A patent is a document confirming the right of a foreign national who arrived in the RF visa-free (except certain specific categories of foreign nationals) for temporary work in the territory of any constituent of the RF (Article 2 of the Law dated 25.07.2002 N 115-ФЗ).
For your reference. Categories of foreign nationals that do not have to obtain a work patent
The following categories of foreign nationals do not have to obtain a patent:
- qualified professionals and their family members who came visa-free to the RF as well as any persons that perform in the RF full-time studies in any professional educational organization or in any educational organization of higher education according to a state accredited professional education program (except those specified in Subitem 6, 7, Item 4, Article 13 of the Law N 115-ФЗ). Such persons work on the basis of a work permit;
- any foreigners who came to the RF visa-free, holding a work permit issued before January 01, 2015. Such permits are in force and effect until expiry of their validity period, or until cancellation (Item 1, Article 13.3 of the Law N 115-ФЗ; Item 1, Article 6 of the Law dated 24.11.2014 N 357-ФЗ);
- persons engaged in any work and coming from any member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic) (Item 1, Article 97 of the Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union signed in Astana on 29.05.2014).
Any foreign national coming to the RF for the purpose of temporary employment in the territory of any constituent of the RF should apply for a work patent within 30 calendar days upon entering the RF. For that purpose, the following algorithm is recommended.
Note. If the foreign national has obtained the work patent in the territory of one constituent of the RF, then, in order to work in the territory of any other constituent of the RF, he/she must apply for a work patent to the territorial body of the FMS in the respective constituent. Note that the 30 days period is not taken into account in this case. Validity period of the patent issued in the other region may not exceed the validity period of the originally issued patent (Paragraph 3, Item 16, Article 13.3, Item 21, Article 13.3 of the Law N 115-ФЗ).
Step 1. Submit an application and a set of documents to the FMS.
An application is submitted to the territorial body of the FMS of Russia either in person or via any agency authorized by the constituent of the RF.
If there is no such an agency in the constituent of the RF, then, until January o1, 2016, a representative can act on behalf of the foreign national (Item 2, Article 13.3 of the Law N 115-ФЗ; Item 2 of the Administrative Regulation approved by the Order of the FMS of Russia dated 15.01.2015 N 5; Part 3, Article 7 of the Law dated 24.11.2014 N 357-ФЗ). It means that in case the above agency is not available, the foreigner’s future employer may obtain the work patent.
The following documents are attached to the application (Item 2, Item 29, Article 13.3 of the Law N 115-ФЗ; п. п. 22.2 - 22.6 of the Regulation):
1) a personal colored photo, size 30 x 40 mm;
2) a personal ID of the foreign national that is recognized for that purpose in the RF;
3) a contract (certificate) of voluntary medical insurance valid in the territory of the RF for the period of employment of the foreign national in question;
4) any documents confirming that this foreign national does not suffer from drug addiction and any infectious diseases hazardous for people, and a certificate confirming that this foreign national does not suffer from any disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (a HIV infection);
5) one of the following documents confirming the knowledge of the Russian language, history of Russia and fundamentals of the Russian legislation:
- a certificate confirming the knowledge of the Russian language, history of Russia and fundamentals of the Russian legislation;
- any government-issued document of education (minimum on the level of basic general education) issued by an educational institution in the territory of any state that was part of the USSR prior to September 01, 1991;
- a certificate of education and (or) qualification issued to any persons that passed successfully the state final examination in the territory of the RF since September 01, 1991;
- a certificate of passing examinations for the Russian language, history of Russia and fundamentals of the Russian legislation;
6) a document confirming payment of the fine for failing to apply for the patent in a timely manner (if applicable).
Note. The employer may assist the future employee in obtaining the above documents, i.e., make arrangements and pay for medical examination and tests, Russian language classes and a contract (certificate) of voluntary medical insurance.
If the foreign national fails to apply for a patent in due time, he/she may be subjected to administrative liability and penalized in the amount of RUR 10,000 to 15,000 (Subitem 7, Item 2, Article 13.3 of the Law N 115-ФЗ; Item 22.7 of the Regulation; Article 18.20 of the Administrative Code of the RF).
Step 2. Collect your patent.
Within 10 business days upon receipt of the application, the foreigner is issued the patent (Para. 2, Item 4, Article 13.3 of the Law N 115-ФЗ; Item 16 of the Regulation).
In order to collect the patent, the foreigner must submit the following documents:
1) a personal ID of the foreign national that is recognized for that purpose in the RF;
2) a document confirming that personal income tax (PIT) has been paid as a fixed down payment according to the provisions of Article 227.1 of the Tax Code (TC) of the RF for the effective period of the patent (Item 6, Article 13.3 of the Law N 115-ФЗ; Item 70 of the Regulation). The payment must be described in the payment order as follows: ‘Personal income tax as a fixed down payment’.
Any foreign national must effect the fixed PIT payments him-/herself. The future employer may not do that at his/her expense (Article 45 of the TC of the RF).
During issuance of the patent, foreign nationals are subjected to dactyloscopic registration, and photos are taken (Item 4.6, Article 13 of the Law N 115-ФЗ; Order of the FMS of Russia dated 06.11.2012 N 357). Data obtained are entered into the data bank of employment of foreign nationals.
If the future employer renders any assistance to the foreign national in preparing documents (for example, pays for Russian language classes), the foreign national receives a certain in-kind income from a source in the RF, which is imposed by the PIT (Item 2, Article 211 of the TC of the RF).
Useful information on this topic
Official web-site of the FMS of Russia - www.fms.gov.ru
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