RUSSIA – Russian Companies Can Employ Ukrainian Nationals Without Quota
Effective today, Russian companies, without approved foreign labour quota places, can employ Ukrainian nationals who have left the Ukraine “urgently” due to the political situation there. Work permits are, however, still required. The change was introduced by the Russian Government on 2 September 2014, in an amendment to Decree number 977 of 31 October 2013.
Who benefits from this change?
Ukrainian nationals who “urgently” left Ukraine may now be employed by Russian companies who do not have an approved quota for engaging foreign workers. It is not certain whether all Ukrainian nationals are eligible to make use of this amendment or only those from the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where the Ukrainian army has been battling separatists since March 2014.
When can Russian companies take advantage of this change?
In order to benefit from this change, work permit applications for Ukrainian nationals will have to be filed before the end of 2014, as new legislation will apply from early 2015 However, all issued work permits will have the maximum validity of twelve months.
What is the procedure?
At the time of writing, Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) officials were not able to confirm if there will be any changes to the standard requirements for the work permit applications and supporting documentation. It remains unclear what documents will have to be provided to the migration service officials to prove that the employee left Ukraine “urgently”.
Each application submitted for this benefit will go through additional review by the Federal Migration Service senior officials to ascertain whether it meets the requirements.
What is a foreign labour quota?
All Russian companies wishing to hire foreign nationals (unless via the Highly Skilled Worker route) must submit, in advance, labour forecasts estimating numbers of foreign nationals required for the coming calendar year. Based on these forecasts, the Russian government allocates an annual quota, which is divided by region.
Each company is then given a fixed quota of approved slots. Once these slots have been used up, the company will not be able to obtain standard work permits unless they can obtain exceptional approval for new slots (very difficult), or unless the position to be filled is quota exempt. A list of quota exempt positions is published every year in January.
- Russian companies hoping to take advantage of this benefit should submit applications before new quotas for 2015 come into effect.