RS In our opinion The number of highly skilled foreign nationals in Russia will go up…

The number of highly skilled foreign nationals in Russia will go up…

Leading Russian and multinational companies over the years have enjoyed the opportunity to invite highly skilled foreign specialists to Russia. In an interview for Russian Survey, Yekaterina Yegorova, Deputy Director of the RF Federal Migration Service, said that the number of foreign workers is very likely to increase every year.

Yekaterina Yegorova- How many foreign nationals have been qualified as highly skilled professionals?

- During the last six months about three and a half thousand of highly skilled professionals expressed their willingness to work in Russia. For the most part they come from Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and France. There are also citizens of the CIS countries. They have even more chances to be included into this category, because residents of many neighboring countries do not need visas.

Highly skilled foreign professionals are in demand by the leading domestic and foreign companies operating in Russia. Such specialists are involved in various fields of work such as construction, oil and natural gas, banking.

- Were there any denials to grant the status?

- All persons, who apply for the ‘highly skilled professional’ status, will be registered as such, we can not reject their applications.

Employers solely by themselves will assess the skills of professionals to whom they are ready to pay more than 2 million Russian rubles (50, 000 euros) annually. Needless to say, the employer will have to take into consideration all related risks.

The RF Federal Migration Service can not check the professional skills of the employed specialists. They do not have enough relevant employees for this.

Education may not be the only deciding factor; however a certain business reputation may just as well be as important for the employer to warrant such high salaries.

An issue that has arisen and relates to the labour laws rather than migration is that verifying documents is a complicated task. How one should prove his or her skills?

Foreign nationals may also position themselves as highly skilled professionals. In order to do this, the non-resident needs to provide his or her CV to the Russian Federation Consulate or to the offices of the RF Federal Migration Service in the countries where such organisations operate. We will post this CV on our website, so that potential employers can see it and decide whether they need to employ such a foreign resident as a highly skilled professional.

Any information about the income of the employed specialist (the amount of which should exceed the statutory level of 1-2 million Russian rubles or an equivalent of 25, 000-50, 000 euros per year) will be verified later. After the beginning of the employment or a business relationship the employer will inform the Federal Migration Service on a quarterly basis on paying the agreed salaries to such an employee.

- Are there any plans for further development of the ‘highly skilled professional’ status? Will the procedure be simplified or tightened?

- For a long time skilled specialists have enjoyed the opportunity to work without quotas, and such an opportunity is eagerly sought by top managers, IT professionals and education experts. We are discussing with the RF Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development if it is possible to expand the list of such professionals.

I believe that Russia needs more highly skilled specialists. In order to be competitive, our country has to become a strong advocate of brain gain, which is the key element of headhunting.

In view of considerable simplification of employment procedures and expansion of highly skilled foreign professionals in different fields, their number in Russia will increase.

Interviewed by Andrei Susarov,
Tax columnist for the Moscow news
Exclusively for Russian Survey RS