Before Kyrgyzstan eventually became a member, simplifications for Kyrgyz migrant workers had been one of the most, if not the most important issue for the country. Now, many simplifications (e.g. registration is easier, work permits are no longer needed, labour market quotas have been lifted, and there is access to social benefits) are in place for Kyrgyz migrants, but not for Tajiks or Uzbeks, because their countries are not members of the Eurasian Economic Union. Therefore, migration from the latter two countries lags behind Kyrgyzstan. Before mid-2015, 194,000 Kyrgyz citizens were blacklisted by the Russian authorities for immigration rule violations. At the end of October 2015, some 76,000 Kyrgyz citizens were deleted from these lists. This has eased access to the Russian labour market. Kyrgyzstan is a driver for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to move closer to Russia or at least keep ties with it and benefit from migration.

Niels Thevs has headed the Central Asia Office of the World Agroforestry Centre in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, since its opening in 2015.