Today there are 530,000 official employees in the country. However, the situation is about to change drastically as soon as next year. According to the latest government’s resolution, only 213,000 of foreigners will be allowed to work in Russia in 2004.
Usually, the establishment of such quotas depends strictly on the needs of the regions. However, it is up to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to decide the amount of foreigners to be employed at a particular company at a particular location. In the course of several years the number has been fluctuating close to 300,000. It was only for the past year that the numbers went up reaching its peak at 530,000.
It is still unknown whether such drastic change in the number of quotas has anything to do with the Ministry's new policy aimed at monitoring the illegal newcomers. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of police visits to various facilities for a document check. Both employers and their employees are now penalized more often and asked to pay fines. There has already been noticed a wave of mass deportations in the country.
Certain measures have also been taken to stricken the illegal overflow. Special immigration cards made of plastic have been introduced in order to minimize fraud activity. Labor cards have also been changed for the same purpose. As a result of such an active campaign against illegal workers, it has been conjectured that almost half a million illegal newcomers will be eager to change their status.
Some facts remain that are worth mentioning. Russian Ministry of Labor for instance, has announced that the main reason of the decrease of foreigners in the country deals with a fact that starting next year the majority of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) citizens will not need such invitations. On the one hand, Russia has signed an intergovernmental agreement with all its neighboring republics (except Georgia and Turkmenia) permitting free travel. Therefore, all of the above-mentioned information becomes inapplicable to about 260,000 foreigners. On the other hand, present-day employers are changing their strategies as well. They are no longer hiring from abroad. Why? Well, now they are provided with an opportunity to use labor from those zones opened for free travel thus not having to dealing with tedious paperwork and unnecessary expenses. According to the Russian Ministry of Labor, at least 74,000 legal workers with visas are left without work in Russia.