Foreign Migration Policy of Russia

Russian migration policy for almost the entire recent history has been criticized by domestic and foreign experts. Their general argument is that Russian migration policy is extremely flawed and does not meet modern demographic, social and economic realities, as well as the prospects of national development. Despite a radical change in the social system in the 1990s, an adequate migration policy and the transformation of the institutions implementing it did not happen. The main disadvantage of the continued preservation of migration regulation institutions within the domain of law enforcement agencies is determined by ideologically incorrect premise that cross-border mobility is primarily a potential risk for the country, and migrants are  potential violators of law and order. Although, there was significant modernization of the migration regime since the Soviet-era, a number of protective bastions remain, preventing the use of migration flows in order to achieve the objectives of social and economic development of the country. Among them, a strict system of registration of visitors by place of residence and the numerous barriers to obtaining Russian citizenship. As a result, a clear gap emerged between theoretical promises in official documents and practical implementation of migration regulation. The Concept of Migration Policy until 2025 contains a number of revolutionary provisions. It is clearly aimed at attracting investors and highly skilled workers. To overcome existing contradictions there is a need to link migration management with the demographic, economic and foreign policies of the country. Moreover, it is important to introduce a concept of "foreign migration policy." It refers to the ideology and mechanism of active formation of migration flows, including the use of resources from the Russian-speaking communities abroad. Such kind of foreign migration policy can only be implemented with the support of a specialized independent entity to manage migration.
regulation of migration; registration system; citizenship; Russian-speaking communities; socio-economic development; demographic trends.

Authors: Sergey Ryazantsev

Read the article in PDF