Temporary residence permit quotas
A quota is a limit (a cap) on the number of TRPs that can be issued during a certain period of time. The Russian Government sets TRP quotas every year and allocates them across the country depending on the demographic situation in specific regions, regions’ capacity to provide accommodation for foreign nationals, and with regard to other criteria specified by the law.
Just like with the quotas for work permits and invitations to enter Russia (working visa quotas), the main reason for TRP quota is to control and regulate migration flows and to ensure a more efficient distribution of labor resources. Russian regions with shrinking populations or those in need of faster industrial growth have priority (and are assigned bigger quotas) over other regions. For this reason, TRP quotas for Moscow have never exceeded 2,000 permits per annum since 2003.
Approximately 2 million foreign nationals visit Moscow every year, according to unofficial statistics. Obviously, not all of them would want to obtain a TRP in Moscow and many foreign nationals come to Russia for a brief visit. However, it is also obvious that the number of TRP applications by foreign nationals is several times greater than the number set by the quota.
Temporary residence permit quota in Moscow
Each Russian region (federal subject) is entitled to handle quota allocation, application guidelines and lists of required documents. A Committee was created in Moscow for the purpose: it reviews applications submitted by foreign nationals and makes decisions on their admissibility under the quota system, based on the submitted information.
Unfortunately, the law does not specify the guidelines for admissibility under the quota, i.e. there are no distinct criteria that would guarantee getting on the quota list. Even though the law says that any foreign national is entitled to be approved under quota, this is not always the case; in reality, an applicant may not be included in the quota at all, or may have to re-apply multiple times before being admitted under the quota system.