Russia aiming to attract more skilled immigrants

The head of Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS) has pledged to make it easier for skilled immigrants to gain legal residency status in the country.

Russia Samson Fountain

Russia – Samson Fountain

Konstantin Romodanovsky has promised to draw up a number of new legislation that will ease regulations for skilled foreign workers, most notably by streamlining the amount of time it currently takes for a foreigner to apply for a visa. It can currently take as long as several years from people from some countries to apply for a 90-day temporary residency permit – something which obviously puts people off wanting to go there.

“There will also be advantages for businessmen and young people seeking Russian citizenship,” Romodanovsky said at a meeting at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday. He added that the FMS suggests introducing two-year temporary residence permits for skilled workers and three-year permits for highly skilled specialists.

According to FMS figures, the number of immigrants entering Russia has increased by 37 per cent in the past four years. However, a majority of new arrivals come from former Soviet Republics, particularly those in Central Asia, where people can enter the country without the need of a visa.

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Earlier this year, Romodanovsky suggested abolishing existing quotas designed to limit the number of foreign workers allowed in Russia at any one time. However, this measure was rejected by the country’s Labour Ministry, who cited that doing this would have a negative impact for Russian workers.