An employment permit for highly-skilled workers: specifics of the process

Foreign nationals can’t be employed in Russia unless they obtain special permission. That relates to a separate category named highly-skilled workers too. However, getting an employment permit for highly-skilled workers is somewhat different from the standard procedure.

Who is considered as a highly-skilled worker?

First of all, let’s find out who exactly falls into the category of highly-skilled workers. A few groups stand out:
  • scientists and educators employed by state scientific centers, universities, and academies with a monthly salary of 83,500 rubles;
  • employees working in special technological economic zones with a monthly salary of at least 58,500 rubles;
  • Skolkovo project participants with no salary limitations;
  • medical, educational, and scientific staff working in the International Medical Cluster with a yearly salary of at least 1,000,000 rubles;
  • employees working on the territory of Crimea with a monthly salary of at least 83,500 rubles;
  • other foreign employees with a monthly salary of more than 160,000 rubles.

Information about an employment permit

There are some specifics about an employment permit for highly-skilled workers.
  • It is not restricted by quota.
  • A highly-skilled worker may bring his/her family over with the submission of documents that prove family relationships and verify identities. A visa must be obtained if needed.
  • An employment permit is valid for three years with the possibility of extension.
  • After a highly-skilled worker completes his/her contract with one employer he/she is allowed to stay additionally for thirty to sixty days to find a new job (the number of days depends on circumstances that led to unemployment);
  • A worker may submit personal information to the General Administration for Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation through its web portal;
  • An employment permit may be valid throughout several regions of the Russian Federation simultaneously.
Such an employment permit for a new highly-skilled worker can be obtained only by a company that hasn’t been subject to administrative fines for illegal hiring of foreign nationals within the last two years before the application.

Registration process

Some rules must be followed when obtaining an employment permit for a highly-skilled worker. For instance, an employer is obliged to notify the Migration Service about the registration of such an employee with the Tax Office within a month since authorization is issued.

Thereafter the hiring company must confirm regularly the obligations it has undertaken to pay an appropriate salary. Relevant reports must be submitted quarterly within a month after the end of that quarter. The General Administration for Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation is a body that is authorized to issue work permits.

The following documents must be filed to obtain employment permit.
  1. An application from a company hiring a highly-skilled worker.
  2. An employment contract between a company and a worker.
  3. A written obligation of the company to pay all the expenses related to the deportation of the person from the Russian Federation should such a situation occur.
  4. 3,500 rubles fee payment receipt.
  5. A photo of an employee.
  6. Copies of hiring company charter documents.
  7. A copy of a foreign employee’s passport.
  8. An academic certificate of an employee.
The application is reviewed within two weeks. Following that, an authorizing body takes a positive or negative decision regarding the issue of a permit. Normally, employment permit is valid for the same length of time as the duration of an employment contract. However, validity can’t be more than three years.
Besides, an employee to be hired must submit a health insurance policy for himself/herself and for each member of the family arriving along.

Employment permit extension

The application for extension of a highly-skilled worker’s employment permit must be submitted at least thirty days before the existing permit expires.

The following documents are required to be filed to the Migration Service in that case.
  1. An application from an employer for extension of the permit.
  2. An employment contract between a hiring company and a worker.
  3. A medical insurance policy or a service contract between an employee and a medical institution.
  4. Salary statement that shows the total amount that has been paid to a highly-skilled worker.
  5. A document confirming registration with the Tax Office.

Employment permit extension can be requested an unlimited number of times but its validity is limited to three years each time. In case an application is rejected an employee is allowed to stay for thirty days to find a new job. If the previous employer was not willing to extend the contract then the employee is allowed to stay for sixty days to arrange a new employment contract. Upon the expiry of the indicated period without getting a new job a highly-skilled worker and his/her family must leave the territory of the Russian Federation.

Highly-skilled worker’s family members can also take a job but they must obtain their own employment permit under the established procedure.
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