Legal provisions of entry and stay of foreign citizens in Russia are regulated, first of all, by the Federal law “on the legal status of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation” dated 25.07.2002 № 115-FZ and the Federal law “on the order of departure from the Russian Federation and entry into the Russian Federation” dated 15.08.1996 № 114-FZ, as well as other laws, resolutions of the Russian Government and regulations of competent ministries and departments.
1. Entry to Russia
Entry of a foreign citizen to Russia is carried out on the basis of a visa. To obtain a visa, first of all, you need an invitation from the inviting party to the Russian Federation. It can be either an organization or an individual. The invitation is issued in the internal Affairs bodies of the Russian Federation (territorial passport and visa services of the Ministry of internal Affairs) or the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
The foreign Ministry issues an invitation at the request of state bodies, bodies of the Russian Federation or diplomatic and consular institutions. The interior Ministry issue invitations from local governments, legal entities, organizations and citizens.
Visas are provided for the following types:
– Diplomatic (for those with a diplomatic passport):
Diplomatic visa is issued:
1) heads of foreign States, heads of government of foreign States, members of foreign official delegations, members of the families of these persons, following them, and their accompanying persons. Single or double entry visa is issued for up to three months;
2) diplomatic agents of diplomatic missions and consular officials of consular offices, employees of representative offices of international organizations in the Russian Federation, in respect of which the Russian Federation recognizes diplomatic status, family members of these persons shall be Issued a single or double visa for a period of up to three months.;
3) foreign diplomatic and consular couriers. It is issued for the period of business trip (single or double for up to 3 months or multiple up to 1 year).
– Service (for those with a service passport):
1) members of official foreign delegations, family members of the above-mentioned persons, following with them, and accompanying persons are issued a single or double-entry visa for a period of up to three months;
2) employees of administrative and technical and service personnel of diplomatic missions, consular officers and staff of consular offices of foreign States in the Russian Federation, representatives of international organizations in the Russian Federation and family members of these persons shall be issued a single or double-entry visa for a period of up to three months, followed by an extension of up to;
3) military personnel of the armed forces of foreign States and members of the families of these persons shall be issued a multiple-entry visa for up to one year.
An ordinary private visa is issued once or twice for a period of up to three months to a foreign citizen entering the Russian Federation on a guest visit, on the basis of an invitation to enter the Russian Federation, issued at the request of a citizen of the Russian Federation, or a foreign citizen who has received a residence permit in the Russian Federation, or a legal entity.
An ordinary business visa is issued for a single or two-time period of up to three months or a multiple-entry period of up to one year to a foreign citizen entering the Russian Federation for business purposes. The continuous stay of a foreign citizen on a multiple-entry visa may not exceed 180 days per year.
An ordinary tourist visa is issued once or twice for a period of up to one month to a foreign citizen entering the Russian Federation as a tourist, if he has a duly executed contract for the provision of services for tourist services and confirmation of acceptance by the organization engaged in tourist activities.
Ordinary tourist group visa shall be issued single or double entry for up to one month to a foreign citizen entering to the Russian Federation as a tourist as part of an organized tourist group (not less than five people) in the presence of duly executed contract on rendering of services on tourist services and a confirmation of reception of organization engaged in tourism activities.
An ordinary student visa is issued for a period of 3 months with its subsequent extension for a period of up to one year to a foreign citizen entering the Russian Federation for the purpose of studying in an educational institution.
An ordinary work visa is issued to a foreign citizen entering the Russian Federation for the purpose of employment for a period of 3 months with its subsequent extension for the term of the employment contract, but not more than one year.
An ordinary humanitarian visa is issued for a period of up to one year to a foreign citizen entering the Russian Federation for the purpose of carrying out scientific, or cultural, or socio-political, or sports, or religious relations and contacts, or pilgrimage, or charitable activities, or delivery of humanitarian aid.
Ordinary visa to enter the Russian Federation for the purpose of obtaining asylum shall be issued to a foreign citizen for up to three months in the presence of the decision of the Federal Executive authority in charge of internal Affairs, on the recognition of the given foreign citizen the refugee in territory of the Russian Federation.
It is issued for up to 10 days
– Temporary resident:
Single, issued for a period of 4 months to a foreign citizen who is allowed to enter the Russian Federation for temporary residence
The Russian Consulate abroad provides the following documents for visa processing:
1. Questionnaire with photo
2. Passport (valid for less than 6 months.)
4. Insurance policy for the whole period of stay abroad
5. Certificate of absence of HIV Infection (for the period of entry more than 3 months.)
The visa can be extended for up to 10 days.
