In mid-February, at the initiative of the Ministry of Economic Development, a draft federal law “On Amendments to Articles 8 and 13.2 of the Federal Law “On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation” was submitted for public hearings.

This draft provides for the following changes to the current legislation:

  • Increase in the minimum required salary (remuneration) paid to a highly qualified specialist (hereinafter referred to as “VKS”) from 167,000 rubles to 250,000 rubles per month.
  • Cancellation of the highly qualified specialist visa if the foreign citizen has not applied to the federal executive authority in the field of internal affairs for obtaining the original work permit within 30 working days from the date of registration of the work permit.
  • Destruction of non-issued and non-claimed work permits after 30 working days from the date of their registration.
  • Providing documents confirming the absence of a foreign citizen with drug addiction, a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV infection) and infectious diseases that pose a danger to others, provided for in the list approved by the authorized Government of the Russian Federation when submitting documents for the extension of a work permit and when obtaining the original work permit of the VKS, while medical documents must be issued by institutions located on the territory of the Russian Federation.
  • The issue of a work permit for a specialist to work in two or more subjects of the Russian Federation is carried out only if the work in other subjects is provided for by the provisions of an employment or civil law contract for the performance of work (provision of services), and a foreign citizen performs work in separate divisions of the organization, branches or representative offices of a legal entity or in interdependent persons located in these subjects.
  • Prohibition for an employer to engage foreign citizens to work in the Russian Federation as a highly qualified specialist for 2 years if the employer or the customer of works (services) has not provided the tax authorities with information on the amounts of personal income tax calculated and withheld by the tax agent in respect of the highly qualified specialist after 6 months, as well as if the information provided turned out to be phony or forged.

The draft law is currently under Regulatory Impact Assessment. This stage is carried out in order to identify provisions that introduce excessive duties, prohibitions and restrictions for business and investment entities or promote their introduction, as well as provisions that contribute to the emergence of unjustified expenditures of business and investment entities and budgets of the subjects of the Russian Federation. The next stage is the consideration of the draft law in the Government of the Russian Federation.

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