President Medvedev has signed a new law imposing more stringent conditions on obtaining Russian citizenship.
Those applying now need to present a permanent residence-permit – the document that entitles you to stay in the country without restrictions.
Previously, foreigners could present migration cards or temporary-residence permits instead.
Experts link the new law to the migration flow. According to recent statistics, of 16 million people who came to work in Russia and live here now, 9 million have become citizens.
Meanwhile, attracting more highly-skilled immigrants may be the only option to save Russia from the grave decrease in the able-bodied population that the country is predicted to experience in the next 14 years, said the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev.
In order to resolve the issue, the Federal Migration Service has suggested getting rid of immigration quotas and introducing a new kind of competition for residency permits. The officials propose giving residency permits only to those who gain enough points in such categories as age, education, Russian language, employment record, experience, relatives and property in the country.