According to the Chapter 3, Article 17-1 of the Law, “Repatriates” are divided into the following categories:
1) repatriates included in the regional quota for the reception of the repatriates;
2) repatriates who came and lived in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan independently.
3) The main requirement for granting the status of “Repatriate” is that you belong to the Kazakh nation.
“Before entering the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the nationality of candidates who have applied for the status of blood relatives and (or) inclusion in the regional quota for the reception of compatriots, as well as the permanent residence in the Republic of Kazakhstan – on the basis of identity documents established on the basis of other documents”.
The status of “Repatriate” can be valid for one year and extended once by the decision of the local executive body for a period not exceeding six months.
Therefore, in general, ethnic Kazakhs cannot have the status of “Repatriate” for more than 1.5 years.
After obtaining a passport or identity card of the Republic of Kazakhstan, he or she becomes a citizen of the RK and the term “Repatriate” does not apply to him. Therefore, it is not appropriate for the repatriates to use the term “Repatriate” after obtaining the citizenship from the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Among the main benefits provided by the law for the repatriates to be of “Repatriate” status are those of ethnic Kazakhs and members of their families:
- An exemption from proof of solvency when obtaining a permanent residence permit in Kazakhstan;
- free services of adaptation and integration centers for the repatriates;
- provision of medical care;
- ensuring access to the education in schools and preschool organizations on an equal footing with citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan in accordance with the quota allocated for the admission to the technical and vocational, secondary and postgraduate educational institutions in the amount determined by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
- ensuring equal social protection with citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
In addition, the legislation provides for the allocation of land plots with the right of temporary gratuitous land use for the repatriates to run their own farms, agricultural production, gardening, cottage construction.
Therefore, repatriates are also exempted from paying customs` duties on personal property, including vehicles.
Repatriates included in the regional quota for the reception of repatriates will be provided with employment support and the right to receive the consumer and mortgage loans for housing construction.
Nowadays, it is time for Kazakhstani society to change its attitude towards ethnic Kazakhs who have returned to their historical homeland. All ethnic Kazakhs who have returned to their homeland need to get rid of the misconception that they are blood relatives.
It is known that in today's society, despite the diversity and differences, the global trends of social development are in the channel of integration processes. Having established itself as a multicultural country, it is not allowed to divide Kazakhs in Kazakhstan as citizens of Kazakhstan and those who have recently acquired citizenship, as well as on the basis of race, nationality, ethnicity, culture and religion in Kazakhstan.
It should be understood that the status of “Repatriate” is a transitional period, ie a temporary intermediate state before obtaining the citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Subsequently, the ethnic Kazakh repatriate acquires the citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan, has equal rights and obligations with other citizens of the country, and he is responsible for the fate of the country as those who received the right to become a citizen of Kazakhstan by birth.
In the current situation, we believe that the observance of stereotypes about repatriates, the division of Kazakhs into the repatriates and non-repatriates in the country is inappropriate. Undoubtedly, it will have a negative impact on the integrity of the nation. This approach has a negative impact on the sustainable development of society, domestic political stability.
At the same time, first of all, it is important that repatriates present themselves as blood relatives or compatriots and take great pride in the fact that they are full citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, rather than as a social group under psychological pressure.
Managing Director of the Information and Analysis Department of the “Compatriots Fund” OJSC
General Manager of the Information and Analysis Department of the “Compatriots Fund” OJSC