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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Some time ago, I gave instructions to simplify entry and exit procedures for well-educated, highly skilled and highly qualified foreign specialists with excellent professional qualifications in various scientific and professional areas.
Please brief me on what has been done and what difficulties have come up.
Federal Migration Service Director Konstantin Romodanovsky: A new law came into force on July 1, 2010, giving certain preferences for registering this category of citizens, highly qualified specialists. And as a law enforcement official, I can say that this law is effective and it works. In one year, we registered about 13 thousand highly qualified specialists and top managers.
Dmitry Medvedev: How do they arrive here? What is the basis and what is their status? What procedures are applied to them?
Konstantin Romodanovsky: There are two ways. Either they arrive after first applying for a relevant visa, and we register them here as highly qualified specialists; or they are already working here and change their status from a regular worker to a highly qualified specialist, without leaving the country.
Dmitry Medvedev: What advantages does this give them?
Konstantin Romodanovsky: It certainly gives them time…
Dmitry Medvedev: It extends the duration of their stay here…
Konstantin Romodanovsky: Well, the maximum permit duration is already three years.
Dmitry Medvedev: Three years.
Konstantin Romodanovsky: We also helped 3.5 thousand members of these specialists’ families register and enter Russia. This is also a factor that secures their stay here and makes our relations with them stronger, more stable and long-lasting.
Dmitry Medvedev: That is true. And incidentally, when I meet with foreign businesspeople and heads of foreign states, they often talk about this as an indicator that we have improved the situation. Nevertheless, they feel we can create extra incentives for attracting highly qualified specialists to work in our nation, and create normal conditions for them, including their families’ entry into Russia, because that is truly important for anyone, particularly a successful individual who changes his or her place of residence.
Konstantin Romodanovsky: Mr President, the first slide reflects the breakdown of highly qualified specialists by nation…
Dmitry Medvedev: I see that we have Germany, Great Britain, France, and the United States – the four main nations.
Konstantin Romodanovsky: If we compare these to regular work permits, there is a significant…
Dmitry Medvedev: There is a difference. Regular workers come from very different places, particularly Central Asia, and unfortunately, we have more problems with them.
Konstantin Romodanovsky: The second slide shows a breakdown by business activity area. Here, we see specialists and managers of a really high level, working in trade, economy and banking. These are the people we need.
Dmitry Medvedev: We can draw a clear conclusion: we must try to create the best conditions for attracting highly qualified foreign specialists to our nation, to assist them, help them enter, and help their families adapt to our conditions.
As for professionals in other areas, we need them as well, but they should be subject to different criteria, and their stay and work here should be subject to a stricter control on the part of your service.