23 March 2007

Expats Beware!

A little-noticed regulation came into effect at the start of this year that requires foreigners who work or intend to work here to have their blood tested for traces of drugs. Evidence of the drugs is reason for authorities to refuse to issue a work permit.

The regulation indicates that authorities want to know whether a foreigner is addicted to hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin, not marijuana or hashish. (It is rather logical: cocaine and heroin are expensive and expats make a lot of money...this is russian logic.)

"On receiving a work permit, the employer must present medical certificates confirming the absence in the employee of illnesses associated with drug addicts," the regulation says.

Foreigners should not be concerned about the fact that the certificate is only valid for three months, the Federal Migration Service said. (So we have to go to russian hospitals to be checked for drugs...who will check us for the diseases we may get from those hospitals?)

"The regulation says that documents are to be submitted once in a year," a service spokesman said Thursday. "So a certificate of a drug test will also be needed only once."

But if a foreigner wants to undergo an operation at a hospital or apply for a loan at a bank, he will need to present a certificate that is still in effect.

If that comes more than three months after the test when the work permit was issued, the foreigner will have to go for a second test.

Essentially, the arrangement is the same as with HIV testing, which is mandatory for both work permits and one-year visas.

A 1995 law aimed at preventing the spread of AIDS requires the HIV test. That certificate also lasts for three months, and a foreigner may need to take the test again to receive certain goods or services during the year.

I think this is a giant step towards clearing Mother Russia from drug addicts, since we, the expats who work 10-hours all day to save up some money in this god-forsaken country, are nothing but drug addicts. We are addicted to cheap vodka, poor housing, immensely dirty streets and rotten food...

This is a regular scene in our office..after all, we are drug addicts :)

No comments: