The number of foreign workers who will be able to receive temporary residence permits in Russia will be cut in half next year.
On Tuesday, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, a Russian government newspaper, reported that the only 205,633 temporary residence permits would be issued in 2004. This year's quota was 439,080.
Unlike work permits for foreigners, which the Interior Ministry's Federal Migration Service issues, temporary residence permits are issued by the passport and visa service. Organizations and firms that invite foreign specialists to Russia, and Russians who invite foreign guests need these permits.
Until now, this quota was based on the weighted average of foreigners who arrived in Russia the previous year. In 2004, the number of potential foreign guests has been cut in half.
Rossiiskaya Gazeta cites toughened migration control as the reason for the reduction in temporary residence permits. All foreigners who arrive in Russia are entered into a computer to protect, among other thing, the local labor market. Foreign guests are allowed to work, and many foreigners, especially those from the former Soviet republics, used the invitations from their relatives and friends to work in Russia.