Nezavisimaya Gazeta, having analyzed a study by Igor Efremov, a researcher of the Gaidar Institute, devoted to the trend of international migration in the Russian Federation, found out the reasons for the reduction of the migration flow.

According to the study, the number of registered arrivals in long-term international migration in H1 significantly declined compared to H1 2022. It is worth noting that the number of arrivals to Russia declined from almost all major countries - migration partners of the Russian Federation. “Only the inflow of long-term migrants from Tajikistan increased noticeably, but could not compensate for the overall decline,” the study reports. Thus, the internal distribution of long-term international migrants “continues to shift primarily in favor of immigrants from Tajikistan.”

Igor Yefremov explained to Nezavisimaya Gazeta that in order to analyze migration flows to Russia, they should be divided into two components: temporary short-term migration and long-term migration, which can be both permanent and also temporary if one has been registered for 9 months or more.

“A significant part of temporary migration belongs to circulation of labor migrants. By the middle of this year, according to the statistics of the Ministry of Interior on migrant registrations, no significant changes are visible in this flow compared to the same period of the previous year,” the expert noted. Although this flow can fluctuate greatly during economic and financial shocks. It will be known only in a few months, when the relevant statistics of the Ministry of Interior migration for September will be published, as to what extent the recent fall in the ruble exchange rate has affected migration flows, said Igor Yefremov.

However, according to Yefremov’s estimates, it is a long-term migration to Russia that has seen the most significant reduction. “Although circulation of labor migrants, who usually have temporary registrations for a period of 9 months to 1 year, also accounts for a significant share”, he added.

The topics of compensating the natural population decline and staff shortage through migration should be separated, explained Igor Yefremov. The natural decline is influenced by mortality, mainly in the elderly, as well as birth rate, while the flow of migrants is always dominated by young people. In the long term, migration will only be able to partially compensate for natural decline.”

Indeed, migration is becoming an important factor for the labor market according to Yefremov's estimates. However, given the persistence of negative demographic trends, as well as the consequences of the events of 2022, “the attempts to compensate for the increased shortage of personnel by temporary labor migrants from other countries will most likely not be very effective,” he warns. In the expert's opinion, it will be more effective to “orient migration policy primarily toward facilitating and encouraging permanent long-term family immigration to Russia.”