On May 7 2012 the president signed the Decree on the Provision of Cross-Cultural Agreement, which came into force on the same day.

One of the decree's provisions affects corporate immigration and will have a significant impact on the process of obtaining work permits for foreign nationals in Russia. Until November 2012 foreign nationals who wish to obtain work permits in Russia are required to pass a examination that covers the Russian language, Russian history and basic knowledge of Russian laws. This provision does not apply to highly qualified specialists. Penalties and other measures imposed for breaches of Russian migration legislation will be strengthened by the end of 2012.

The examination requirement will particularly affect the representative offices of foreign companies, as they are ineligible to employ highly qualified specialists - only branch offices of foreign companies and Russian legal entities can do so.

For further information on this topic please contact Timur Beslangurov at VISTA Foreign Business Support by telephone (+7 495 933 78 22), fax (+7 495 933 78 23) or email ([email protected]).