A recent law will allow the Russian representative offices of foreign legal entities to hire foreign nationals under the highly-qualified specialist regime. Up to now, only Russian legal entities and branches of foreign legal entities were allowed to benefit from the rules under this regime, which include a “fast-tracked” work permit process and flexible length of time to work.
The president of the Russian Federation signed a new law on 6 May 2014, that will allow representative offices of foreign legal entities to hire foreign nationals under the highly-qualified specialist regime (HQS).1 Up to now, only Russian legal entities and branches of foreign legal entities were allowed to benefit from the rules under the HQS regime.
This expansion of the HQS regime means that representative offices of foreign companies operating in Russia, under certain conditions, will be able to avail of the rules for employing highly qualified specialists. Particularly, they will enjoy a “fast-track” work permit process (generally 14 working days to obtain the permit as opposed to several months for a regular work permit). They will also have more flexibility with respect to the length of time the HQS employee is permitted to stay and work in Russia. Under the HQS rules, such employees under valid work permits and visas may stay in Russia for up to three years and can work across Russian regions, whereas employees under regular work visas are only eligible to work for one year and are limited geographically within one region of the Russian Federation. Moreover, the employee hired under the HQS regime will be exempt from submitting a Russian language and civilization certificate to obtain the requisite work permit.
From 1 January 2015, accredited representative offices of foreign legal entities operating in Russia and an expanded list of employers may apply to the authorities to employ highly qualified specialists as long as:
1 Federal Law “On changes into separate legislative decrees of the Russian Federation” N 106-FZ. In particular, the law amends Article 13.2 of Federal Law “On the legal status of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation” dated 25 June 2002 N 115-FZ.
(For a related story on immigration rules in Russia, see Flash International Executive Alert 2013-118, 22 August 2013.)
For further information or assistance, please contact your local KPMG IES or People Services professional, or one of the following professionals with the KPMG International member firm in Russia:
Alevtina Borisova, Partner
Tel. +7 (495) 937 44 77 (ext. 12987)
Anna Salnikova, Senior Manager
Tel. +7 (495) 937 44 77 (ext. 15088)
Olga Kiramova, Senior Manager
Tel. +7 (495) 937 44 77 (ext. 12406)
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Russia.
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