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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Immigrants Will Be Offered Option to Buy Work Licenses

Migration authorities said Wednesday that they plan to offer monthly work licenses to immigrants hired by private individuals in an attempt to reduce illegal immigration and boost government revenues.

Immigrants working in the private sector will have to pay a monthly fee to authorities for the work license, Federal Migration Service chief Konstantin Romodanovsky said at a news conference Wednesday.

"More than a half of those who enter Russia to work are employed in the private sector, constructing country houses, working as nannies, gardeners, guards," Romodanovsky said.

The monthly fee will be up to 2,000 rubles ($59) in Moscow and up to 1,000 rubles in other regions, Romodanovsky said.

"If 3 million immigrant workers buy a license within a year, the federal budget will get $1 billion," he said. "This is a fine sum."

No quotas will be introduced for the licenses.

A relevant bill has been drafted and may be considered by the State Duma this spring.

Nine million foreigners arrived in Russia last year to work, and thousands of them are illegally employed, he said.

The inflow of immigrants has decreased this year, with about 40,000 arriving per day, a drop of 10 percent to 13 percent from 2008, Romodanovsky said.

Among last year's arrivals, 3.6 million came from Ukraine, 2 million from Uzbekistan, 1.5 million from Kazakhstan, 1 million from Tajikistan and 500,000 from Kyrgyzstan.

The immigrants compensated for 71 percent of the decrease in the national population in 2008, compared to 22 percent in 2006 and 4 percent in 2003, the migration chief said.