Registration U-turn for highly-qualified expats

The registration nightmare created by new immigration regulations could soon be over for skilled expats.

Russia’s upper house has backed a revision to the law requiring them to register through their landlords.

Once the amendment is signed by the president, highly-skilled expats coming to Russia will be able to register through their employers, as it was in the past.

Things will also become easier for expats’ families: immigrants who have property in Russia will be able to act as hosts and send their family members official invitations.

In addition, the three-day period within which expats coming to the country have to register will be extended to seven days.

Officials behind the draft say that its main aim is to support the modernization of the country’s economy.

“Russia needs highly-skilled specialists to compensate for the brain-drain of the early 1990s,” Konstantin Surkov, from the Federation Council, told RT. “We need new projects and ideas – and people to generate them. That’s why we’re making things easier for specialists, first and foremost.”

Surkov added that more immigration laws improving conditions for highly-qualified expats are soon to follow.

“We’re also working on legislation that would lower the earnings-threshold beyond which someone qualifies as a highly-skilled worker,” Surkov said.

In July 2010, Russia adopted a law making immigration procedures easier for highly-skilled expats with a yearly income of more than two million rubles ($66,000).

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