MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) – Foreigners coming to Russia may be denied entry for 10 years if they repeatedly violate immigration rules, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.
The premier said relevant legislation concerning the penalty is currently under consideration in the Russian parliament, and it is aimed at improving the effectiveness of Russia’s immigration policy.
“If such a case [a violation] is registered for the second time, a foreign national will be banned from entering Russia for 10 years,” Medvedev said.
According to Medvedev, Russia is interested “in law-abiding and highly-sought-after people on our market.”
The Federal Migration Service (FMS) estimates the number of migrant workers in Russia at around 5 million, including 3 million who work in the country illegally.
Migration is a contentious issue for Russia, with widespread disquiet in some sectors of society about the increasing numbers of foreign workers coming to Russia to live.
According to the 2012 International Migration Outlook, issued last year by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Russia is home to the world’s largest number of illegal immigrants, accounting for almost seven percent of the country’s working population.