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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Expats Can Get Work Permits

The Federal Migration Service is once again accepting applications for work permits from foreigners seeking the right to work in Moscow, a spokesman for the service said Monday.

Expats applying for work permits were dealt a surprise in September when local branches of the Federal Labor and Employment Service abruptly stopped accepting new applications. The employment service, which is the first stop in the application process, said no new applications could be submitted until Oct. 1.

The freeze occurred because the number of foreigners applying for work permits in 2007 had nearly reached the quota set by the Federal Migration Service.

"Things have now returned to their previous state," said migration service spokesman Konstantin Poltoranin.

Representatives of visa agencies confirmed that branches of the employment service were again accepting applications for both new work permits and the renewal of existing ones.

But problems may persist for companies that have not yet started the process of obtaining work permits for their foreign employees.

The migration service is currently not allocating new quotas to companies seeking to employ foreigners, said Alexei Filippenkov, director of Visa Delight agency. Companies that want to employ foreigners must first apply for a quota for the number of foreigners they want to hire, which must be approved by the migration service. "If you didn't already have a quota, [the migration service] won't accept your documents," Filippenkov said, although he added that this could change in a few weeks.

In a separate development, the requirement that foreigners go to government clinics for their medical tests has been lifted after the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service ruled it was illegal, the Association of European Businesses said. The migration service had stopped accepting certificates from private clinics earlier this year, forcing all applicants into crowded state-run clinics to get tested for diseases like syphilis, tuberculosis and leprosy. The tests are required for all foreigners seeking to work here.