The conditions of foreign citizens in Russia will be “amended” in February

The new Federal Law 385-FZ from 23.12.2010 will enter into force on February 15, 2011. It will substantially amend the existing migration legislation. The document was officially released through publication on December 27 in Rossijskaya Gazeta.

The main part of the changes is related to stay in Russia of highly skilled foreign professionals (HSFP). Under the new law, HSFP as well as their family members are exempt from the registration procedure in the case that they are in Russia for less than 90 days. In addition, such workers traveling inside Russia will be allowed to stay in a new place without migration registration within 30 days. In other words, after 90 days of entry HSFP should be registered, wherever in the Russian Federation he is. If such an employee, for example, is already registered and went on missions to Russia, up to 30 days in the new location is not necessary in the procedures for removing and putting on record.

The new law also specifies which relatives are included in the concept of "family members of highly skilled foreign professional". Those recognized by his or her spouse (husband), children (including adopted children), spouses of children, parents (including adoptive) parents of spouse, grandparents, grandchildren.

Official members of the family HSFP are issued ordinary working visas. They will have rights to work, study and do other activities which are not prohibited by the legislation of the Russian Federation. The validity of their visas can't be longer than the same documents of related HSFP. The visas can be renewed.

The law also fixed the previously introduced rule: HSFP and their families must have a valid in Russia medical insurance. Guarantees of health care support must be a part of the employment or civil contract.

Highly qualified specialist can arrange a residence permit, valid for a period of work permit. This residence permit will be revoked within 30 calendar days from the expiry of the employment contract, if the agreement is not renewed or HSFP is not employed at the new employer in a similar position.

In addition, the new law introduced important amendments on foreign labor quota rules. In particular, the law withdraws the date by which the Russian government was obliged to publish a list of non-quota foreign workers. Apparently, the authorities are given the opportunity to make the new list, taken away earlier. It will be recalled that non-quota foreign workers list 2011 are still not approved, which means that starting from 1 January FMS will not process the documents for work permits for this category of workers.

The final clarity entered in the migration rules for representative offices of foreign companies and their employees. This law officially excludes them from the list of organizations that are allowed to hire foreign labor without authorization. Foreign nationals working in these offices are excluded from the number of those allowed to work without a work permit.

Also the new law makes important changes in the procedure of foreign citizens' registration. Quote:
"A) paragraph 4 shall read as follows:
"4) the place of stay of foreign citizens or stateless persons in the Russian Federation (hereinafter - the place of stay) - a dwelling or other premises (building) that are not the place of residence of foreign citizens or stateless persons in accordance with the present Federal Law, and used with the consent of the inviting party";
b) The words in paragraph 7 "or in which a foreign citizen or stateless person works" must be deleted";
Thus, starting from February 15, 2011 it is most likely for registration to be possible only at the place of actual stay of a foreign citizen.

In addition, the removal of migration control will be implemented only after obtaining information either from the FMS about registration at the new place or from the customs control confirming the departure from the territory of the Russian Federation.

New rules of migration control leave a bunch of questions about the role of the inviting organization and this is a subject to clarify. We will certainly inform our customers and readers as information becomes available.

If you have any questions regarding current legal norms - the specialists of YK Consulting are always happy to offer their expert advice.