According to the changes, upon signing a new labor or civil rights contract for the performance of works (rendition of services) concerning employment activity in the public infrastructure, retail or household services sectors, a visa exempt foreign citizen inside the Russian Federation must be proficient in the Russian language at no less than a base level.
On the basis of a literal read through of the Law, it is possible to assume that this rule is not applicable to previously granted “ordinary” work permits for workers of the aforementioned sectors.
Furthermore, according to the information published on the official website of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation, the given requirement will not affect highly qualified specialists or foreign citizens of those countries in which Russian is the official state language.
As a result, upon application for an “ordinary” work permit for foreign citizens of the aforementioned sectors, it is essential to present one of the documents listed below.
- A certificate granted by official authorities, testifying the passing of government Russian language testing.
- A document testifying for education (on a level not lower than core general education), granted inside a foreign country and recognized inside the Russian Federation if the given document contains proof that its holder has studied Russian.
- A government approved document form testifying for education (on a level not lower than core general education) granted by an educational institution inside a country which was part of the USSR before 1 September, 1991.
- A government approved document form testifying for education (on a level not lower than core general education), granted by an educational institution inside the Russian Federation as of 1 September, 1991.
Should any one of the above documents not be presented in the process of submitting a request for an “ordinary” work permit, the request is likely to be denied.
According to information published on the official website of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation, there are four centers established inside the Russian Federation for conducting government testing for holders of the Russian language: The Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia , The Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, The Saint-Petersburg and Moscow Sate Universities. Under their patronage, a network of centers responsible for granting certificates has been established inside the Russian Federation as well as abroad.
In Moscow, foreign citizens can receive a certificate for passing of government Russian language testing in centers established on the basis of 32 educational institutions. The full list of these centers is published on the website of the Federal Department of the Moscow Migration Service.