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Highly qualified specialists (HQS)

Pratos > Highly qualified specialists (HQS)

Employment of foreign nationals from non-CIS countries – highly qualified specialists (HQS)

 

Do you want to have a valuable foreign specialist among your employees? But you doubt that you will be able to comply with all the legal requirements? We’ll explain the specifics of relations with a foreign highly qualified specialist and help to properly register them, we’ll also prepare and submit to the relevant government agencies and ensure timely delivery of all necessary documents and notifications.

 

FUNDAMENTALS

 

1. The work permit for HQS is issued for the validity term of the concluded employment or civil contract, but no more than 3 years. Upon the expiration of the work permit, its multiple renewal is possible, however the extension period may not exceed 3 years.

2. Multiple-entry HQS work visa is issued for a period of up to 3 years.

3. A foreign national is not entitled to perform labor activities outside the territories of constituent entities of the Russian Federation that are specified in his work permit, except in cases stipulated by the Order of the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation No. 564н dated 28.07.2010

4. Qualification and competence of a highly qualified specialist are evaluated by employers independently.

5. For employers and customers of works (services), it is not necessary to issue a permit to employ foreign nationals as highly qualified employees.

6. In the Russian Federation, there is no quota for issuing invitations to foreign nationals – highly qualified specialists and members of their families.

7. In case of early termination of an employment or civil contract, a highly qualified specialist is entitled to find a new employer within 30 business days and enter into a new contract for employment, while his multiple-entry work visa and the issued work permit shall remain valid for the specified period.

8. In case a highly qualified specialist has not entered into a new employment contract or civil contract for performance of works (rendering services) within 30 business days from the day of early termination of the employment contract or civil contract, or if the application of an employer or customer of works (services) on employment of a highly qualified specialist is rejected, the work permit and visa issued to such highly qualified specialist, as well as residence permit issued to a highly qualified specialist and his family members shall be valid for 30 business days, during which a highly qualified specialist and members of his family shall leave the Russian Federation in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

9. Highly qualified specialists and their family members are relieved from the obligation to perform actions required for their migration registration at the place of stay for a period not exceeding 90 days from the date of their entry into the Russian Federation.

10. Highly qualified specialists and their family members registered at the place of residence (registered at the place of stay) in the Russian Federation, upon arrival at a new place of stay on the territory of the Russian Federation for the period not exceeding 30 days, shall be relieved from the obligation to perform actions required for their registration at the new place of stay.

 

HQS CRITERIA

 

A foreign national can be recognized as HQS, if he has work experience, skills or achievements in a particular field of activity, if the conditions for his employment in the Russian Federation involve payment him a salary in the amount of:

1. At least 1,000,000 rubles per year (365 calendar days) – for highly qualified specialists employed in the educational, research and development, tourism and medical sectors;

2. In the amount of at least 700,000 rubles per year (365 calendar days) – for foreign nationals who are employed by the residents of the technical and implementation special economic zone (except for individual entrepreneurs);

3. At least 1,000,000 rubles per year (365 calendar days) – for foreign nationals employed by legal entities operating in the territories of the Republic of Crimea and the Federal city of Sevastopol;

4. With no consideration of the salary requirement – for foreign nationals participating in the implementation of the SKOLKOVO project in accordance with Federal law No. 244-FZ dated September 28, 2010 “On the SKOLKOVO Innovation Center”;

5. In the amount of at least 2,000,000 (167,000 per month) rubles per year (365 calendar days) – for other foreign nationals.

With relatively high salary level requirements, HQS receive significant advantages in comparison with foreign employees who are not HQS (comparative Table 1)

 

FOREIGN NATIONALS CAN BE EMPLOYED AS HQS ONLY BY EMPLOYERS OR CUSTOMERS OF WORKS (SERVICES) THAT ARE:

 

 

1. Russian commercial organizations;

2. Russian scientific organizations, educational organizations of various levels (less of spiritual educational organizations), health care institutions, as well as other organizations engaged in scientific, research and innovative activities, if they have state accreditation;

3. Branches and representative offices of foreign legal entities that are accredited on the territory of the Russian Federation in accordance with the established procedure;

4. Employers who are not subject to the decision banning the invitation of foreign nationals for employment as HQS.

 

PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING A WORK PERMIT FOR HQS (STAGES)

 

1. Conclusion of an employment contract

The employer enters into an employment or civil contract with the HQS and notifies thereof the office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs within 3 business days following the day of conclusion the contract. In turn, the concluded contract shall enter into force upon obtaining a work permit by the foreign national.

