RUSSIA - Recent Immigration Changes
A bill amending the residence permit rules has been submitted to the State Duma for review. Several other changes have also recently been proposed.
The bill recently submitted to the State Duma proposes, among others, the following changes:
New categories of foreign citizens who may apply for a permanent residence permit (PRP) without first holding a temporary residence permit (TRP) for one year in Russia. These new categories include, among others, qualified specialists who have worked in Russia for six months in certain positions (established by the Ministry of Labour) including doctors and other medical professionals, engineers, locksmiths, technical professionals and electricians. Qualified specialists and Highly Qualified Specialists (HQS) will receive PRPs valid for three years, while other categories will receive unlimited PRPs. A PRP will have to be renewed when the holder becomes 14, 20 or 45 years of age, and in case of change of personal details. If the bill enters law, TRPs and PRPs may be rejected or annulled for absence from Russia for more than six months in one calendar year (with some exceptions), for significant changes in circumstances or for failure to submit notifications, and may also be annulled by the holder. The state fee for the PRP will be increased to RUB 5000. Ukrainian nationals who have been granted refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia will be able to apply for a TRP without first applying for a TRP quota place.
Other Proposed Changes
The Economic Development Ministry has proposed lowering the minimum salary for Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) work permits (currently RUB 167,000 gross per month).
The Ministry has also suggested a simplified online HQS application process, based on work experience information, and that HQS and foreign graduates of Russia universities be able to apply for Russian citizenship without the need to renounce their current citizenship.
Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.