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Legislation for Foreign Citizens residing in the Russian Federation for the purposes of Business and Labour

Review of Russian Migration Legislation Changes from February to November, 2011

06.12.2011

Review of Russian Migration Legislation Changes from February to November, 2011

1) Changes in the procedures of registration by the place of residence in the Russian Federation for foreign citizens and persons without citizenship

From March there have been procedural changes of migration registration and deregistration for foreign citizens in Russia.

On March 25th 2011 the Federal Law from the 20th of March, 2011 42-FZ “Amending Federal Law of migration registration for foreign citizens and persons without citizenship in the Russian Federation and other legislative acts of the Russian Federation” was enacted. In accordance with Federal law from the 18th of July, 2006 109 Migration Registration for foreign citizens and persons without citizenship in the Russian Federation the procedures for registration of such persons by place of residence in the Russian Federation include the following changes:

1. The allotted time period for registration by place of residence of a foreign citizen or person without citizenship has been increased from 3 to 7 working days;

2. The place of residence of foreign citizens can be either their actual place of residence (living accommodations), or their place of employment. So the official address of the employer can be used for foreign citizen’s registration. Thus the receiving party can be presented by the employer, for whom the foreign citizen carries out his labour activity;

3. Liability for breaching of the legislation on registration by place of residence is carried by the foreign citizens, who are obliged to report any changes and information about his place of residence to the territorial department of the Federal Migration Service (further – FMS) for migration registration, but have not executed this duty.

The following citizens notify the FMS themselves:

- When, due to sufficient reasons, the inviting or hosting party cannot send a notification on the arrival of a foreign citizen in Russia to the FMS;

- Those owning their own living accommodations on the territory of the Russian Federation and claim this address for the purposes of migration registration;

- Permanently residing in Russia, in other words those having permanent residency status, and with the approval of the inviting party.

Other foreign citizens upon their arrival to their place of residence are obligated to inform the inviting party which in its turn should implement the obligation of the foreigners migration registration. If a foreign citizen fails to inform the inviting party about his or her arrival within the time period of seven working days as established by the law, the inviting party is unable to implement its obligation of arrival notifications obtaining for foreigners. Then the responsibility for the breaching migration law lies with the foreign citizen.

Also since February 15, 2011 the rules of deregistration at the place of residence of foreign citizens in Russia have been changed.

In accordance with the norms of the Federal Law from the 23rd of December 2010 N 385-FZ Amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation in relation to the rules of deregistration of foreign citizens and persons without citizenship, on the official website of the FMS there was published a clarification on its application, and later on the 4th of August, 2011 these rules were officially incorporated into the existing rules of migration registration in the Russian Federation for foreign citizens and persons without citizenship by Governmental Decree of the RF 654:

- Upon changing the place of residence, the tear-off part of arrival notification remains with the foreign citizen;

- Upon arrival of the foreign citizen to a new place of residence, the previous tear-off part of arrival notification is to be presented to the new hosting party for the registration procedure of a foreign citizen by his or her new address;

- Upon the foreign citizens departure from Russia, the tear-off part of arrival notification is submitted to the authorities at the Border Control at the designated border crossing of the Russian Federation.

Thus, the previous inviting or hosting party is no longer required to submit the tear-off part of the foreign citizens arrival notification within two working days from the date of departure of the foreign citizen. Deregistration of a foreign citizen by his or her previous place of residence is carried out automatically:

) upon receipt of information of his or her registration by the new place of residence from the regional authority of the Federal Migration Service by new place of residence of a foreign citizen;

b) upon receipt of information on the foreigners departure from the Russian Federation from Border Control at the appropriate point of departure through a border crossing;

c) in case a foreign citizen is acknowledged to be missing or deceased during his stay on the territory of the Russian Federation.