2. Submission of documents for a HQS work permit (External Labour Migration Office)     

An employer, customer of works (services) or an authorized person (acting by proxy) shall submit a package of documents to the Directorate for Migration Affairs at the Main Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow for issuing a HQS work permit

3. Documents processing by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (External Labour Migration Office) 

Within 14 business days the Ministry of Internal Affairs unit shall review the submitted package of documents for a HQS work permit, and based on the results of the review, it shall issue a HQS work permit, invitation to enter the Russian Federation (or notification of refusal).

At that, on the date of acceptance of documents by the Ministry of Internal Affairs unit (i.e. on the date of submission or on the next business day), an employer, customer of works (services) or authorized person (acting by proxy) shall receive confirmation of acceptance on the acceptance by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs unit of the documents for HQS work permit.

4. Submission of documents for the multiple-entry invitation for a work visa for highly qualified specialist (Invitations Issue Office) 

An employer, customer of works (services) or an authorized person (acting by proxy) shall submit to the Directorate for Migration Affairs at the Main Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow a package of documents for issuing an invitation for a HQS work visa on the basis of confirmation of acceptance of documents for a HQS work permit.

5. Registration of an invitation for a HQS work visa at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Invitations Issue Office)

Within 14 business days, the Russian Ministry of Unternal Affairs unit shall review the submitted package of documents for issuing a HQS invitation and, based on the results of the review, it shall issue a multiple invitation to enter the Russian Federation.

The HQS invitation can be issued with the original of the invitation or in the form of an e-document.

Registration of an organization at the IIO of the Directorate for Migration Affairs at the Main Directorate of the Russian Ministry of the Interior in Moscow shall be performed on the basis of a package of documents for the organization registration, simultaneously with the submission of documents for issuing the invitation.

6. Obtaining a multiple-entry work visa

A foreign national at the Russian Consulate office abroad, is able to receive a multiple-entry HQS work visa on the basis of a HQS invitation issued.

7. Obtaining a work permit (plastic card)

After entering the Russian Federation, a foreign national shall personally receive a HQS work permit at the Ministry of Internal Affairs unit.

8. Salary notifications

An employer shall notify the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the fulfillment of obligations to pay salary (remuneration) to a foreign national no later than one month after the end of the accounting quarter, as well as in case of termination of the employment contract with the HQS.

9. Contract termination notification

In case of early termination of an employment contract or civil contract with the HQS, the employer shall notify the Ministry of Internal Affairs unit of the termination no later than three business days after the day of contract termination.

 

EXTENSION OF A HQS WORK PERMIT AND WORK VISA VALIDITY TERM

 

The extension of the work permit shall be performed with the participation of the employer (customer). The employer shall submit to the authorized unit, no later than 30 days before the expiration of a HQS work permit:

  • application of the employer or the customer of works (services) to extend the validity of the HQS work permit,
  • information about payment of remuneration for the HQS employment period (2 NDFL for the entire period of a foreign national employment as HQS),
  • a copy of the contract (policy) of a HQS and its family members medical insurance,
  • documents confirming the registration of HQS at the place of stay,
  • supplement to the employment contract (appendix with the insurance clause)

 

 

FINES

 

If a foreign national is employed in a region that is not specified in his work permit for more than 30 days, this shall entail the imposition of fines (part 1 of article 18.15 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation):

  • For natural persons – from 5,000 to 7,000 rubles.;
  • For officials – from 40,000 to 70,000 rubles.;
  • For legal entities – from 400,000 to 1,000,000 rubles, or administrative suspension of activity for the period of up to 90 days.

