Russia backs off on foreign registration

Feb. 20, 2011 at 2:23 PM

MOSCOW, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Russia says it will modify new registration rules for foreign workers after complaints from business.

Konstantin Poltoranin of the Federal Migration Service admitted to The Moscow Times that some regulations enacted last week were difficult for employers, who now must register foreign employees at their home addresses, not the company's.

"We are working on a whole set of laws that will make the whole registration system obsolete," he said.

Foreign investors say the rules effectively make landlords wait in line to register foreign tenants anew every time they return to Russia from business trips or vacations.

The Association of European Businesses said the changes conflict with the government's goal of modernizing the economy and liberalizing migration policy. It fired off a written complaint to President Dmitry Medvedev.

Frank Schauff, the group's chief executive, said the Kremlin promised "to solve the problem as soon as possible."

Valery Fedoreyev, a labor lawyer, said his firm and the American Chamber of Commerce are drafting an amendment to let employers to register employees at their workplaces. He said the main motivation for the change seemed to be, "they probably just want to know who does not want to pay taxes."

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