Russian immigration bulletin – March 2009
As reported last week, the Russian authorities have re-instated the simplified, one window, immigration process, albeit just for American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) and Association of European Business (AEB) members. This follows moves in the last few months by immigration authorities to abandon the simplified process, and force companies wishing to use foriegn workers to go through an onerous process to obtain the necessary permission for their workers to live and work in the country. This new concession reverses that.
AmCham have this week held bilateral talks with the State Registration Chamber, part of the Russian Ministry of Justice, to develop better relations between the two chambers, especially in terms of accreditation and visa support. Andrew Somers, President of AmCham said: ‘The American Chamber of Commerce in Russia is interested in strengthening relations with the Russian Ministry of Justice and pursues their dynamic development.’
Meanwhile in Vladivostok, in the far east of Russia, the territory of Primorsky has cut the number of migrant workers allowed in 2009 by ten per cent. This additional reduction of the quota is aimed at easing tensions on the region’s labour market.
These developments followed rumors last month that the authorities were clamping down on companies using foreign workers, subjecting them to more inspections and enforcing heavy penalties. The move was seen then as a populist one, aimed at easing the troubled local labour market. It came off the back of news that the number of foreign workers in Moscow had risen by 17 per cent. At the time, the head of the capital’s labour and employment department, Oleg Neterebsky, called for an amendment the rules for attracting foreign workers, to safeguard jobs for Muscovites and Russian citizens: ‘It is necessary to protect domestic producers and place orders for Russian enterprises to keep jobs’ he said.
Russia has released details of new, more flexible rules for international competitors and organizers at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, in the Russian South Caucus. Different rules have been established for foreign workers depending on whether they have an Olympic ID and accreditation.
Foreign workers with Olympic IDs and accreditation are able to work in Russia without obtaining work permits for the duration of the organization and holding of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Foreigners who do not have Olympic IDs and accreditation but plan to conclude employment agreements or civil contracts with the Sochi 2014 Organizational Committee must obtain work permits to work in Russia, although the process will be made much easier in these circumstances.
As usual, Move One will continue to monitor the immigration situation in Russia, and will of course keep our clients and partners up-to-date.
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