On 10 July 2023 Federal Law No. 316-FZ
"On Amendments to the Federal Law ‘On the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals in the Russian Federation'" (hereinafter, the "Law") was signed and published.
The Law makes changes in the procedure for hiring highly qualified specialists (HQS) and relaxes the requirements for accompanying family members:
- The required minimum salary (remuneration) of an HQS will be raised from RUB 167,000 per month to RUB 750,000 per quarter, effective 1 March 2024. The Law does not affect the reduced HQS salaries essential for attracting medical and educational professionals, Skolkovo project participants and employees of resident companies of special economic zones.
- An HQS’s family members will need to receive a medical examination and submit the results when they first enter the Russian Federation and when the HQS’s work permit is renewed. Previously, family members had to receive an annual examination.
- A first-time or renewed work permit must be collected within 30 calendar days after the decision is made to issue or renew such permit. An HQS who has valid, documented reasons and provides a written request from the employer may collect a work permit later, but within a period not to exceed 30 calendar days upon submission of the respective request. A work permit will not be issued after this period, and the decision to issue or renew it will be canceled.
- Work permits will be issued to an HQS for two or more regions of the Russian Federation if the HQS has an employment or civil contract for work or services in other regions and is employed in standalone business units of an organization, in branches or representative offices of a legal entity or by related parties located in those regions.
- Instead of the original employment or civil contract with an HQS, an employer or customer of work/services would provide the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs with copies certified by such employer or customer for purposes of obtaining a work permit for an HQS and an invitation to Russia as well as for extending an HQS’s work permit.
- An employer or customer of work/services that fails to provide the tax authorities with information on amounts of personal income tax withheld by the tax agent for an HQS within six months or provides falsified information will be prohibited from employing foreigners as HQSs for a period of two years.
- Open-ended residence permits may be obtained instead of permits with an expiration date for HQSs and their family members who have lived in Russia with such a permit for at least two years. During the period of employment, employers will accrue and pay personal income tax for such HQSs in accordance with Russian law on taxes and levies.
- If an employment or civil contract is terminated early, an HQS, as before, will have 30 business days to find a new employer or customer of work. If a new contract is not signed within this period, the HQS and his/her family members will have to leave Russia within 30 calendar days, and their visas and residence permits (if applicable) will be annulled. In the previous version of the law, HQSs and their family members were given 30 business days to leave the country.
The Law entered into force on the date of its signing, with the exception of certain clauses regulating the procedure for obtaining work permits for HQSs, which enter into force within 180 days after the Law’s adoption, and the provision raising the minimum salary for HQSs, which takes effect on 1 March 2024.
B1 will continue to monitor the situation and keep you up to date on the latest legal developments.