A radical change in Russia's migration legislation may take place. A draft of the "State Migration Policy Strategy through 2015" was submitted by Konstantin Romodanovsky, the head of the Federal Migration Service (FMS). It proposes cancelling temporary residence and migration quotas, according to “Kommersant”.
The head of the FMS reasons that these measures are needed because of Russia's demographic situation to offset the decrease in the working-age population. Moreover, according to Romodanovsky, a lower rate of migration gain has been noticed – i.e. in 2010 migration gain was lower than in 2009 by 11,000 migrants. At the same time, based on new data from the 2010 census, Mikhael Denisenko, the director of the Institute of Demographics of the National Research University of the Higher School of Economics announced that from 1989 to 2011 migration inflow amounted to 8 billion people, which compensated in great degree for the 12 billion people demographic loss in Russia’s population.
The head of the FMS considers that using Russia's working-age population effectively is “highly improbable.” This population has low mobility because of low income, lack of housing, administrative hassles related to moving and other factors. As a result, the the Migration policy strategy aims primarily to “expand possibilities for relocation.” This includes assistance for relocating qualified and other in-demand specialists, encouraging entrepreneurs and investors to migrate to Russia, and doing away with the institution of the temporary residence permit. According to the head of the FMS, this institution is outdated and irrelevant and must be “torn off and thrown away.”
Romodanovsky points out that “in order to receive Russian citizenship, a foreigner must go through three stages of a process spread out over eight years: obtain the temporary residence permit, obtain the residence permit and, finally, obtain citizenship. In all three instances an individual must submit the same documents. The intuition of the temporary residence permit is very corrupted because ultimately everything is decided by a bureaucrat.” The FMS proposes to switch to the sort of “flexible and universal system” as used world-wide for obtaining residence permits. According to the head of the FMS, a residence permit applicant will receive approval based on a points system which will take into consideration his knowledge of the Russian language, education, and available housing. “A person will fill out an application which will be objectively considered and on the basis of which a residence permit may be issued”, explained Romodanovsky. He quoted statistics that from 6500 highly qualified specialists registered since 2010, over 40 people received residence permit, adding that “this procedure is mostly of interest for residents of countries outside of the former Soviet Union.”
Romodanovsky has also proposed another revolutionary change: abandoning quotas for foreign employees. Romodanovsky admitted that “this is a debating issue,” but also emphasized that his idea has many supporters. At the same time, the FMS is not concerned that cancellation of quotas will lead to an increase in illegal immigration, for example, from China, because “there is a visa regime between our countries.” Instead of a quota system, the Strategy proposes “differentiated mechanisms,” such as recruitment of migrants of different qualifications through programs of short- and long-term work migration, seasonal migration, programs of organized recruitment, and foreign students recruited to work while on break.