MOSCOW, December 1 (Itar-Tass) —— To be granted a work permit, migrants must present a certificate confirming they speak Russian, as the corresponding changes to the federal laws on the Legal Status of Foreigners in the Russian Federation and On Education come into force this Saturday, December 1.
Foreign nationals from visa-free countries who plan to work in housing, retail and consumer services must speak Russian at a level not lower than the basic. Foreigners cannot receive a work permit without presenting a certificate confirming they speak Russian or another education document accepted in Russia, Federal Migration Service officials explained.
There are four base centres for the testing of foreigners -- Russian University of Peoples' Friendship, the Pushkin Russian Language Institute and St. Petersburg's and Moscow's State Universities. Under their auspices, a network of certificate granting centres is opened in the country and abroad.
There are 238 centres of Russian language courses for migrants in Russia. Fifty three of them have been opened with the FMS participation and are free. The new regulation does not apply to citizens in the countries where Russian is an official language and also highly skilled specialists.
Such practice exists in many countries, FMS chief Konstantin Romodanovsky said. Russian language proficiency creates conditions for safety and comfort of labour migrants. Without the language, it is impossible for foreign nationals to be integrated into the society, he noted.