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By Sergei Blagov
In a reversal of recent policy, the Russian cabinet announced an increase in the total number of work permits available for skilled foreign workers in 2018 to 178,454 and for managerial positions to be filled by foreign employees to 8,029 (Decree No. 721). This is an amendment of Decree No. 1479, dated Dec. 6, 2017, which set the 2018 quota for skilled foreign workers at 140,423 and for managerial positions available to foreign employees at 6,031.
The government assesses on an annual basis how many foreign nationals will be allowed to reside and work in Russia for the next calendar year. In recent years, the authorities have consistently cut the quotas—for skilled foreign workers from 177,043 in 2017, 213,929 in 2016, 275,856 in 2015, and nearly 2 million in 2009 and for managerial positions from 7,007 in 2017, 10,796 in 2016, 17,931 in 2015, and 109,590 in 2011.
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