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8 Mar, 2020 08:16

Transparency & unification: Putin envisions new migration and citizenship policies, initiates reform

Transparency & unification: Putin envisions new migration and citizenship policies, initiates reform

President Vladimir Putin has approved fresh guidelines for Russia’s migration and citizenship policy, entrusting the government with reforms expected to make procedures more transparent, unified, and digitalized.

A document outlining policies for the next five years has been rolled out by the Kremlin.

“[The] standing migration rules are not clear and unified enough. The level of digitalization in the fields of government services and state control of migration remains low,” it reads.

These flaws make many migrants – those coming to work in particular – seek illegal ways of getting into the country, as well as working without proper permits. The planned reforms aim to change the situation.

Under the new rules, entrepreneurs seeking to hire foreign workers will be able to do so through a special state-supervised information system. The candidates will be provided by state employment agencies – an apparent attempt to eradicate the existing shady schemes in the distribution of foreign workers.

A residency permit will become the main document defining the status of immigrants in Russia. The existing ‘temporary residency permits’ will be effectively abolished, since they have proven to be ineffective – often simply leading to more bureaucracy.

Foreign nationals wishing to receive a permit for a long-term stay in Russia will be required to have an account in the state information system, obtain a special document with a digital data bank, provide the state with their biometric data, and prove they aren’t carrying any dangerous contagious infections.

The mechanism to obtain Russian citizenship will also be tweaked. The new migration policy is designed to create a favorable environment for Russian-speaking foreigners, as well as people who have a “similar mentality and culture.” Those who have “positive social ties to Russia,” as well as those deemed “vulnerable,” will be able to receive citizenship under a simplified procedure.

Also on rt.com Russia to drop dual citizenship restriction, make acquiring passport easier with ‘revolutionary’ new bill – Kommersant

A third, “special” way to receive Russian citizenship is envisioned for foreign nationals deemed “particularly valuable” for the country. As the criteria is rather vague, the document says the final decision regarding “particularly valuable” people will be made personally by the president of Russia.

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