The unregulated legal status of a considerable group of migrants is probably the most important reason why the quality of migration statistics is unsatisfactory. The perpetual attempts to somehow improve the statistical records of migration have so far failed to turn official data into a more or less reliable source of information on the basis of which that process could be ing Russian citizenship through participating in the Government Program Compatriots. Now the only way to obtain that status without waiting for a few years is that available to the participants in the Program.
Edict of the RF President of 19 October 2011, No. 1391, ‘On Introducing Alterations in the Provision on the Procedure for Considering the Issues of the Citizenship of the Russian Federation’, approved by Edict of the President of the Russian Federation of 14 November 2002, No. 1325’.
The substantiation rules for applying for RF citizenship in a simplified procedure have not been altered: one must have a spouse or parent(s) who are RF citizens, or be born in the territory of the former RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic). If these facts cannot be substantiated, the general procedure is applied.
Denisenko M. B. Iz vystupleniia na zasedanii gruppy N 7 “Strategii – 2020”. [From the Speech Deliveded at the Meeting of Group No. 7 of the ‘Strategy 2020’.] Migratsia: tendentsii i modernizatsiia politiki. [Migration:
Trends and Policy Modernization.] 5 March 2011. Data provided by the Federal Migration Service.
Zaionchkovskaia Zh. A., Tiuriukanova Ye. V., Florinskaia Yu. F. Trudivaia migratsiia v Rossiiu: kak dvigat’sia dal’she. [Labor Migration into Russia: How to Move On.] M.: MAKS Press, 2011. P.25–26.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks described, or its scale accurately determined. It must be properly understood that, as before, the migration indices in
terms may reveal only some basic trends.
508,394,368,371,8 362,332,1 333,111,38,2000 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source: Russia and the Member Countries of the European Union, 2011. Rosstat, 2011; Data for the year 2011 – Federal Migration Service of Russia.
Fig. 7. RF Citizenship Granted, 2000–2011, Thousand Persons The phenomenon of Russia’s migration growth continues to be dominated by migration flows from the former USSR republics. Thus, in the total number of arriving migrants, those from the CIS countries constitute no less than 90% (or 3–5% more than that in the cases of Georgia and the Baltic states), and their share in the total number of departing migrants is 58– 63%. At the same time, as before, the migration inflow into Russia from the CIS countries is really incomparable in terms of its volume with the outflow, as the former is nearly ten times greater than the latter. If in 2011 the number of arrivals in Russia significantly rose in response to the altered record-keeping procedure and/or the crisis (as mentioned earlier), the number of departures stays at the same level (29 thousand persons over 10 months). However, it is even more difficult to estimate the real scale of departures from Russia than that of arrivals, because often it happens so that migrants, while actually living abroad for many years, maintain their residence registration in Russia and thus remain ‘invisible’ for statistical records and are considered to be permanent residents of Russia with full rights thereof (it is specifically this scheme that is currently applied most frequently both as a potential ‘safety cushion’ and a source of financial income from renting out the vacant dwellings). As estimated on the basis of data provided by sources in the principal countries that receive immigrants from Russia, over the period of 2002–2009 the outflow from this country by 2.7 times exceeded that recorded in the Russian Federal State Statistics Service’s official data, thus amounting to more than 500 thousand persons1.
Denisenko M. B. Esli smotret’ s drugogo berega. [If One Is to Look from Another Shore.] / Migratsiia XXI vek [Migration 20th century] No. 1 (4) 2011, P. 36–39.
thousand persons Section Social Sphere Another trend that has emerged over the past few years is the constantly increasing Central Asian components not only in temporary labor migration, but also in permanent migration (Fig. 8). While in 2009–2010 the share of the four Central Asian republics constituted onethird of all arrivals, in 2011 it has already become more than 40%. Among the causes we should point both to the fact that Russia has become less attractive as a place of residence for the people from the ‘western’ republics of the former USSR who are reorienting towards the EU countries, and to the increasing mobility of the Central Asian peoples associated with the economically unfavorable situations and the ‘demographic pressure’ on the labor markets in their home countries. Evidently, the economic crisis had little impact on the evaluation, by migrants, of the ratio of opportunities in their home republics and Russia.