2) Special rules for Highly-Qualified Specialists on migration registration have been established

in the Russian Federation

From the 15th of February, 2011 Highly-Qualified Specialists and foreign citizens who are classified as family members of Highly-Qualified Specialists were exempted from the requirement of migration registration by place of residence for the time period not exceeding 90 days from the day of their entry onto the territory of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, those mentioned foreign citizens who have already been registered by place of living (or by place of staying) in Russia, in case of their movement throughout the country and upon their arrival to a new place of residence for a period not exceeding 30 days, they are exempt from the requirement of registering by a new place of residence.After the expiration of such a 90-day or 30-day period, the aforementioned foreign citizens are obligated to undertake the necessary steps to complete registration by his or her new place of residence within 7 working days.

In addition pursuant to Federal Law on the 25th of March 2011 42-FZ Highly-Qualified Specialists owning their own residence (living accommodations) on the territory of Russia can act as hosts for family members. In this case the necessary documents for family members registration should be added with copies of documents confirming the family relationship towards to the apartments owner.

3) Changing of the arrival notification form for registration foreign citizens in place of stay in Russia

On the 18th of October, 2011 the change of the arrival notification form was made (by Order of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation on the 15th of August 2011 319 "Amendments to the notification form of arrival of foreign citizens and persons without citizenship by place of residence which was approved by Order of the Federal Migration Service of Russia on the 23rd of September 2010 287).

In accordance with the given Order the front page of the arrival notification form for a foreign citizen or persons without citizenship there is an updated column which includes Previous Address (place of residence) in the Russian Federation and which is located on the form after the column Information on legal representatives. This column must be completed only if a foreign citizen moves from one place of residence to another within Russia.

4) New rules of foreign professors and research workers employment in Russia

On February 15th 2011 on the basis of subparagraph 8 point 4 article 13 of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens, in present time foreign professors and research workers can be employed in Russia without employment permission for foreign employees hiring and personal work permit not only by educational institutions, but also by:

- state-accredited institutions of higher education;

- the State Academies of Sciences or their regional offices;

- National Research Centers;

- State Research Centers;

- other scientific organizations where the Council of defence of ones thesis is established in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation;

- other scientific and innovation organizations in accordance with the criteria and/or by the list approved by the Government of the Russian Federation.

Herewith an inviting part from the above mentioned list can invite a foreign professor or a foreign research worker for labour activity in Russia on the basis of business or humanitarian visa.

On February 15th 2011 the mandatory pay-scale was reduced from 2 to 1 million roubles per one year for foreign professors and foreign research who are invited to engage as Highly-Qualified Specialists:

1) in state accredited institutions of higher education,

2) in state academies of science or in their regional offices,

3) national research centers or government research centers

For other foreign professors and research workers remuneration is still at least two million roubles calculated per one year.

5) Termination of documents reception for CIS citizens work permits for a period up to 3 months

Since March 2011 the Department of the FMS for Moscow changed the procedure of obtaining work permits for foreign citizens who arrive in Russia via a visa-free regime. If previously the work permit could be requested on behalf of the foreign citizen for a period up to 3 months, now documents are submitted to the federal authority only by request of the employer. Permits are issued for a term not exceeding one year.

Besides this and in accordance with the internal directive of the Department of the FMS for Moscow, currently along with obtaining a work permit for a position chosen from the list of non-quoted positions for 2011 must also include the original employment agreement (civil contract) that was concluded between the foreign citizen and his or her employer.

6) Simplification of obtaining work permission documents for employment of French citizens in Russia

Since the 01st of March, 2011 the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the French Republic regarding temporary labour activity of one country‘s citizens on the territory of the other country have come into force.

Points of this Agreement are equivalent for both countries. Different conditions of simplified obtaining of permission documents for work on the territory of Russia and work visas are stipulated for the following categories of French citizens:

Categories of foreign employees

The period of permission for the recruitment and employment of foreign workers and work permits validity

The period of visas validity

The conditions for the extension of visas and the period of validity of extended visas

1. Employees of Representative offices (Branch offices)

Permission documents for work are issued for the period up to 1 year with possibility of their prolongation for 3 years

Multi-entry work visas valid up to 1 year (issued on the basis of an invitation obtained in Russia)

Multi-entry work visa is extended without departure of the foreign citizen from Russia for a period equal to the employment agreement, but each time no longer than 3 years

2. Employeesof common groupofcompanies*:

) citizens of France having an employment agreement with a legal entity in France and engaged in labour activity in an enterprise or organization of the same group of companies situated on the territory of the Russian Federation;

b) citizens of France who have concluded an employment agreement with an enterprise or organization located in Russia and included into the same group of companies

Permission documents for work are issued for the period up to 1 year with possibility of their prolongation:

- for category a for 6 months;

- for category a for 3 years months;

Multi-entry work visas valid up to 1 year (issued on the basis of an invitation obtained in Russia)

For category : multi-entry work visa extended without departure of the foreigner from Russia one time for the periodnot more than six months if necessary in condition of the original purpose of the trip.

