Access to social protection by immigrants, emigrants and resident nationals in the Russian Federation

Publication type

Book Chapter


Migration and social protection in Europe and beyond (Volume 3)



Publication date

November 13, 2020


This chapter discusses the general legal framework regulating Russia’s welfare system and access for national citizens, foreigners residing in the country, and national citizens residing abroad to social benefits in five policy areas: unemployment, health care, family benefits, pensions, and guaranteed minimum resources. Our analysis shows that the eligibility of Russian nationals for social benefits depends either on their employment status and contribution record (for pensions and other social insurance benefits), or their residence status (for social assistance and healthcare). The overall level of social protection of citizens residing in different parts of the country may differ substantially due to the decentralized structure of the social protection system in Russia. The rights of foreign residents to social security benefits are essentially the same as those of the nationals, as long as they are legally employed and make social security contributions. However, there are two major exceptions: pensions and unemployment benefits. Social assistance benefits provided at the regional level are typically available to all legal residents, foreigners included, with few exceptions. When deciding to permanently move abroad, Russian citizens lose their entitlement to claim social benefits from Russia, apart from acquired contributory public pensions.




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