Russia’s Immigration Policy: New Challenges and Tools Russie.Nei.Visions No. 91, January 2016
A new stage in the development of Russia's migration policy is upon us. Since 2010, legal amendments and the Concept of Migration Policy of the Russian Federation to 2025, adopted in June 2012, marked a clear change in how migration flows are regulated, the aim being now to maximise the economic benefit of labour migration.
The introduction of a system of licenses and new rules which make it easier for highly qualified foreign specialists to find a job are undoubtedly positive developments for Russian immigration policy. Nevertheless, Russia remains unattractive to skilled workers and students.
The current state of the Russian economy calls for temporary migration of labour into advanced innovative fields as well as into such areas as construction, services and manufacturing industry. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) serves as the main source of foreign manpower and a visa-free regime exists between CIS countries and Russia. Inevitably, the progress of Eurasian integration and the expansion of the Eurasian Economic Union will impact upon Russia’s migration system significantly. Eventually, Russia's migration policy will depend on the state of Russian economy in the decade to come.
Lyubov Bisson is a research fellow at the Department of European Integration Studies, Institute of Europe, at the Russian Academy of Sciences (IE RAS) in Moscow.