The skill and knowledge of foreign employees is often crucial to the success of international businesses that are expanding in the Russian Federation. However, making sure that those employees have followed all the necessary steps and are legally ready to work in Russia isn’t an easy task. New companies and branch offices that hope to employ foreign workers must meet many responsibilities under Russian law, as well as adequately plan for immigration issues in an unfamiliar business and legal environment. However, with the assistance of the experienced attorneys at Jus Privatum, international businesses can avoid potential problems and rest assured that they have access to the skilled employees they need.
Categories of Foreign Employees in the Russian Federation
There are many different types of foreign employees who may be necessary for a company or business operation. Under Russian immigration law, these employees may be broken down into four major categories:
- Highly Qualified Specialists (HQS). Foreign employees are classified under HQS status if they meet certain income requirements. A Russian work permit is still required for HQS employees, but employers do not have to formalize employment permits. Employers do, however, have to make quarterly reports to the immigration authorities detailing payment to HQS employees.
- Regular foreign employees, visa. Foreign employees who enter Russia on a visa must obtain a work permit, and employers are required to have the appropriate corporate employment permits.
- Regular foreign employees, non-visa. Non-visa foreign employees are required to obtain patents to legally work in Russia, unless the employee falls under an exemption.
- Foreign employees from Eurasian Economic Union countries. These non-visa employees are able to work in Russia and do not require work permits or patents to do so.
Depending on how an employee is classified, the rules and regulations regarding employment and immigration will differ. If needed, the Russian lawyers with Jus Privatum can assist businesses in identifying the most effective solutions for the immigration of foreign employees.
Immigration Issues to Consider When Employing Foreign Workers in the Russian Federation
In Russia, as in most countries, international companies must adhere to certain restrictions and regulations regarding the employment of foreign workers. Whether businesses hope to bring in workers on a short-term or long-term basis, securing permission for foreign employees to work in Russia can be an intensive process that takes months to complete. There are many steps involved in successful employee immigration, and it is important to consider that:
- HQS and regular visa employees are required to hold work permits while employed in Russia. Permits are typically valid for one year, and employees must reapply for permits once old permits have expired. Foreign employers may also be required to secure employment permits in order to employ foreign workers.
- To live in Russia for an extended period of time foreign workers must apply for a Russian residence permit in the region they hope to reside.
- Companies do not have limitations on how many foreign workers they can employ, although foreign employees may not be able to work in certain positions, such as public service. However, the employment of some foreign workers may be annually limited by the Russian quota system. While certain professions and immigration statuses are exempt, companies should be prepared to submit required quota requests each year. Once the annual quota has been reached, some employees may not be further formalized.
- Fiscal registration is required for every foreign employee who works in the Russian Federation. Employers often choose to plan ahead to ensure that each employee is assigned a confirmed fiscal registration number.
- Foreign employees must be able to show that they have access to health care while in Russia. This coverage may be provided through a private insurance policy or an employer. In some cases, this requirement may also apply to spouses and children of foreign workers employed in the Russian Federation.
Employers are responsible for ensuring that all necessary paperwork is filed and properly adheres to Russian employment and immigration law. However, the requirements aren’t always straightforward, and there can be significant variances depending on local laws. Any mistakes or oversights in the cumbersome, months-long process of bringing in a foreign national can delay employment even further.
The Russian Law Firm of Jus Privatum Makes it Easy for Foreign Businesses to Bring in the Talented Employees They Rely On
The skilled corporate attorneys with Jus Privatum have helped businesses and investors both in the Russian Federation and around the world take the right steps to prepare the workforces they rely on, and we would be happy to help you address any concerns you may have about business visas, work permits, or other business-related immigration issues. For immediate assistance, reach out to Jus Privatum today by calling our Russian or German offices, or simply complete our convenient online contact form for a prompt response.