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«The Modern Migration Policy of Russia: Problems and Necessary Directions of Perfection The Russian Federation has become one of the leading ...»

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Sergei V. Ryazantsev, professor, Doctor of Economy, Head of Center Social

Demography and Economic Sociology in Institute Socio-Politic Research of

Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russian Federation)

The Modern Migration Policy of Russia: Problems and Necessary

Directions of Perfection

The Russian Federation has become one of the leading immigration receiving

countries based on absolute number of immigrants. It is possible to identify two

principal causes that determine immigration to Russia. The first is internal: the Russian economy has developed in a relatively successful way, demands for expanding the labour force have increased and relatives of Russians, who formerly lived in the USSR are now living in CIS countries. The external cause of immigration to Russia lies in the fact that Russia has potent demographic resources nearby. China, India and the Central Asian states represent this potential. At present these countries are home to nearly half of the world’s population. Among numerous consequences of large-scale immigration to Russia is the formation and increase in the numbers of ethnic communities that occupy “niches” in some branches of the economy where they enjoy solid positions in business. The main migrant flow to Russia is channelled from the CIS countries. From 1993 to 2009 Russia received 7.1   million persons from these former USSR countries. For the most part (approximately 60%) the migrants were ethnic Russians.

Migration was and remains the important component of demographic and economic development of Russia and some regions. The data of the Russian statistical committee says that in 2009 international migration on 97% compensated natural decline in population of the country. At the regional level a situation with the migration role is differed. The first zone is characterized by migratory outflow of the population and covers thirty eight regions. And in thirty regions migratory outflow of the population coincides with the general reduction of a population. The second zone includes forty six territories of Russia in which inflow of migrants is marked, however only in sixteen of them migration or completely compensates a natural decrease or supplements a population natural increase.

At present time, the Russian Federation is confronted with the negative demographic situation which involves the population decline, the decrease of the part of able-bodied citizens, and the ageing population. According the pessimistic predictive estimate of the Conception of demographic development, Russian population decline on 18-20 million people. In this situation the immigration policy of Russia directed not on restriction of entrance, and on attraction of necessary categories of immigrants is required to the country.

In October, 2007 was accepting the new Concept of a Demographic Policy of the Russian Federation till 2025. It has been accepted designates purpose absolutely adequate to demographic situation in Russia - immigrants are necessary for the country. The given point of view was stated repeatedly by the Russian President us well. However, at level of practice of regulation of immigration until recently has developed and there was cardinally opposite situation. The immigration policy was reduced to struggle against illegal migration and limited inflow of any immigrants to the country.

Change of a migratory policy of Russia it is necessary in following directions.

1. “Collecting of Russian Compatriots”. Russia, unlike other countries of the world, is in unique position. It is surrounded by the states which made earlier the uniform country, and now focus millions the people close in the cultural and mental relation, speaking in Russian. Now more than 17 million Russian people live in CIS and Baltic States. The part of this population forms the migratory potential for Russian Federation. Migratory potential Russians and Russian ethnic groups is estimated no more than 3-4 million people in medium-term outlook. It gives chance throughout several years to involve Russian and representatives of the Russian people and sharply not to change ethnic structure of the population, and also to spend much smaller means for integration of immigrants in a society and to avoid serious international conflicts.

The Russian President signed by the in 2006 the decree “On the measures to aiding voluntary return of compatriots living abroad to the Russian Federation”.

Also a corresponding governmental scheme (the period of 2006-2012) has been carried out for the purpose of stimulating the voluntary resettlement of compatriots in the Russian Federation on the ground of increasing appeal of its subjects; for the purpose of compensating the population decline on the basis of attracting immigrants to have permanent residence in Russia. For March, 1st, 2010 within the limits of the state program to Russia already has moved more than 18 thousand persons and about twenty seven thousand are at various stages of resettlement. The program planned to accept much more migrants. Some experts hasten to declare that the program has failed. The Russian authorities have underestimated scale of the given project. On its realization time and money is required.

According to the governmental scheme the federal government provide compatriots with: citizenship, public assistance, payment for passage and baggage delivery, extraordinary grant. The local authorities must help compatriots with placing in a job. According to the scheme the whole part of the Russian Federation was divided into three categories (“A”, “B”, “C”) with corresponding size of a moneyed assistance, which is to be given to the compatriots by the government.

