At a Glance

  • The Russian Ministry of Labor and Social Development has added professions to the list of those exempt from a quota, including engineer-programmer, technological installations operator and certain electrician occupations, among others; and has excluded professions previously on the list, such as quality engineer and manager of hotel service, among others.
  • Employers should ensure adequate quota and related document preparation time if a quota application is required.
  • The addition of new highly-skilled technology professions to the quota-exempt list is in line with the State Migration Policy Concept, an Executive Order that lays out plans for increasing skilled migration to Russia; and in line with other recently-relaxed immigration policies in Russia such as a work permit exemption for artists and scientists, and an expansion of its e-visa platform.

The situation

The Russian Ministry of Labor and Social Development has updated its list of professions for qualified foreign specialists who are exempt from a quota application.

A closer look

  • Positions added. The following positions were added to the list: dispatcher; regime planning engineer; engineer-programmer; repair of the technological equipment master; technological installations operator; fitter for the repair of technological installations; electrician for the repair and maintenance of electrical equipment.
  • Positions excluded. The following positions were excluded from the current list: quality engineer; manager (in public nutrition and hotel service); head waiter (administrator of the shop floor); technical literature translator; and chef-cook.


  • Benefit for professions added to exemption list. Employers seeking work permits for foreign workers in the added professions no longer need to undergo the lengthy quota approval process for these positions. This can save three to four months.
  • Renewals of stay. Employers can apply for a work permit extension for qualified foreign specialists after the initial one-year period of stay without having to utilize the quota process if the profession is still on the quota-exempt list. Otherwise, the employer must apply for a quota before renewing the foreign national's work permit.


Looking ahead

The Russian government is likely to continue to relax immigration policies to offset the declining birthrate and growing number of emigrants from Russia. Changes to the temporary and permanent residence rules, proposed in June 2019, are likely to pass and will also contribute to the further relaxation of immigration rules to attract foreign talent and investment.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.