The Russian law adds in new category of employees: foreigners assigned to Russia by companies registered in WTO

The Russian migration law adds in new category of...

On 10 January, 2014, the Federal law “On changes into separate legislative decrees of the Russian Federation”, as a result of passing of the Federal law “On ratification of Protocol about accession of the Russian Federation to Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization dated 15 April 1994” dated 28 December, 2013 No. 390-FZ came into force. This law amended the Federal law “On the legal status of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation” dated 25 July, 2002 N 115-FZ (hereinafter – 115-FZ).


In particular, Law 115-FZ was supplemented with Article 13.5. This article regulates employment of foreigners assigned into Russia by foreign commercial organizations, registered in the territory of the World Trade Organization member-states (hereinafter – Foreign employees and FCC) and assigned to:

1. The representative office of the FCC, for the purpose of top management replacement, as well as replacement of personnel coordinating representative office activities (including the head of Representative office). The representative office of FCC is allowed to employ up to 5 Foreign employees, and for banking sector – up to 2 Foreign employees but not exceeding total number of employees as allowed by Permission on accreditation issued for this representative office.

2. Branch or Russian subsidiary of FCC as “key personnel” for the purposes of:

  • replacing the head of the Branch or Subsidiary of FCC,  
  • replacing personnel on other positions in the condition that Foreign employees’ annual salary is at least RUB2,000,000 (approximately EUR44,000) and they are highly qualified and (or) have uncommon knowledge’s that:  
    • satisfy requirements of the Russian Government and  
    • are essential for branches and subsidiaries to provide their services.

The key features of work permit process for Foreign employees are:

  • employers in Russia do not need to apply for the quotas on the issue of work permits and invitations to foreign citizens as well as for corporate permit to employ foreigners.  
  • work permits to Foreign employees are issued for the period of their assignment to representative office, branch or subsidiary of FCC as per decision of FCC but not more than for 3 years. 
  • Foreign employees working in several regions of Russia can have one work permit covering all regions.


Important is that:



  • the above work permits under Article 13.5 of 115-FZ are issued to Foreign employees if they have been working with FCC for at least one year prior to their Russian assignment.

  • work permits are not issued and issued earlier ones are annulled, if the services, in which Foreign employees will take part, are not in the list of services, asserted in compliance with obligations of the Russian Federation as a member of the World Trade Organization.


In our opinion, hiring Foreign employees in Russia according to Article 13.5 of 115-FZ may serve as alternative to hiring foreigners on the basis of “regular” work permit.

Unlike highly-qualified specialists (whose employment is regulated by article 13.2. of 115-FZ), Foreign employees are not excluded from the List of insured persons as in Federal law “On compulsory pension insurance” dated 15.12.2001 N 167-FZ. Therefore, the representative office, branch or subsidiary of the FCC making payments to Foreign employees, who are temporarily present in Russia with employment contracts valid for at least 6 months during one calendar year, are obliged to contribute into Russian Pension Fund.

For the list of World Trade Organization member-states please follow this link.  

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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