|June 4, 2012|
Previously published on June 1, 2012
On his first day in office, newly-elected Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree regarding Russia's long-term economic policy aimed at accelerating the nation's economic growth and increasing the income of its citizens.
Within the decree lies a specific provision that requires all foreign nationals applying for a standard Russian work permit to pass a history, language and civics examination. Although specific details as to how the examination will be administered have yet to be released, what is certain, at this point, is that the new requirement will have the greatest impact on Russian representative offices of foreign companies.
The new examination requirement, which is tentatively scheduled to go into effect beginning November 2012, will not apply to foreign nationals applying for a work permit under Russia's Highly Qualified Specialist Program (HQSP). However, only Russian legal entities and accredited branch offices of legal entities can sponsor foreign nationals under the HQSP. Representative offices of foreign companies are unable to sponsor a foreign worker under the HQSP. Representative offices filing standard work permit applications will have to comply with the new examination requirement by ensuring that all sponsored foreign national beneficiaries successfully complete the history, language and civics examination before gaining eligibility for a Russian work permit.