Russia Changes Requirements for Highly Qualified Specialists

According to a new Russian law dated July 10, 2023, the expected change to the minimum salary level for highly qualified specialists (HQS) will take effect on March 1, 2024. From that date, HQS employees must be paid at least 750,000 rubles per calendar quarter (up from 510,000 rubles currently).

Changes as of July 10, 2023
  • Family members of HQS employees are now exempt from repeated medical checks if staying in Russia beyond one year after their previous medical check.
  • HQS employees and their dependents must pass a new medical check and submit proof within 30 days after the date of the authority’s decision to renew the work permit (or, if they are outside Russia on that date, within 30 days from the date of their arrival in Russia).
  • Medical certificates in connection with a decision to issue a new work permit must be submitted specifically to the issuing migration office.
Changes as of January 7, 2024
  • HQS employees and their family will be allowed to apply for unlimited permanent residence permits (PRP) if they meet the following two conditions:
    • the HQS has been employed in Russia for at least 2 years;
    • the applicant has firstly obtained an HQS PRP.
  • If a terminated HQS employee has not concluded a new HQS employment contract within 30 business days from the date of employment termination, this employee and dependents will be obliged to leave Russia within 30 calendar days (previously 30 business days).
  • Multiple Russian regions may be listed on the work permit only in the case of working in separate divisions of the employer company or interdependent entities located in the respective regions.
  • If a work permit is requested for multiple regions, the company must apply to the migration office responsible for their primary location in Russia.
  • When applying for an initial or renewal HQS work permit, the employer may present either an original employment contract or a copy certified by a company representative. Furthermore, migration registration has been removed from the list of documents required for the work permit renewal application.
  • HQS employees are obliged to collect work permits within 30 calendar days from the date of the authority’s decision to issue or renew one. If there is a good reason, the employer may petition the authority to extend this period by 30 calendar days from the date of the request. If the employee fails to collect the work permit on time, the decision to issue it will be cancelled and the employee and dependents will be required to leave Russia within 15 calendar days after the collection deadline.
  • In addition to already existing grounds, the employer may be subject to a ban on the employment of HQS for two years if they fail to report the amounts of withdrawn taxes on HQS salary payments within six months following the reported tax period or if the employer reports fake amounts.
Erickson Insights & Analysis

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.