Attracting more high-skilled immigrants may be the only option to save Russia from a grave decrease in the able-bodied population that the country is predicted to experience in the next 14 years.
The trend was voiced by the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, at a conference devoted to illegal immigration. The official stressed that by 2025, the workforce will inevitably decrease by no less than 10 million people.
In order to resolve the issue, officials are now reworking state immigration policies. The priority of the project, Patrushev said, is attracting high-qualified immigrants able to participate in the country’s modernization process, especially in big infrastructure projects, as well as in the oil, transportation and engineering industries.
“It is important to tackle illegal immigration, so that employers would invest not on the cheap workforce, but rather on upgrading their employees’ skills with the help of Russia’s labor resources,” Patrushev stated.
The Federal Migration Service, meanwhile, 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 gather enough points in such categories as age, education, Russian language, employment record, experience, relatives and property in the country.
“It’s good to have some kind of selection criteria – in terms of health and cultural and social aspects,” Andrey Korovkin, from the Institute of Economic Forecasting RAS, told RT.
According to current legislation, no immigrant can obtain a permanent residency permit right away. On average, it takes an immigrant no less than eight years to get a Russian passport.
“Russia is an attractive place for young people, because here you can quickly move up the career ladder,” Marc Moreau, from the Brainpower firm, which specializes in attracting foreign workers to Russia, told RT. “Due to the demographics, if you have a high education, you can very quickly [assume] very serious responsibilities in a big company. This is very important. Russia is also a very challenging place to be.”