January 14, 2011

Russia has made some significant changes to migration legislation which will predominantly affect expatriates moving to Russia as Highly Skilled Workers.  The changes are positive improvements to the process and take effect from 15 February 2011.  In addition, the list of positions for quota exemption has been submitted for government approval.

Changes for Highly Skilled Workers 

Most of the changes from 15 February will affect Highly Skilled Workers only.  The Highly Skilled Worker category was introduced with effect from 1 July 2010 and allows for a significantly faster and simpler immigration process for foreign nationals who are paid at least 2 million rubles (approximately $65,000USD or €53,000EUR) a year, in Russia.  More details can be found n our original Global Brief on the subject, available here.

The changes are as follows.

Lower Salary Requirement for Scientists and Teachers

The salary requirement of 2 million rubles per year for the Highly Skilled Worker route will be lowered to 1 million rubles per year for scientists and teachers meeting the following criteria:

  1. Invited to Russia by the state, or
  2. Accredited by state higher education institutions, academies of sciences, research and/or scientific centers to participate in research and/or teaching, or
  3. Foreign nationals participating in “Skolkovo” projects

However, Highly Skilled Worker permits will not be granted to foreign nationals working as missionaries or in flea markets.

Accompanying Dependent Category Widened   

Effective 15 February, Highly Skilled Workers will be able to bring the following family members as dependents:

  • Spouse and children (as before)
  • Children’s spouses
  •  Parents
  • Parents’ spouses
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchildren

Migration Registration Requirement Removed for Short Stays

For Highly Skilled Workers, there will no longer be a requirement to register on entry to Russia if the stay in Russia will be for less than 90 consecutive days – i.e. those Highly Skilled Workers who travel in and out of Russia frequently will not need to register at all.

In addition, Highly Skilled Workers travelling within Russia will not be required to register in different regions in the Russian Federation as long as each stay in the destination is less than 30 days.

For all foreign nationals (i.e. Highly Skilled Workers and standard work permit holders), address registration will need to be done using the residential address of the foreign national – company addresses will no longer be acceptable.

Finally, also for all foreign nationals, there will no longer be a requirement to de-register: registration at a new location in Russia will automatically trigger de-registration from the old location, and departure from Russia will automatically trigger de-registration via a notification from the border authorities to the migration authorities.

Employer Obligations for Highly Skilled Workers 

Employers of Highly Skilled Workers were already required to make quarterly reports regarding salary; the new law introduces a deadline for the report: the last day of the month.

Quota Exemption List and Quota Labor Forecast Reminder 

In addition, the list of positions for quota exemption has been submitted.  This has not yet been approved, but we anticipate approval in the coming weeks.  The list contains the following positions:

  1. General director of a joint stock company
  2. General director of a joint enterprise
  3. General director of an enterprise
  4. General director of general directorship
  5. General director of an inter-industry scientific venture
  6. General director of a production facility
  7. Senior principal engineer of a project
  8. Senior principal engineer (in industry)
  9. Director of the department
  10. Director (head) of a branch office
  11. Director of a plant
  12. Director of economic affairs
  13. Director of a factory
  14. Director (head, representative) of directorship
  15. Director (head, executive) of an enterprise
  16. Director of a firm
  17. Director of a joint stock company
  18. Director of a joint enterprise
  19. Deputy Chairman of the Board
  20. IT security engineer
  21. Engineer of automation and mechanization of production procedures
  22. Industrial engineer
  23. Engineer for production control system
  24. Engineer for automatic process control system
  25. Engineer for realization of new technology
  26. Quality engineer
  27. Setting and testing engineer
  28. Engineer for production management and control
  29. Pre-production engineer
  30. President of a consortium (consolidated group, corporation, etc) (socio-economic entity)
  31. Chairman of the Board

Pro-Link GLOBAL would also like to remind our clients that the applications for foreign labor forecasts for 2012 must be submitted by 1 May 2011 at the latest. Preparation should start early; Pro-Link GLOBAL will be happy to assist.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS 

Note the positive improvements to the immigration process announced in thisGlobal Brief.  The changes are due to come into force on 15 February 2011;

Note the planned quota exemption list – this has not yet been approved, however, and Pro-Link GLOBAL will alert you when it has;

Start planning for 2012 – labor forecasts must be submitted by 1 May 2011 at the latest.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 
 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.  Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM Correspondent Office in Russia to provide you this update.