01 October 2008

Foreign workers in St Petersburg waiting for increase in work permit quota

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Foreign workers and employers of foreigners in St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast are waiting on the Federal Migration Service to increase the quota for work permits after it was filled in both cities last month, reports The St Petersburg Times.

Local migration services are dealing with an influx of foreign workers trying to obtain a Russian work permit while they wait for the Moscow Federal Migration Service to increase the quota for the year.

The American Chamber of Commerce, lead by Sergei Smirnov, Deputy Head of immigration issues for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast, said a decision regarding the Russian visa quota would be reached by the beginning of October.

Employers looking to hire workers outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which are former Soviet Union countries, must gain approval from the city’s Employment Centre, and provide information on the nationalities, number and job titles expected to be used and filled in the following year.

The lack of work permit provision meant that many companies could not renew the visas of many of its foreign workers who were from outside the CIS.  Smirnov told reporters another 105,000 permits were needed for St Petersburg alone.

The Federal Migration Service also cancelled an informal agreement that allowed some companies to be exempt from some medical tests required to grant a work permit to employees.


The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in Russian visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Worldwide Visa Bureau.


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