RIA Novosti: 1 Million Foreigners Could Be Working Illegally in Moscow – Official

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW, January 9 (RIA Novosti) ­ About a million foreigners could be working illegally in the Russian capital, a top Moscow migration official suggested Thursday.

Olga Kirillova, head of the Federal Migration Service’s Moscow branch, said in televised remarks to the state-run channel Moskva 24 that just over 415,000 foreigners work legally in the city.

She said that the overall demand for work permits and licenses for foreigers was however much higher, totaling about 1.5 million applications, and suggested that not all of those whose applications were unsuccessful gave up on the idea of finding work in Moscow.

Kirillova criticized the existing system of quotas in place for companies hiring foreign employees, saying demand for work permits has always exceeded the quota available, thereby pushing migrant workers toward gray market jobs.

According to the country’s FMS, some 14 million foreigners arrive in Russia every year, about one-third with the goal of finding a job. Most come from neighboring former Soviet republics.