Every foreign national, who intends to work in the RF, is obliged to obtain a work permit and a work visa for those foreign nationals who require visas.
Work permits for foreign nationals, who require visas, can be obtained on behalf of a Russian legal entity, individual entrepreneur, and representative or branch office of a foreign company.
At the present moment there are two main procedures for obtaining a work permit. The work permit can be obtained according to the standard procedure for skilled specialists and according to the simplified procedure for highly skilled specialists. What are the main differences, advantages and disadvantages of these two procedures?
Standard procedure/skilled staff
The stages of obtaining the work permit and visa are as follows:
- Application for the quota of work permits;
- Submission of documents to the Employment Centre;
- Obtaining permission to employ foreign nationals for the company;
- Obtaining a personal work permit;
- Registration of the company with the FMS in order to obtain invitations and work visas on behalf of the company;
- Obtaining an invitation for a single entry work visa;
- Transforming a single entry work visa into a multiple entry work visa;
- Notifications to the tax inspection.
There are no limits to the employee's salary (minimum salary can be, for example, 1000 USD per month, however the salary cannot be less than the minimum level stipulated by current legislation).
- Necessity to have a quota (with the exception of positions listed in the decree issued annually by the Ministry of Health and Social Development of Russia);
- Necessity to receive permission to hire foreign employees for the company;
- Long processing time (3-4 months);
- Validity of work permit and visa cannot exceed one year;
- Position of the foreign employee can only be chosen from the classifier;
- Employee must present a higher education degree, legalized in the accepted format;
- Employee must undergo medical test and present a certificate confirming the absence of a certain number of diseases;
- Employee is not allowed to undertake business trips in the RF. As an exception a decree from the Ministry of Health and Social Development of Russia outlines a limited list of positions of foreign employees who have the right to travel on business within the RF for limited periods;
- Employee can only work in the region where his work permit was issued;
- A single entry work visa, valid for three months, is obtained in a Russian Consulate abroad and is then transformed into a multiple entry work visa in the RF, which is valid for the duration of the work permit;
- The foreign employee is not considered a tax resident in the RF for the first 183 days. Consequently, a 30 % tax deduction will be made on the salary of the foreign employee.
Simplified procedure/highly skilled specialists
From the point of view of Russian legislation a highly skilled specialist is recognized as an employee with experience, skills or achievements in a particular field and whose proposed salary in the RF is not less than 2 000 000 million rubles.
The stages of obtaining the work permit and visa for a highly skilled specialist are as follows:
- Obtaining a personal work permit;
- Obtaining an invitation for a multiple entry work visa;
- Obtaining a Tax Certificate;
- Submission of notifications to the tax inspection regarding the employment of the highly skilled specialist;
- Submission of notifications to the FMS regarding tax identification number;
- Employer concludes agreement for the provision of medical services to the highly skilled specialist and his family members;
- On a quarterly basis the employer notifies the FMS of Russia of the foreign national's salary.
- Work permit and visa can be issued for up to 3 years;
- Processing time of issuing the work permit and invitation is 14 work days;
- Simplified list of documents;
- Work permit is issued outside the quota and necessity to receive permission to hire;
- Work permit can be issued for any position outside the classifier;
- Highly skilled specialist can undertake business trips within Russia with practically no limitations;
- Work permit can be issued for several Russian regions;
- Highly skilled specialists are not required to undergo medical tests;
- Multiple entry work visa is obtained in a Russian Consulate abroad, which is valid for the duration of the work permit;
- Simplified registration procedure for the highly skilled specialist and his family members (they can stay in the RF for up to 90 days without registration);
- It is possible to obtain a residence permit for the highly skilled specialist and his family members, including his mother and father;
- Highly skilled specialist becomes a tax resident from his first working day in Russia. Consequently his salary will be taxed at 13%.
If the employer pays the foreign national the salary less than 2 000 000 million rubles a year the company may face administrative sanctions and may also be prohibited from employing foreign employees for two years;
- The company should carefully monitor the situation regarding the recruitment of foreign nationals as any infringement may involve the prohibition of recruitment of highly skilled specialists;
- Representative offices of foreign companies are not allowed to recruit highly skilled specialists.