May 02, 2012

Russian companies that sponsor foreign Highly-Skilled Workers (HSW’s) must be registered with the Russian immigration authority (the Federal Migration Service or “FMS”) in order to receive an FMS registration card permitting sponsorship privileges.

What is the HSW?

The Highly Skilled Worker category was introduced with effect from July 1, 2010 and allows for a significantly faster and simpler immigration process for foreign nationals who are paid a Russian salary of at least two million rubles (approximately $68,100USD or €51,456EUR). While there are exceptions to this salary level for scientists and teachers applying as HSW’s, these instances must meet very specific qualification criteria.

What’s Changed?

Russian immigration law requires that virtually all Russian companies sponsoring foreign workers must have an official FMS registration card allowing a company to invite foreign nationals to visit or work in the country. When the Russian Government introduced the HSW category in July 2010, sponsors of HSW’s were informed that they would only be required to make quarterly reports regarding confirmation that the minimum required salary was being paid in Russia.

According to recent news, the FMS has issued an “internal regulation” that any Russian company sponsoring HSW’s must also undergo traditional FMS registration and obtain an official registration card. This card contains information about the designated Russian corporate signatory who will represent the company to the FMS, has the right to sign sponsorship application forms and authorized to request HSW invitation letters from the FMS.


Russian companies considering sponsorship of HSW’s must ensure they are first registered with the FMS as a qualified corporate sponsor. A designated Russian company representative should complete the FMS registration form and include in his or her name in indicated list of the representatives having the right to represent the company’s interests with the FMS.

Glenn Faulk, Global Knowledge Manager, has written this alert in coordination with our Russian KGNM-Move One.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.