According to forecasts, this year employers may demand twice as many migrant workers as they did last year. To accommodate this, a new quota for migrant workers will be introduced in August, announced Oleg Artamonov, Assistant Director at the Federal Migration Service (FMS). The government decree on the issue is currently being prepared.
The 2008 quota was originally set at 1.8 million. Despite having been increased at the beginning of July, quotas are again used up in Moscow, Voronezh, Tula, and the Ivanovo regions, as well as in Karelia, Komi, and Dagestan.
According to Artamonov, the FMS is proposing to increase the total by 1.3 million. In 2007, the quota was higher – at 6 million – but only 1.7 million were used. The Ministry of Social Development points out that this year’s quota was based on employer applications, as opposed to government estimates (which were the basis for the quota in 2007).
Beginning in 2007, legalizing migrant workers became more difficult for employers, said Valentina Vedeneeva from the Independent Institute of Social Policies. She believes it would be best not to force businesses to estimate their need for migrant workers a year ahead of time, as changing circumstances could result in crises.
There is no plan to raise quotas for invitations to enter the country, as that quota has not yet run out, said a representative of the Ministry of Health.
By order of the Ministry of Social Development, chief managers, directors and system administrators will be exempt from quotas. Foreign top managers that come to Russia to work will not be subject to quotas, said Artamonov.
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