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רוסיה – חוק הגירה חדש עם הטבות לעובדים מקצועיים בכירים ובני משפחתם

On February 15, 2011 new Federal Law will come into force after it has been introduced by Russian Government on December 23, 2010. It will amend several Federal Laws, in particular the one related to legal status of foreign citizens in Russia.

Highly Qualified Specialists & Family Members

New law will recognize a foreigner as highly qualified professional with work experience, skills and achievements as long as employee meets following criteria:

  • receives salary of not less than 1 million rubbles per year working as science specialist or teacher in education organizations and research institutions
  • is a participant of ‘Skolkovo‘ project
  • receives salary of minimum 2 million rubbles per year in case of other positions

Highly Skilled Workers will be able to bring the following family members as dependents:

  • Spouse and children (including adopted)
  • Children’s spouses
  • Parents
  • Parents’ spouses
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren

If aforementioned family members will find a job or decide to study in Russia they will be able to change their status from dependant to work or study without leaving the country. In order to legally work, however, work permit will still have to be obtained. Previously, in such cases dependant had to depart, apply for the type of visa which will match the activities to be conducted in Russia, and subsequently re-enter the country.


Registration Simplified

90 days without registration – only highly qualified professionals and their family members will be able to stay without registration in Russia for up to 90 days starting from the day of their arrival. Upon expiration of this period they will have to register within 3 business days. Rules for other foreigners remain the same.


30 days without registration for travels within Russia – new law also allows HQPs and family members to travel freely within Russia without observing registration – de-registration requirements for 30 days. After this period they will have to register with local Federal Migration Service office.


No de-registration – further, all foreigners (HQPs as well other foreigners) will not be required to de-register upon departure from the place of stay (within Russia, and upon departure from the country) as this will be completed internally within the authorities.


Branch Offices – registration with FMS required

In order to invite and obtain work visas for foreigners, companies registered in Russia as branch offices will have to be registered with the Federal Migration Service.


Currently representative offices and branches of foreign companies cannot be registered with FMS offices and can only apply for invitation letters through either Russian Chamber of Commerce or State Registration Chamber.


Tax Notification Deadline Defined

Notifications on salaries must be submitted to the authorities every quarter of the year along with other tax reports. Deadline is set for the 30th day of a month following the quarter, for example if foreigner was hired in February a company will have to submit notification before the 30th of April, but for the period of work from January to March, – 1st quarter of the year, even though the HQP worked only 2 months – Feb and March from this Quarter.


Residence Permit Term Defined

Based on HQP work permit issued for up to 3 years, a permanent residence permits will be issued for the same period of time for the foreigner and family members. Previously this term was not clearly defined and was refereeing validity of the permit to the employment agreement. Federal Migration Service, though, has yet to issue guidelines on the procedure.


Other provisions

Federal Law includes general proposition regarding limits on engaging highly qualified professionals in retail. The Government should continue to review those propositions and finalize the limitations with appropriate orders in the future. Therefore we can expect further changes in procedures related to Highly Qualified Professionals.


While all the changes present optimistic improvements and could reduce burdensome procedures for expats, many experts are still concerned about how the regulations would be applied by the country’s notorious bureaucracy.


Our articles are for informational purposes only. Should you have any further questions regarding matters related to business immigration to Russia please feel free to contact our office.


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