MOSCOW, October 30 - RAPSI. Vladimir Pligin, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Constitutional Legislation and State Development, and committee member Dmitry Vyatkin have submitted a draft law to the State Duma on introducing obligatory tests in Russian history, language and basic legislation for all labor immigrants from January 1, 2015, according to the State Duma's website.

The bill's sponsors said that a large number of foreigners are not able to adapt fully to the host countrys cultural and social environment and this provokes social tension and is a potential threat to international concord.

During its third reading last Friday, the State Duma adopted a law on the compulsory knowledge of Russian for immigrants who work in housing and utilities, trade and social services. However, according to the draft law, highly-qualified professionals who come to work in Russia will not have to pass the exams.

Vyatkin also said that athletes, artists and top managers of major companies which invest in the Russian economy may also be exempted from the exams.

The new bill stipulates that immigrants must pass tests in Russian, Russian history and basic Russian legislation in order to obtain an ordinary working visa issued for one year, permanent residency in Russia, and work permits for immigrants coming from countries with which Russia established a visa-free regime.

A certificate on the knowledge of the aforementioned subjects will be issued by both Russian and foreign educational institutions included on a special list of organizations authorized to hold the exams. The certificate will be valid for five years.