All work permit applications for Ukrainian nationals now have to be pre-approved before submission. In addition, effective January 10, 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 within 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 January 10, 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 31, 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.  Please contact Fakhoury Global Immigration for a comprehensive list of quota-exempt positions in Russia.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.