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Russia Relaxes Rules For Key Foreign Workers

workersRussia has passed legislation to relax formalities for issuing work permits to key employees from abroad and improve their tax conditions.

The Russian Duma approved the bill on its second hearing earlier this month, and it has been signed into law by President Dmitry Medvedev. It is part of Medvedev’s key priority to encourage foreign investment and modernize the economy.

Key workers with specialist knowledge and an annual salary of not less than RUB2m (USD67,000) will receive work permits, regardless of Federal Migration Service (FMS) quotas, subject only to sponsorship from their employer.

Work and residence permits for expats and their families can be provided for three years instead of the previous one year and are extendable. In addition, expats will be allowed to work in any city of Russia. A specific document, a so-called ‘patent’, certifying that the bearer has the appropriate rights, will be issued with fingerprints and photographs to establish identity.

Federal law now provides a special simplified procedure for payment of expats’ tax on personal income; the rate of income tax payable will be the same as for Russian nationals, currently 13%, instead of the previous 30% rate.

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