 

LIST OF DOCUMENTS FOR OBTAINING A HQS WORK

 

  • Employer’s request to employ a HQS (2 copies);
  • An employment contract or civil contract for the performance of works (rendering of services) with the involvement of a highly qualified specialist. Bound (certified by the organization), original signed by both parties and a copy of the document certified by the seal and signature of an official of the organization; (there also should be indicated information about insurance – a valid VMI and an indication of the contract terms entry into force)
  • Letter of guarantee (1 copy for a work permit and 1 copy for an invitation) for reimbursement of costs in case of expulsion/deportation of a foreign national;
  • Photo 3×4 (color on a light background, 1 pc);
  • Original payment order (with a blue round seal of the Bank) from the organization for payment of the work permit stamp duty (3,500 rubles.)
  • Original payment order (with a blue round seal of the Bank) from the organization or a copy of such order, duly stamped, on payment of the invitation stamp duty, 800 rubles per invitation;
  • Power of attorney for the employer’s representative;
  • Original and copy or notarized copy of the certificate of entry made into the unified state register of legal entities (OGRN);
  • Original and copy or a notarized copy of the certificate of registration for tax purposes (TIN);
  • Original and copy of the VMI policy, the validity term of the VMI policy shall begin no later than the expected start date of a foreign national’s employment;
  • Notarized translation of a foreign national’s passport.

INFORMATION REQUIRED TO ORDER A HQS WORK PERMIT

 

  • Last name of a foreigner (in Latin)
  • Last name of a foreigner (in Cyrillic)
  • Name of a foreigner (in Latin)
  • Name of a foreigner (in Cyrillic)
  • Foreigner’s birth date
  • Sex: M/F
  • Nationality
  • Passport series and number
  • Passport issue date
  • Passport valid until
  • Planned date of entry into the Russian Federation
  • Planned duration of stay
  • Cities to be visited in the Russian Federation (defined by the regions of HQS employment)
  • A copy of the first page of a foreigner’s passport
  • Diploma/certificate data (date of issue, diploma number, qualification, area of expertise, institution issuing a diploma)
  • Previous employment record (term of employment, company name, job title)
  • Customer’s name
  • Customer’s phone number
  • Customer’s E-mail

 

USEFUL INFORMATION IN BRIEF

 

– OVTM (ELMO) – External Labour Migration Office

– OOP (IIO) – Invitations Issue Office

– original payment order for payment of stamp duty for a work permit is accepted by the OVTM only if there is a blue round seal of a Bank in addition to the seal of a Bank’s branch

– all the submitted documents having more than one page shall be bound (stamped by the organization, signed by the Director, with the indication of the number of bound pages)

– a certificate of knowledge of the Russian language, the basics of legislation and history of the Russian Federation are not required for HQS; medical documents are also not required

– HQS and members of his family are entitled not to register for migration purposes within 90 days from the date of entry into the Russian Federation

 

Comparative Table No.1

Employment of a foreign national being HQSEmployment of a foreign national being non-HQS
Need to obtain a permit to employ foreign nationals (foreign employees)NoYes (being agreed for next year)
Quota for issuing invitations to foreign nationalsNo Yes
Validity term of the work permit (WP)Up to 3 years 1 year
Registration of documents14 business days from the date of the application submission 3-4 months from the application submission date
Deadline of migration registration90 days after the entry date 7 business days after the entry date
Need to provide medical certificates confirming absence of HIV and infectious diseasesNo Yes
Providing a certificate of knowledge of the Russian language, the basics of legislation and history of the Russian FederationNo Yes
Receiving a work permitPersonally by a foreign national By proxy
Possibility of employment in several regionsWhen registering a traveling nature of employment - no duration limits 30 days per one year as a business trip
Possibility to change the place of employment without leaving the Russian FederationYes, 30 days No, leaving is mandatory
Notification of authoritiesYes, quarterly, about payment of remuneration, conclusion/termination of employment contract Conclusion/termination of employment contract
Benefits for accompanying family membersFamily members of the first and second order can accompany the HQS, work and study during the entire period of the HQS stay in the country No
Possibility of obtaining a residence permit on preferential basisYes No
Taxation of employmentPersonal income tax 13% Personal income tax 13% for residents Personal income tax 30% for non-residents
Invitations and visasMultiple for the work permit validity term Single-entry for 90 days to enter the Russian Federation, re-registration to multiple-entry for the work permit validity term