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RUSSIA – Upcoming Changes for Highly Qualified Specialists

A new law makes amendments to the notification requirements for holders of Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) work permits

Effective 1 January 2015, Federal Law number 357-FL of 24 November 2014 amends existing notification requirements, with fines of up to 1,000,000 RUB for each violation.


From January, companies employing HQS Work Permit holders will not be required to make the following notifications:

  • Notification to the Federal Migration Service office reporting unpaid leave granted to an HQS WP holder exceeding one calendar month during a twelve month period;
  • Notification to the Tax Authority reporting hiring or dismissal of the employee;

Instead, the following notification will be required:

  • Notification to the Federal Migration Service office reporting hiring or dismissal of the employee within three business days from the day of signing or termination of the labour agreement.

Other Changes

  • As we wrote in our July alert, from 1 January 2015, representative offices of foreign companies in Russia will have the right to hire foreign national workers under the HQS program. At present, the HQS is only available to Russian companies and branch offices of foreign companies;
  • The Federal Migration Service has started accepting HQS work permit applications from IT companies with a lower minimum salary level than for other industries. The change came into effect at the end of June 2014, but was not immediately implemented by Russian officials.
  • Changes in standard work permit procedures for Russia are also planned for January 2015 and we will keep you updated with details.

What is the Highly Qualified Specialist Program?

The Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) program was introduced in 2010 and allows companies in Russia to employ foreign national workers for up to three years with various benefits including a simplified application process and exemption from quotas. Please contact us, or our partner Vista Foreign Business Support, for more details.

Action Items

  • Ensure that the Federal Migration Service is correctly notified of the hiring or dismissal of a foreign national HQS work permit holder within three business days from the day of signing or termination of the labour agreement, to avoid a hefty fine.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Vista Foreign Business Support.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.