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RUSSIA – Recent Immigration Developments

All work permit applications for Ukrainian nationals now have to be pre-approved before submission.

In addition, effective 10 January 2014, several important changes were made to laws and procedures for immigration into the Russian Federation, which place new restrictions and obligations on foreign workers and their employers.

Finally, the Russian government has released its latest list of quota-exempt occupations, which includes three new occupations.

Pre-Approval for Ukrainian Nationals

Due to the current political situation in the region, any work permit applications for Ukrainian nationals now have to be submitted first to the Director of the UFMS (local office of the Federal Migration Bureau) for initial approval, before they can be filed as usual. This extra step can take up to one week and thus delay the work permit application process for Ukrainian nationals.

New Restrictions and Requirements

1. New immigration penalties for administrative violations.

Any foreign national who has committed two or more administrative violations in a three year period can now be refused entry to Russia, or barred form renewing an existing visa, for up to three years.

Typical administrative violations include breaking road traffic, public order and immigration rules. Any immigration penalty incurred as a consequence of two or more administrative violations will not be mitigated by timely payment of any fines incurred.

2. Tax registration for all foreign employees.

Effective 10 January, all foreign nationals employed in Russia must be registered with the Russian tax authorities.

The Federal Migration Service (FMS) will ask all applicants to present a Tax Identification Number Certificate or to complete two additional forms when submitting documents for any work permit. These forms will be used to register the applicant with the tax authorities, who will confirm registration directly to the FMS.

However, it is not clear whether any confirmation or certificate of tax registration will be received by the applicant or employer. In some cases, the FMS prints the Tax Identification Number onto the work permit. In many cases, however, a Tax Identification Number Certificate will continue to be required for the future extension of the permit, and can be required by other authorities, as well as by the accounting or HR departments of the employer.

It is therefore recommended that employers apply for a Tax Identification Number Certificate for all of their foreign national employees.

Previously, only employers of Highly Qualified Specialists (HQS) work permits had to register their permit holders with the tax authorities, and to confirm the registration to the FMS.

3. Medical certificate for visa waiver nationals

Visa waiver nationals applying to work in Russia are now required to include a medical certificate with their work permit application. Previously, these applicants had to submit the medical certificate within 30 days of work permit issuance. The medical test still has to be carried out in a UFMS-approved clinic in Russia.

New Quota-Exempt Positions Published

The 2014 list of quota-exempt job positions has been approved by the Order of the Ministry for Labour and Social Development and was published on 31 January 2014.

The list was further widened and now includes 62 positions compared with 59 last year.

In 2014 the following positions were added:

- Reporter (Корреспондент);

- Reporter for publishing house, member of Newspapers and magazines editorial staff (Корреспондент издательства, редакции газет и журналов);

- Presenter (Ведущий программы);

Also it seems that this year the Ministry has chosen to approve the list for an undetermined period of time.

The full list of quota-exempt positions is as follows:

  1. Ballet performer (Артист балета)
  2. Ballet performer (principal) Артист балета (солист)
  3. Artist-musician (opera and chamber) (Артист-вокалист (оперный и камерный))
  4. Artist-musician (principal) Артист-вокалист (солист)
  5. Actor (Артист драмы)
  6. Orchestra performer (Артист оркестра)
  7. Symphony (Chamber) orchestra performer (Артист симфонического (камерного) оркестра
  8. Circus performer (Артист цирка)
  9. Deputy production director (Ассистент режиссера-постановщика)
  10. Deputy art director (Ассистент художника-постановщика)
  11. Ballet master (Балетмейстер)
  12. Presenter (Ведущий программы)
  13. General director of a joint stock company (Генеральный директор акционерного общества)
  14. General director of a general directorship (Генеральный директор генеральной дирекции)
  15. General director of an inter-industry scientific venture (Генеральный директор межотраслевого научно-технического комплекса)
  16. General director of a joint enterprise (Генеральный директор объединения)
  17. General director of an enterprise (Генеральный директор предприятия)
  18. General director of a production facility (Генеральный директор производственного объединения)
  19. Senior principal engineer (in industry) (Главный инженер (в промышленности)
  20. Senior principal engineer of a project (Главный инженер проекта)
  21. Director of a joint stock company (Директор акционерного общества)
  22. Director of department (Директор департамента)
  23. Director (head, representative) of directorship (Директор (начальник, уполномоченный) дирекции)
  24. Director of a plant (Директор завода)
  25. Director of a joint enterprise (Директор объединения)
  26. Director of economic affairs (Директор по экономике)
  27. Director (head, executive) of an enterprise (Директор (начальник, управляющий) предприятия)
  28. Head of a Representative office (Директор представительства)
  29. Director of a factory (Директор фабрики)
  30. Director (head) of a branch office (Директор (заведующий) филиала)
  31. Director of a firm (Директор фирмы)
  32. Band Director (Дирижер)
  33. Deputy Chairman of the Board (Заместитель председателя правления)
  34. Sound engineer (Звукооператор)
  35. Sound Supervisor (Звукорежиссер)
  36. Engineer of automation and mechanization of production procedures (Инженер по автоматизации и механизации производственных процессов)
  37. Engineer for production control system (Инженер по автоматизированным системам управления производством)
  38. Engineer for automatic process control system (Инженер по автоматизированным системам управления технологическими процессами)
  39. Engineer for realization of new technology (Инженер по внедрению новой техники и технологии)
  40. IT security engineer (Инженер по защите информации)
  41. Quality engineer (Инженер по качеству)
  42. Setting and testing engineer (Инженер по наладке и испытаниям)
  43. Engineer for production management and control (Инженер по организации управления производством)
  44. Pre-production engineer (Инженер по подготовке производства)
  45. Engineer-welder (Инженер по сварке)
  46. Design-engineer (Инженер-проектировщик)
  47. Industrial engineer (Инженер-технолог)
  48. Electrical engineer (Инженер-электрик)
  49. Ringmaster (Инспектор манежа (ведущий программы))
  50. Reporter (Корреспондент)
  51. Reporter for publishing house, member of Newspapers and magazines editorial staff (Корреспондент издательства, редакции газет и журналов);
  52. Stunt coordinator (Постановщик трюков)
  53. Chairman of the Board (Председатель правления)
  54. President of a consortium (consolidated group, corporation, etc) (socio-economic entity) (Президент ассоциации (концерна, корпорации и др.) (общественно-экономической организации))
  55. Stage manager (Режиссер)
  56. Production director (Режиссер-постановщик)
  57. Ballet coach (Репетитор по балету)
  58. Drilling technician (Техник по бурению)
  59. Setting and testing technician (Техник по наладке и испытаниям)
  60. Technician (Техник-технолог)
  61. Choreographer (Хореограф)
  62. Art Director (Художник-постановщик)

Action Items

  • Note the extended work permit application process for Ukrainian nationals.
  • Employers should check their employees against the FMS/police database of foreign nationals with administrative violations.
  • Apply for a Tax Identification Number Certificate for all foreign national employees, even though they are now registered with the tax authorities as part of the work permit application process.
  • Note the extended restrictions on foreign nationals working in the retail sector, which are expected to come into effect soon.
  • Note that visa waiver nationals must now provide a medical examination report with their work permit submission.
  • Note the list of 2014 quota-exempt positions.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Vista Foreign Business Support

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.