Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Head of the Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovsky


Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Head of the Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovsky discussed the situation regarding migrant workers in Russia. Mr Romodanovsky said that some are employed illegally but that the immigration authorities are addressing this issue and will ameliorate the situation. Mr Romodanovsky reported back on their adoption of an electronic document management system, and the process of issuing new documents to those who lost them in the recent wildfires.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Romodanovsky, let me start our meeting with my traditional question. Where do we stand in terms of migration flows? How many people have entered the Russian Federation? How many have left? How many immigrants are there in Russia?

Konstantin Romodanovsky: Mr Prime Minister, immigration, which fell 30% at the beginning of the year, has recovered in recent months. Some 10 million foreigners entered Russia in this period. They crossed the border over 15 million times. We record everything and store all this information in a computer database.

Currently, and I'll use a diagram to demonstrate this, Ukrainians account for almost 50% of all foreign citizens residing in the Russian Federation. There are almost 1.5 million Ukrainians, 1.2 million Uzbeks, 800,000 Tajiks and 383,000 Kyrgyz people in Russia.

Mr Putin, we are on top of the situation and are carrying out your instructions on employment quotas.

Vladimir Putin: What effect have these processes had on the Russian labour market?

Konstantin Romodanovsky: Some five million foreigners are currently employed in the Russian Federation, of whom one million people are employed legally and four million people illegally. These four million people stay in the country legally but work in violation of applicable law. New legislation, which took effect on July 1, will allow us to reverse the situation.

People who come here seeking employment can be divided into four groups: low-skilled workers on work permits, qualified professionals, highly-skilled professionals and those working on the basis of patents. We are developing mechanisms to coordinate interaction between suppliers based outside the Russian Federation and customers based in Russia. We have already made some progress on this issue.

Vladimir Putin: I visited your office to see for myself how this work is being managed and what new technology you are using. How is all this new technology benefiting your work?

Konstantin Romodanovsky: Mr Putin, this chart features all the operations we have moved online. Some 73,500 people have applied to us via the new system so far. We have issued work permits to over 26,000 of them. All the paperwork is done online, the only contact people have with Federal Migration Service staff is when they come to our office to collect their completed paperwork. We plan to move two more types of services online by the end of the year, making nine in total.

Vladimir Putin: I asked your agency to ease the process of issuing new documents to those who have lost them in the recent wildfires. How did that go?

Konstantin Romodanovsky: Since July 30 we have set up ad hoc centres at all local Federal Migration Service offices. A total of 324 people applied for new documents and received them within one to three days. Moreover, they were exempted from the usual fees. This was done at the initiative of the Federal Migration Service. In several regions local authorities addressed this issue themselves. So we did everything we could to help them.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

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