Russia: Immigration preferences proposed for foreign IT specialists

We would like to inform you that the Russian government has introduced a draft law to the State Duma of Russia, which proposes to allow foreign IT specialists employed in Russia by accredited IT companies to work without work permits and to obtain permanent residence permits based on such employment.

Link to the draft law (in Russian)

What are the proposed changes?

1. IT companies accredited as such with the Ministry of Digital Development and Mass Communication of Russia will be able to employ foreign IT specialists without work permits.

2. IT specialists employed by such companies (with exception to residents of specific economic zones) will be eligible to obtain permanent residence permits without the precondition of temporary residence in Russia during 1 year. Such permanent residence permit will be linked to IT specialist status, meaning that it will be subject to cancellation if the IT specialist terminates employment with one IT company and is not hired by another within next 30 business days or if such company loses its accreditation.

3. The same conditions of obtaining permanent residence permits will apply to family members of an IT specialist (spouses, children, parents, spouses of children, spouses of parents, grandparents, grandchildren).

If adopted, the law is expected to take force after 90 days from the date following the date of its publication.

Who will be affected?

IT companies and foreign nationals employed in Russia as IT specialists.

 Intermark comment

"The draft law does not offer criteria for recognising a foreign national to be an IT specialist. It is possible that this status will apply to foreign nationals who are hired for a position, which is listed in the state classification of job titles as a position belonging to the IT sphere.

Also, the draft law does not introduce any specific rules of issuing work visas to IT specialists and their dependents. The standard visa process will likely apply (single-entry visas with subsequent extension into 1-year multiple entry visas).

Currently, accredited Russian IT companies enjoy lower monthly salary threshold of RUB 83,500 when employing foreign nationals as HQS."

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