Upon transferring to category b up until the expiration of the employment agreement a visa can be extended for a period up to three years

For category b:

A multi-entry work visa is extended without departure of the foreign citizen from Russia for a period equal to the employment agreement, but each time no more than three years

3. Director of company, which by French law or by constitutive documents pursue business management on the territory of the Russian Federation

Permission documents for work are issued for the period up to 1 year with possibility of their prolongation for 3 years

Multi-entry work visas valid up to 1 year (issued on the basis of an invitation obtained in Russia)

Multi-entry work visa is extended without departure of the foreign citizen from Russia for a period equal to the employment agreement, but each time no longer than three years

4. Highly-Qualified workers, who meet as minimum 2 out of the 3 following criteria:

- the existence of higher education document which corresponds to the profession specified in the employment agreement;

- the existence of the relevant work experience not less than five years in the profession, position specified in the employment agreement;

- level of salary not less than 3200 Euros per month

Permission documents for work are issued for the period up to 1 year with possibility of their prolongation for 3 years

Multi-entry work visas valid up to 1 year (issued on the basis of an invitation obtained in Russia)

Multi-entry work visa is extended without departure of the foreign citizen from Russia for a period equal to the employment agreement, but each time no longer than three years

5. Young specialists between the ages of 18 to 30

Permission documents for work are issued for the period up to 1 year with possibility of their prolongation for 2 years

Multi-entry work visas valid up to 1 year (issued on the basis of an invitation obtained in Russia)

Multi-entry work visa is extended without departure of the foreign citizen from Russia for a period equal to the employment agreement, but no longer than two years from the date of entry into Russia

6. Persons between the ages of 18 to 30 entering with a visa holidays work on holidays for the purpose of employment in the Russian Federation

Pursuing employment during a period of holidays (up to 4 months) without the employer first obtaining permission for the recruitment and employment of employees and without obtaining work permits for foreign employees

Upon concluding an employment agreement in Russia within the period of validity of the visa, this category citizens are issued work permits (residency permits) for a period equal to the term of the employment agreement, but not longer than one year from the date of entry into the country

Multi-entry visa holidays work for a period up to 4 months (issued on the basis of an invitation obtained in Russia)

Upon the concluding an employment agreement in the Russian Federation within the period of validity of a visa holidays work (within 4 months) after obtaining of work permits (residency status) for this category, citizens holding the visa is extended for the period equal to the employment agreement but no longer than one year from the date of entry into the country

7. Family members spouses and minor children (dependent children), accompanying in travel as dependent family members of citizens referred to in the article excluding:

- category a in paragraph 2 of this table

- categories of citizens in paragraph 6 of this table


Multi-entry work visas valid up to 1 year (issued on the basis of an invitation obtained in Russia)

Multi-entry work visas for foreign employees accompanying family members are extended annually for the term of the foreign employees employment agreement without their departure from the country

*common group of companiescovers a parent company that has direct or indirect control in accordance with constituent (statutory) documentation

The conditions of the accepted articles to the Agreement and the additional requirements for some of the abovementioned categories for foreign citizens can be found in the annexes to the Agreement.

