MOSCOW, November 13 - RAPSI. Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a law requiring labor migrants to pass a Russian language exam. Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily will publish the text of the law on Wednesday.

According to the law, foreigners who plan to work in housing and utilities, trade and social services will have to prove that they have at least a basic knowledge of Russian.

Migrants will have to show evidence of their knowledge both to obtain their work permit and to extend it.

The following documents will be accepted as evidence of a migrant's Russian language skills: a pass certificate of a state test of Russian as a foreign language; a certificate of education (no lower than the general certificate of education) issued by a foreign state and recognized in Russia, with a notarized translation into Russian; a state-recognized certificate of education (no lower than general education) issued by a Russian educational institution or a former Soviet institution (until September 1, 1991).

Over 160 authorized Russian and foreign educational institutions will hold language tests and issue foreigners with Russian language certificates.

Citizens of countries where Russian is the state language will not need to prove their knowledge. Russian is the state language in Belarus and South Ossetia.

The law will come into effect on December 1, 2012.