Source: Rosstat data.
Fig. 8. The Numbers of Arrivals to and Departures from Russia, January–October 2009–2011, persons The new (post-Soviet) generations of migrants from Central Asia and Transcaucasia are characterized by a lower education level, poorer knowledge of the Russian language and lower level of professional qualification as compared to their predecessors. The results of various surveys of labor migrants demonstrate that approximately 15–20% of the contemporary migrants employed in Russia practically do not speak Russian at all1. Similar trends are also typical of the long-term migration flows.
Zaionchkovskaia Zh. A., Tiuriukanova Ye. V., Florinskaia Yu. F. Trudivaia migratsiia v Rossiiu: kak dvigat’sia dal’she. [Labor Migration into Russia: How to Move On.] M.: MAKS Press, 2011. P. 8.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks At the same time, migration is increasingly replenishing Russia’s population with ablebodied individuals: the share of the able-bodied age groups among the migrants from the CIS countries is sometimes as high as 80%, and among migrants from other countries – as high as 75% (while the share of these groups in Russia’s native population is 62.3%)1. This type of population structure demonstrates that even permanent (long-term) migration into Russia is largely labor-linked.
The year 2011 saw nearly a doubled number of arrivals and an intensified trend of net positive migration component growth in the migration exchange with Belarus. And, although the share of Belarus in the total number of officially registered arrivals in Russia is, as before, one of the lowest (2.8%), the financial crisis in that republic has certainly had some impact on its rate of out-migration.
There has occurred a considerable rise in the number of arrivals from Kyrgyzstan, which more than doubled by comparison with the same period of 2010 and had increased by nearly 1.7 times since 2009. A similar growth trend is displayed by Uzbekistan.
5.2.2. Temporary Labor Migration The scale of labor migration has been on the rise throughout the entire pre-crisis decade.
2009 was, in fact, the first year that saw a slight decline in the number of legal foreign workers in Russia. In 2010, the volume of migration was already one-third below that in 2008, and the parameters of foreign workforce attraction became lower than in 2007 – that is, prior to the liberalization of migration legislation in the RF.
The shrinking presence of migrants on the labor market in the crisis years was a consequence of the decline, in objective terms, of the demand for labor, of the dramatic cuts in the quotas for legal labor recruitment and thus the ousting of foreign workers into the illegal labor market segment. The latter phenomenon was also contributed to by the financial problems experienced by employers and their economic interest in hiring workers without proper formalization. The liberal migration procedure was thus effectively abolished and replaced by the previously existing one. Now its components were as follows: low quotas explained by the need to protect the national labor market in order to make it advantageous for the local workforce; and linkage of migrant workers to their employers (a work permit could now be issued to an applicant allowing him or her to work only under a specified employer, after the said applicant’s having submitted to the issuing authority a relevant labor contract concluded with that particular employer).
Quotas represent one of the most disputable regulation instruments applied in the framework of the existing procedure for attracting foreign workers. Similarly to some other spheres (for example, health care), quotas when applied to migration represent a mechanism that is formed in a non-transparent manner, is often sequestered on the basis of a strictly administrative but not economic logic, and most importantly – is prone to corruption. The RF Ministry of Health and Social Development – the author of that administrative mechanism – is actively campaigning for its preservation. In this connection, opinion polls conducted by Opora Russia have revealed that 70% of small businesses consider the procedure for formal recruitment of a foreign worker ‘too laborious’, while 40% of entrepreneurs do not know their actual need for Data for the year 2010. Source: Chislennost’ i migratsiia naseleniia Rossiiskoi Federatsii v 2010 godu. [The Size of the Population of the Russian Federation in 2010 and Its Migration in the Course of that Year ]. Rosstat, 2011.
Section Social Sphere workers for the next calendar year 8 months prior to its beginning (the timeline established by the currently existing labor quota mechanism1. The barriers thus established in the way of small businesses clearly go contrary to the government’s declared plans to increase the share of small-sized businesses in the structure of GDP from 20% to 60%.
