The government of the Russian Federation, in order to boost the Russian economy and create better environment for foreign investments, has finally taken action to ease immigration procedures for highly qualified professionals (HQP).
The Russian government believes that by creating new immigration policies, companies will review their investments plans and start bringing to Russia only highly qualified staff taht in turn will expand operations of those companies and contribute to improvement of the local employment market.
The new law was approved by the Russian Duma and signed by the president Dmitry Medvedev. It is to take effect from July 1, 2010. Although the changes have been clearly detailed in the new law, the implementation is likely to be gradual and may be subject to some delays, formal modifications and other qualifications.
Move One will monitor the situation and guide our customer on the procedures as the changes are enforced the Federal Law #115 on the legal status of foreign citizens introduced following key modifications:
Introduction of a new category of foreign employees named as highly qualified professionals (HQP). According to sec 1 art 13.2 of the named Federal Law, HQP is a foreign citizen who has significant work experience, unique skills and achievements in any given sphere. Additionally such professional is furnished with the income of minimum 2 million rubles (approximately 64500 USD or 52500 EUR) a year
Exemption for HQP from quota requirement - in the case of HQPs, companies no longer be required to submit forecast of foreign labor before May 1 of each year
Russian LLC companies and branches of foreign companies and Russian scientific organizations will be able to benefit from new legislation. Representative offices are not mentioned in the list, so it appears that they will not be able to make use of the amendments
Requirements on full compliance with administrative regulations as in case of LLC companies or branch offices which have been administratively penalized during last two years, it will not be possible to use the benefits of a new law and therefore obtain work permits for HQPs.
Overall changes to the procedures:
- Processing time will be reduced from 30 days to 14 days
- Work Permit will be valid for three years instead of one year
- The working visa will be issued for the term of maximum three years
- New law will allow to convert the status from business to work without leaving Russia
- Work permits will be issued for more than one region where required
- Work Permit will have to be collected in person by HQP having demonstrated their passport
- Extensions of work permits and visas will be granted provided employers submit applications for extensions not less than 30 days before the end of the current work permit. Processing time is also to be decreased to 14 days
- Change in the application procedure and documents requirement, a key modification, connected with employment contract which has to be signed for the application process. Previously only draft of the contract was required in order to obtain the work permit
- Medical Insurance will be required for HQP valid from the day of their arrival to Russian Federation and only if they are insured it will be possible to conclude the labor agreement
- HQPs and their family members will be able to apply for temporary residence permits upon arrival to Russia based on the labor agreement
- Employers will have to quarterly notify the Tax Authority about HQP's incomes
- Companies will pay reduced income tax for HQP in the amount of 13 percent instead of 30 percent
Penalties and Non-compliance:
Should employer violate any of its duties towards HQP it will be denied the right to engage HQP for two years from the moment when such violation will be registered. Our articles are mainly for information purposes. Should you have any further questions regarding immigration issues, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
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