Herewith the Agreement provides common benefits for all the above mentioned categories of foreign citizens:

- For obtaining work permits an employer is not required to have a quota for recruitment of foreign citizens. That is to say, the authorization to recruit and employ foreign citizens, as well as work permits for a foreign citizen can be requested for any position in accordance with the National Classification of positions;

- The Russian inviting company does not prepare the conclusion on the expediency of recruiting and employing foreign citizens, in other words, the employer does not submit information on the need for workers to labour agencies;

- Work permits are valid throughout the entire territory of the Russian Federation, excluding territories, organizations and facilities whereby entry for foreign citizens in accordance with legislation of the Russian Federation requires a special permission;

- Documents for obtaining work permits for foreign citizens of France in the Russian Federation can be submitted to the federal authority responsible for migration in the city of Moscow, regardless of the employers place of registration;

- The identified categories of foreign citizens travel within the territory of the Russian Federation without the necessity to register with the condition that the period of stay at the place of residence does not exceed 10 working days;

- Medical documents that were issued in France are accepted by the competent federal authorities in the Russian Federation, provided they were issued by medical institutions acceptable in Russia and also come with a certified Russian translation in Russian.

In accordance with the established practice of the Moscow regional authority of the Federal Migration Service, documents for obtaining permission for the recruitment and employment of foreign citizens, as well as obtaining a work permit for a foreign citizen are submitted to the federal authority in one package. The general period of obtaining both permission documents is one calendar month.

7) Foreign citizens obtaining medical certificates regarding the absence of HIV at state medical institutions

Since the 1st of July, 2011 there was a change in the procedure of obtaining medical certificates for foreign citizens and persons without citizenship for the purposes of obtaining a work permit in the Russian Federation. In accordance with the order of the Moscow Chief Physician from the 13th of May, 2011 9, in order to receive a work permit at the Department of the FMS in Russia Moscow, the foreign citizen must provide a medical certificate confirming the absence of HIV infection issued only by federal medical institutions and local health agencies (skin and venereal clinics).

At the same time, other certificates confirming the absence of diseases or illnesses the list of which is approved by the Russian Government can still be obtained at the non-federal licensed medical institutions.

8) The abolition of state duties for registration at the place of residence (living) in Russia for participants in voluntary relocation programmes in Russia

On the 4th of August, 2011 the order of the Russian Federation Government of N 654 On the rules governing registration of foreign citizens and persons without citizenship in the Russian Federation introduced a new paragraph stipulating that state duties for registration at the place of residence in Russia, will not be applicable to:

- foreign citizens and persons without citizenship who act as participants in state programmes assisting in the voluntary relocation in the Russian Federation and nationals who reside abroad;

- family members who have relocated for permanent residence to the Russian Federation.

9) Mandatory pension insurance for foreign citizens

On the 23rd of November, upon the third reading the State Duma adopted a draft bill changing the rules of the contribution payment for mandatory social insurance. The bill is expected to come into force on January 1, 2012.

In accordance with the rules of the draft bill, foreign citizens or persons without citizenship (excluding Highly-Qualified Specialists) who are temporarily residing on the territory of the Russian Federation and who have concluded an employment agreement either for an indefinite period or for a fixed term not less than 6 months will be subject to mandatory pension insurance. Consequently, the employer will pay only that part of the contributions from the foreigners salary which is accredited to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation. Pension contributions will be paid at the rate for the financing of insurance premiums which is established for citizens of the Russian Federation.

Herewith, the above mentioned foreigners are still not entitled neither to the benefits covering temporary disability (pregnancy and birth), nor to free medical care at the expense of mandatory medical insurance.

10) The abolition of work permits in the Russian Federation for citizens of Kazakhstan

Since January, 2012 it is planned to abolish the work permits for citizens of Kazakhstan.

The Agreement between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on the legal status of migrant workers and their family members which exempts citizens of Kazakhstan from the requirement of receiving a work permit in Russia comes into force after 30 days from the date when the Integration Committee of the Euro-Asian Economic Union (EAEU) obtains notifications on ratification of the Agreement by all its participants (article 22 of the Agreement).

Russia ratified the Agreement on the 26th of July, 2011 (Federal Law from 11.07.2011 186 On the ratification of the agreement on the legal status of migrant workers and their family members).

According to the information of the Integration Committee, the Agreement will be enacted not earlier than the 1st of January, 2012 as per the decision of the Intergovernmental Counsel of the EAEU from the 9th of December 2010 65.

At the moment, in order to carry out labour activity in Russia, the citizens of Kazakhstan are required to obtain a valid work permit.


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