Russian Duma Proposes Plan to Create Russian Green Card

PHOTO by Grigory Sysoev / RIA Novosti

The Russian State Duma is developing legislation that may become the basis for a Russian equivalent to the US Green Card, RIA Novosti reported, citing Vladimir Sysoyev, a member of the Duma from the LDPR party.

The document is meant to simplify the process of providing residence permits to Russian-speaking foreigners, especially those from former Soviet republics. Sysoyev stressed that this law only concerns qualified labor. "Right now we have quotas for residence permits and there's not enough of them,” he said. “The people our country needs don't have an opportunity to get a residence permit legally."

Currently, people coming to Russia to work need to get either a three-month migrant card or a work permit, which are only valid for a year at most. Applicants for residency permits need to pass a comprehensive exam in Russian language, history and law.