Russia relaxes rules on expat employment


Russia has made significant changes to its laws regarding expatriate workers in a bid to bring more “highly qualified professionals” in from other countries.

The Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens will be introduced in Russia on July 1 2010. This new legislation will relax the currently-complicated laws that must be adhered to when companies seek to hire expat workers.

Previously the rules stated that foreign workers could only obtain permits that were valid for a year at a time, and the permits could often take up to a year to actually acquire. The new laws have created exceptions for people they have dubbed to be “highly qualified foreign professionals”. These individuals will have key skills in a specialist field and will command a salary of at least £43,000 per year. Instead of a one year permit they will be able to gain permits that last three years, which can be renewed for another three years once the initial period expires.

Russian employers welcome the new law and feel that it will have a good effect on the country’s economy, law firm associate Olga Chislova said: “The new legislation looks much more efficient, and means that companies can bring over a foreign worker in maybe less than six weeks”, and legal counsel Evgeny Reyzman, added that: “Before, the system was very inflexible and burdensome. Companies had to seek permission to employ a foreign worker, which was very time consuming and costly. Now, not only will businesses be able to hire specialists more easily, but the amount of specialist workers that can move here will not be subject to any quotas. This will make investment in Russia much more attractive”.