In order to conduct financial or ancillary services in or from the AIFC, firms need to obtain a licence from the AFSA.  

The authorisation process enables the AFSA to identify, prevent significant misconduct or harm from occurring and to ensure that firms and individuals meet threshold conditions before a firm carries out financial or ancillary services from the AIFC. 

How to apply: 

1. Contact Participant Support & Sales team of AIFC Authority

We recommend to contact the Participant Support & Sales team of AIFC Authority, who are at hand to support and guide organisations through the processes of authorisation and registration.

You may contact them via [email protected] or receive detailed information via +7 7172 959 000.

2. Prepare to apply 

Some firms go straight to attempting to complete the application forms. This often results in a poor application and can lengthen the application process. Here are some recommended preparation steps: 

  • Decide what type of business you want to carry out and check which Regulated, Market or Ancillary Services you will need to apply for. 
  • Determine who will be part of the senior management and who will be in the mandatory positions. Prepare to complete the necessary individual application forms. 
  • Develop a comprehensive regulatory business plan that sets out your proposed activities, 3-year financial projections and budget, resources such as human, systems and financial. This can be shared with the AFSA Authorisation team who will be happy to comment on your proposal. 
  • Familiarise yourself with the applicable AIFC Rules and Regulations and be prepared to show how you will comply with them. This might include providing a compliance manual, a compliance monitoring programme, and risk management policies. The AIFC Rules and Regulations can be found on our website at the Legal Framework section. 
  • Determine your minimum regulatory capital requirements, with which you will need to comply at all times. This should be included in your 3-year financial projections. 

3. Complete the Application forms 

It is vital that you supply all relevant information. Openness and honesty are essential. Should we need to examine your application more closely because of any disclosures you make, this will not necessarily count against you. However, deliberately withholding information or providing false or misleading information will adversely impact the success of your application. 

You should also start the registration process with the AIFC Registrar of Companies at the same time as you submit your AFSA application. This will help you to avoid delays at the end of the authorisation process. 
For your convenience, we have launched the online submission of Ancillary Services application via ourSelf-service Portal. 

To start using the portal all you need is to follow these 4 steps: 

1. Open the Portal; 
2. Register on the portal using a valid email address, upon provision of necessary information, please verify your account by clicking the link sent to the provided email address; 
3. Login to the portal and click the "New application" button; 
4. Choose ‘Authorisation’ in the menu and within it choose ‘Ancillary Services’ application. 
Once an application is ready (all sections will be colored in Green), you can submit it to AFSA via the Self-service portal. 
Ancillary Services application fee - $2000 
4. Application processing

A successful application will result in the AFSA issuing you an in-principle letter which will allow you to complete the registration process. We will then issue you with your AFSA Licence once you can demonstrate that you have successfully registered with the Registrar of Companies, have sufficiently capitalised the firm and have met any other outstanding matters. 

While members of the AFSA Authorisation team might be able to assist applicants regarding the application process and AFSA’s requirements relating to the application, the AIFC’s Business Development team can provide more hands-on assistance. Applicants are therefore urged to speak to a Business Development Officer prior to submitting an application. Alternatively, there are a number of AFSA authorised Consultants listed on the AFSA’s Public Register that can provide a service. 

5. Our commitments to firms during the authorisation process.

When you apply for authorisation, you need to provide complete and detailed information about your business – such as, its structure, key individuals and financial resources.

In return, we offer you the commitments listed below. Our commitments are:

  • We will tell you that we have received your application within 2 working days. We will also tell you which case officer we have assigned to your application.  The assigned case officer will handle all communication about your application.

  • We will send you our Initial Review Letter within 4 weeks. During this period, we will:
    - assess your business, considering whether it meets the minimum ‘threshold conditions’;
    - check your application against various databases and information held by other regulatory agencies.

  • You will have up to 2 months to address all our comments and observations. During this period, we may also require having an interview with some candidates for Controlled and Designated Functions.

  • When we receive an updated application package, we expect that all our outstanding comments are cleared. However, experience shows, that this is not always the case. Therefore, we will send you our second review comments within 2 weeks. The faster and better you address our comments, the faster we will make a decision on your application.

  • In rare cases it happens that the third draft application still does not satisfy our requirements. We will then have to charge a Supplementary Fee for incurring additional costs in dealing with the application. We will notify you as soon as reasonably practicable that a supplementary fee is to be required, for you to make an informed decision as to whether keep or withdraw an application. If you decide to continue the authorisation process, we will send you our third review comments within 2 weeks.

  • The designated case officer will give you an update on the current status of your case at least monthly and often more frequently. You will be notified within a week once your application is considered complete, at which point you will also be given an indication as to when your application is likely to be decided.

These commitments will apply until we approve your application or tell you of our decision that it should be refused, in which case you will have an opportunity to withdraw an application, otherwise we will apply a formal refusal process.

Please note that failure to provide requested information may lead to delays in assessing your application.

Thus, we endeavour to process all licence applications promptly, however, the process times depend on the complexity of the applicant’s proposed operations and the quality of the application itself. In general, average application processing time, from the time the AFSA receives a materially complete application, is around two to three months.

6. Currency Regulation

Please note that the AFSA and the National Bank of Kazakhstan have signed Rules on Currency Regulation and Provision of Information on Currency (“the Rules”). The Rules, amongst other things, detail the list of the financial services that AIFC Participants can provide to residents of the Republic of Kazakhstan, that are not AIFC Participants. It also includes details of when and how AIFC Participants can transact business in the local currency (Tenge) or foreign currency. Please familiarize yourself with the Rules and how they might apply to your business going forward. 

7. How to contact us:

Please feel free to contact us at any time by clicking here.
Email: [email protected] 

For technical queries of AIFC Self-service Portal please contact us through the following email: [email protected] or send us a message in Live chat of AIFC Self-service Portal. 

AFSA brochure - Authorisation process in the AIFC
Guide on the Authorisation process