Migrants workers are rushing out of Russia in huge numbers because of the weaker ruble.
“Yes, migrant workers are leaving Russia. More than 25% of migrant workers are planning to leave Russia and work elsewhere after the new year,” the head of the Russian Federation Migrants, Mohammad Amin said, according to NewsRu.
He added that it’s specifically the migrant workers that are leaving, while those that are living and working illegally are staying in the country.
The head of the “Tajik Migrant Workers” Karomat Sharipov noted that many Tajik workers in Russia have high-interest rate loans in dollars back home, the report said. So now that the ruble is weaker, the workers will need to find work elsewhere in order to pay off those loans.
And there’s also a secondary reason why foreign workers are leaving Russia: Starting January 1, migrant workers will be required to take a new exam about Russian culture, history, and legislation according to NewsRu.
The problem here is that the mandatory exam will cost 30,000 rubles, which is just way too expensive for most migrant workers — especially now that the ruble is weaker.
From the larger perspective, the fact that migrant workers are starting to bolt could lead to a huge demographic change for Russia.
Russia has seen troves of foreign workers moving into the country in recent years. In fact, the country saw the second-largest number of international migrants in 2013 (behind only the US.)
Many migrant workers have been moving to Russia in order to look for opportunities. Since the country has been experiencing a major brain drain in recent years, increasingly better opportunities have been opening up across the board.
Overall, the Russian population and workforce could be seeing some drastic changes soon.