2015: HIGHLY QUALIFIED SPECIALISTS UPDATE: New in legislation regarding employment of highly qualified specialist work permit holders
Starting 1st of Jan 2015 submission of following notifications regarding HQS Work Permit holders employment will not be required:
Notification to the Federal Migration Service office reporting unpaid leave granted to an HQS WP holder and exceeding one calendar month during 12 months period
Notification to the Tax Authority reporting hiring/dismissal of the employee
Starting 1st of Jan 2015 following notifications are introduced:
Notification to the Federal Migration Service office reporting hiring/dismissal of the employee within 3 business days from the day of signing or termination of the labour agreement
Penalties for violation are up to 1 000 000 RUB
We also remind that starting 1st of January 2015:
Representative Offices of Foreign companies will be able to sponsor HQS Work
Permits for their foreign employees
CIS citizens will be able to enter Russia using their foreign passport only
On a separate note, we would also like to remind companies engaged in IT-industry that
Federal Migration Service office started accepting HQS Work Permit applications stating a lowered salary level introduced in summer this year.
On the 1st of January 2015 Federal Law number 357-FL dated 24 November 2014 comes into force which significantly amends the legal act central to the Russian immigration - FL - 115 "On the legal status of foreign citizens in Russia". Most amendments concern CIS applicants filing for standard work permits and their prospective employers. Though, several sections affect the highly qualified work permit holders.
Thus, notifications which previously had to be submitted regarding HQS work permit holders' dismissal within 30 days following the end of the year quarter in which dismissal took place are now abolished. Instead new notifications are introduced which will have to be submitted within 3 business days of the labour agreement termination. Additionally the Federal Migration Service office will have to be notified regarding signing of labour agreements with future HQS work permit holders. This will also have to be done within 3 business days. Fines for non-compliance with the new requirements are set up high and can constitute up to 1 000 000 RUB for each violation.
It is worth to mention that shortly during the years 2013-2014 Federal Migration Service by its Order introduced a similar requirement which was met with a significant outcry from the business community primarily deploying HQS Work Permit scheme.
Though, the requirement to report to the Federal Migration Service office unpaid leave granted to HQS Work Permit holder which exceeds 30 days within 12 months period will be abolished starting new year. While abolition of this requirement can be of course seen as an attempt to relax the rules for employers engaging HQS, one should also keep in mind that the need to report an unpaid leave during the past couple of years was for many employers rather an exception than rule.
Due to increasing communication between the Federal Migration Service Office with other governmental authorities, especially the Tax Authority and further implementation of secure data-exchanging technology, starting new year, the Tax Authority will no longer have to be notified of employment and dismissal of foreign nationals. This data will now be transferred between the authorities internally.
As we mentioned in our previous updates employers should bear in mind that starting 2015 Representative Offices were granted a right to sponsor HQS work permits for their foreign employees. This means that foreign nationals working for the Representative Offices of foreign companies will soon be able to enjoy all the benefits associated with HQS work permit status. As reported earlier this undoubtedly beneficial amendment is somewhat related to modified corporate registration process also introduced earlier this year.
Additionally we would like to use this opportunity to remind all CIS nationals that starting new year they will be allowed entry to Russia only using international passports. This requirement should not have any considerable impact on employers as well as on affected foreign employees, though we would advise that employers apply for appropriate amendments to be made to the work permits issued for internal passport of CIS citizens.
In conclusion, we would also like to remind companies engaged in IT-industry that Federal Migration Service office started accepting HQS Work Permit applications stating a lowered salary level introduced in summer this year.