From 1st January 2015, foreign nationals wishing to obtain permanent residence in Russia, or to renew or obtain a work permit, will be required to provide a certificate from an accredited institution, evidencing their knowledge of Russian language, basic legal framework and history.
Highly skilled workers, their dependants, as well as those under 18 years of age and over 60 will be exempt from this requirement. Students at some accredited institutions will also be exempt, as well as those who have qualifications dating prior to 1991 from former Soviet countries, where Russian was a compulsory part of the curriculum.
Russian speakers from former Soviet countries will also be able to obtain Russian citizenship via a simplified process, including passing an exam before a special committee. Further details and changes are expected to be published shortly, with the new process coming into effect in July 2014.
Processing times for work permits and permanent residency are expected to be somewhat lengthened, whilst the new evidential requirements are implemented and institutions receive accreditation for issuing the necessary certificates.
If you have any questions or queries about Russian immigration, please contact us.