Russia backs foreign language test for foreign workers

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon May 7 14:27:26 UTC 2007

Russia backs foreign language test

May 05, 2007 03:49am

RUSSIAN immigration chiefs yesterday proposed compulsory language tests
for foreigners wanting to work in Russia, the latest in a series of
measures to tighten up on immigration. A huge influx of migrant workers,
many of them Muslims from ex-Soviet republics, has caused resentment
inside Russia and many policy-makers say it has contributed to a spate of
racially motivated attacks. The Federal Migration Service said it
supported a draft law written by two pro-Kremlin members of parliament
that would set a language test for anyone planning to work in Russia for
more than one year.

We have an interest in this and support the lawmakers' initiative, the
service said. It is obvious that without knowledge of the Russian language
it is impossible to integrate into Russian society. Several Western states
have language requirements in their immigration rules. But in most cases
it is only people seeking permanent residency, or skilled workers, who
need to sit a language test. Alexander Krutov, a lawmaker with the
pro-Kremlin Just Russia party and one of the two authors of the draft law,
said the only exception would be for foreigners working in Russia for
foreign firms.

He said all other would-be migrant workers should sit a test on their
proficiency in Russian within three months of arriving. If they fail, they
will not be allowed to work and will be given the option of sitting the
test again. Knowing the Russian language ... will lead to a reduction in
the level of xenophobia and ethnic tension because a person will be able
to explain and understand what is wanted from him and what is going on
around him, Krutov said. To become law, the proposal would have to be
approved by both houses of Parliament and President Vladimir Putin.

Russia has revamped its immigration rules to deal with the large numbers
of foreigners wanting to work in its booming economy. The new measures
streamlined procedures for people seeking temporary work permits. But they
also barred foreigners from working in outdoor markets, a sector dominated
by immigrants from ex-Soviet states such as Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.,21985,21675816-5005961,00.html#


N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner or sponsor of
the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who disagree with a
message are encouraged to post a rebuttal.


More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list