In 2011, the quotas for the issuance of work permits (1,745,584, including 523,675 as a reserve2) introduced in November 2010 were upwardly adjusted seven times (in March, May, July, August, September, October, and December), simultaneously with the quotas for the issuance to foreign citizens of invitations for entry into the Russian Federation (for those who needed a visa). Every time that procedure had to be substantiated, and the regions and federal center alike were required to prepare relevant document packages, coordinate many details and undergo numerous bureaucratic procedures, thus increasing the corruption component.
Just as in the preceding years (beginning from 2008), migrants from visa-waiver countries may legally enter the territory of this country, but by no means may always legally be employed. This circumstance has urged some of the migrants to acquire the necessary documents; work permits thus traded are priced by the Moscow company specializing in that field from Rb 12,000 per work permit (without the official State duty in the amount of Rb 2,000).
In addition to the two aforesaid types of quantitative quotas, in 2011 the procedure envisaging the distribution of regional quotas for foreign workers by their profession, specialty and qualification, as well as the list of professions not to be included in quotas, was still in force.
The situation appears to be absurd. At the government level, orders are issued by the RF Ministry of Health and Social Development: ‘On Introducing Alterations in the Annex to Order ‘On Approving the List of Professions (or Specialties, or Posts) of Foreign Citizens – Qualified Specialists Recruited to Work According to Their Professions (or Specialties) to Which Quotas Are Not to Be Applied, for the Year 2011’ (of 25 May 2011, No. 427n). Essentially, these Orders are about augmenting the already existing list of professions by items like ‘circus actor’, audio engineer’, ‘ringmaster’3. In the initial wording (Annex to Order of the RF Ministry of Health and Social Development of 24 January 2011, No. 22n), this list consisted of 32 items. These included ‘general director’, ‘director’, board chairperson (22 items), and ‘engineer’ of various specializations (10 items).
The regional quotas, sorted by profession, specialty and qualification of foreign workers, and determined in the Annex to a relevant Order of the RF Ministry of Health and Social Development 4, are in effect multiple-page lists of professions (in accordance with the AllRussian Classification of Occupations (OKZ)) with regard to which foreign workers are to be attracted to a given region. The number of such workers is estimated literally down to every single available vacancy. Thus, for example, in 2011 Belgorod Oblast requests two work permits for filling the jobs of ‘sellers, merchandize demonstrators, art models and fashion models’, and Kursk Oblast will be satisfied with only one work permit for ‘general workers Nikolaeva D. Vremennaiia migratsiia sebia ne opravdyvaet. [Temporary Migration has not Lived Up to Expectations //Kommersant. 9 March 2011.
Decree of the RF Government of 12 November 2010, No. 895 ‘On Determining the Need for Attracting into the Russian Federation Foreign Workers and Approving the Relevant Quotas for the Year 2011’.
Official website of the RF Ministry of Health and Social Development http://www.minzdravsoc.ru/ docs/mzsr/migration/23.
Annex 2 to Order of the RF Ministry of Health and Social Development of 8 December 2010, No. 1080n, ‘On the Distribution, Among Subjects of the Russian Federation, of the Quota for the Issuance of Work Permits to Foreign Citizens Approved by the RF Government for the Year 2011’.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks for performing unskilled labor tasks similar in all sectors of the economy’. It is quite evident that, in a changing economic situation, the actual needs for the next calendar year with regard to workforce cannot be precisely specified in April of a current year (however, this is the timeline established for economic subjects to submit their requests for foreign workforce), and so this requirement is a priori unrealistic. If that list were to be actually implemented, Russian retail trade (especially in bigger cities) would have ceased to exist long ago. In Moscow, the number of requests actually filed under the ‘seller’ item for the year 2011 is 440, which is roughly 1.5 times less than the average staff number of one store in the Auchan chain1. This means that the smooth functioning of big retail outlets in Moscow almost entirely depends on applying various ‘unofficial’ personnel recruitment schemes.