The regions “A” are supposed to have a national border and population decline in the last three years. The participants of the scheme, who are to remove to these regions, will receive 60.000 rubles (2.000 USD) and 20.000 rubles (670 USD) for each member of the family. Only one member of the family may receive status of participant of the scheme. The regions “B” and “C” are determined by several economic indexes, such as unemployment rate, level of investment, share of region in gross domestic product and number of migrants. The compatriots removing to regions “B” will receive 40.000 rubles (1.340 USD) and 15.000 rubles (500 USD) for each member of the family.

On first stage the government has selected 12 regions. They are the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Primorsky Kray, the Khabarovsk Territory, Province of Amur, Province of Irkutsk, Province of Kaliningrad, Province of Kaluga, Province of Lipetsk, Province of Novosibirsk, Province of Tambov, Province of Tver and Province of Tyumen. The scheme suggests removing about 670 thousand people here. At the second stage program action will extend at the expense of new territories of Russia. Now regional programs of resettlement of compatriots are confirmed approximately in 20 regions. The geography of action of the program has considerably extended. This external migration can help government to solve several problems, first of all, population decline and losses of the able-bodied population. Russia will try to compensate natural loss of the population of economically and geopolitically important regions like Far East with the help of governmental scheme.

The main part of the compatriots is arriving in Province of Kaliningrad. This fact can be explained by particular geographical location, improvements of economy and living standards of the region, the above mentioned process is a matter of great interest to local authorities. They are ready to receive about 300 thousand of resettles. The regions of the Far East cause anxiety. There is a population decline and sizeable migratory outflow in these regions, but compatriots, however, don’t aspire to migrate here. Only 2.2 percent of compatriots chose these regions.

The detailed analysis of the mechanism of resettlement displayed essential measures for increase of compatriot’s migration flow. First of all, state must help settlers with habitation. It may be if state will extend pace of construction, will create on preferential terms state hypothec for resettles and will place at him disposal land and construction materials for building. Secondly, it is necessary to make special programmes for Russian-speaking young people and families with many children, because they are the most favorable migrants due to ageing Russian population. Thirdly, it is necessary to make special programmes to stimulate business initiative of compatriots. It will help them to accommodate better and develop Russian regions. Also, travelling allowance must be augment especially in the regions of Far East.

In the end of 2009 the Ministry of Regional Development of Russia has developed the new project of the program which realisation will begin since 2012.

In this document have a new positions, capable to stimulate resettlement is made.

There will be new categories of immigrants: managers, workers, farmers, students, businessmen and persons, with having great achievements in science, technician or culture. Also possibility of participation in the program will be given compatriots who already are in Russia. In January, 2010 the new presidential decree was signed number 60, which will give the chance to become participants of the program to people who have arrived earlier and there live in Russia many years. By approximate estimations the number compatriots, arrived to Russia before program start can make to 5 million persons, some of them live till now without the Russian citizenship. This position will start to work since summer of 2010 because the Government of Russia should accept some documents.

2. “Attraction of Educational Migrants in Russia”. According to Ministry of Education and Science the most significant country providing Russia by educational migrants, is China. In 2008 in Russia studied in 15,2 thousand students from China, 13,5 thousand – from Kazakhstan, 5,6 - from India, 4,4 thousand – from Ukraine, 4,0 thousand – from Vietnam, 3,5 thousand – from Uzbekistan and other countries.

Educational migration is one of the best migratory flows. It has positive economic consequences (brings money to universities, fills up the Russian labour market with qualified employees) and demographic effects (many foreigners to leave in the country after end of study and fill up the country population). Now foreign students are study approximately in 600 Russians university. The majority of educational migrants are study in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Novosibirsk and big cities.

In the Concept of Social and Economic development of Russia till 2020 (signed in November, 2008) as other target reference points it is registered «Increase in a share of the foreign students study in Russia, to 5 % of total number of students»

(now is 2% only). Russia could scoop more actively migratory potential from among youth in CIS, and also in some developing states of Asia, Africa and Latin America. At the same time it is necessary to designate more accurately a priority of attraction of educational migrants to Russia in all demographic documents, including in again developed Federal Migratory Service of the Concept of migratory policy. It is necessary to give the chance for foreign students to obtain the Russian citizenship automatically.

3. “The invitation of necessary number of guestworkers on Russians labour market”. According the pessimistic predictive estimate of the Conception of Demographic Development of Russian Federation quantity of population above age 60 will exceed on 8.3 million in 2025. Also, in period between 2010-2014 the quantity of able-bodied citizens will decrease on 1.3 million people per year.

 It will create deficiency of a labour. Partly it will be possible to compensate reduction of a manpower growth of labour productivity and introduction of high technologies in economy. The country should involve foreign workers.

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