What is the change? Russian officials are conducting regular audits of employers to find violations of immigration and labor law.

What does the change mean? Employers face fines, deportation, suspension of activities and rejection or revocation of work permits if they are found to be violating the law.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies employing foreign nationals.
  • Impact on processing times:None.
  • Business impact: Businesses risk serious consequences if they are found to be violating work permit regulations.
  • Next steps: Employers should review procedures to make sure they are in compliance with the law and prepared for an audit by authorities.

Background: Russia recently tightened several laws on foreign work permits. The government is conducting regular audits of employers that may be scheduled or unannounced.

In light of a recent rash of cases in which employers were violating the law, the government may revoke or reject work permit applications (for quota or non-quota positions) of employers found to be out of compliance with immigration, labor or tax laws. Employers who employ a worker without a work permit where one is required can be fined 250,000 to 800,000 RUR and face suspension of activities for 14 to 90 days. An individual company official found to be responsible for such violation may be fined 25,000-50,000 RUR.

Foreign nationals working without a work permit may be fined and deported, and if the violation is longer than 30 days, they may be banned from entering Russia for three years. Those who have violated even minor administrative rules more than once may be barred from re-entry or from renewing their visas for up to three years.

BAL Analysis: The increased enforcement and tougher penalties prompted by recent changes to Russian law indicate that the government is cracking down on abuse of the work permit system.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Russia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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