Grounds for refusal of entry to a foreign citizen:
1) violation of the rules of crossing the state border of the Russian Federation, customs rules, sanitary norms, – until the violation is eliminated;
2) using false documents or providing false information about yourself or the purpose of your stay in the Russian Federation;
3) has an unexpunged or outstanding conviction for committing an intentional crime on the territory of the Russian Federation or abroad, recognized as such in accordance with Federal law;
4) twice or more times within three years were brought to administrative responsibility in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation for committing an administrative offense in the territory of the Russian Federation;
5) during their previous stay in the Russian Federation at the exit of the Russian Federation did not pass the migration card;
6) during their previous stay in the Russian Federation, they evaded payment of tax or administrative fine or did not reimburse expenses related to administrative expulsion from the Russian Federation or deportation – until the respective payments were made in full.
When entering the territory of the Russian Federation, a foreign citizen must fill out a migration card and mark it when passing through passport control. The migration card must be kept until the end of the trip and handed over when leaving the country.
2. Migration registration at the place of stay
The receiving party must notify the territorial body of the FMS of Russia at the place of residence of the arrival of a foreign citizen within seven working days from the date of arrival in Russia.
The following documents are required for registration:
– notification form
– a copy of the passport of a foreign citizen
– copy of the migration card
– passport of the receiving party
Notification of arrival of foreign citizens living in hotels is carried out through the hotel.
Foreign citizens of heads of state and government, heads of international organizations, members of crews of ships and aircraft, and foreign citizens who have entered for a period of up to 3 days are exempt from the notification.
The form of notification should be sent by the receiving party to the territorial FMS of the Russian Federation in person or by mail.
The host party may be both a natural person and a legal entity in the territory of which a foreign citizen resides.
3. Temporary residence permit
A temporary residence permit is issued to a foreign citizen within the quota determined by the Government of the Russian Federation for a period of three years. An application for a temporary residence permit is sent by a foreign citizen personally to the passport and visa Department of the Ministry of internal Affairs of the Russian Federation or to the Consulate of the Russian Federation abroad. The period of consideration of the application is 6 months.
The following documents are provided with the application with the photo:
1) identity and citizenship documents;
2) a document issued by the competent authority of the state of permanent residence, confirming the presence or absence of a criminal record of the applicant;
C) a residence permit or other document issued by the competent authority of a foreign state, which confirms the residence of a foreign citizen outside the state of his / her citizenship;
3) a document confirming the applicant’s means of ensuring he and his family members when staying in the Russian Federation living wage, or proof of his disability (certificate of income of a natural person, income Declaration with a mark of tax authority, certificate of employment, employment history, pension certificate, proof of social security authority on the receipt of benefits, proof of alimony, proof of the existence of the Deposit in a credit institution indicating the account number, certificate of inheritance, certificate of incomes of the person, dependent on the applicant, other document confirming receipt of income from activities not prohibited by law or disability);
4) marriage certificate;
5) the birth certificate of the child and the document proving the identity of the child under 18 years of age (passport-if any);
6) a document confirming the consent of a child aged 14 to 18 years to move to the Russian Federation for residence. The child’s signature on the document must be certified by a notary;
7) certificate of absence of HIV infection in the applicant (members of his family) ;
8) the document issued by authorized body of the foreign state or authorized institution of health care of the Russian Federation confirming that the applicant (members of his family) is not sick with drug addiction and does not suffer from any of infectious diseases which represent danger to the surrounding, provided by the list approved by the Government of the Russian Federation.
If the documents attached to the application are made in a foreign language, their notarized translation into Russian is submitted.
Notification of the decision is sent to the applicant within one month after the decision. For the issuance of the permit, a state fee of 400 rubles is charged.
4. Permanent residence (residence permit)
During the period of validity of the temporary residence permit, a foreign citizen has the right to apply for a residence permit. The application is submitted by a foreign citizen personally to the passport and visa Department of the Ministry of internal Affairs of the Russian Federation no later than 6 months before the expiration of the temporary residence permit. The residence permit is issued for five years, after a five-year period it can be extended for five years on the basis of the application of a foreign citizen. The validity of the residence permit may be extended an unlimited number of times. The application for a residence permit is accompanied by documents similar to those submitted for a temporary residence permit.
The notification on granting or refusal of a residence permit shall be sent within 14 days from the date of the relevant decision. For the issuance of a residence permit, a state fee of 1000 rubles is charged.
A foreign citizen who has received a residence permit or a residence permit is exempt from the obligation to obtain a work permit in the Russian Federation.
The law on the legal status of foreign citizens establishes a list of grounds on which a foreign citizen may be refused a permit for temporary residence or a residence permit. The list is exhaustive and a foreign citizen may not be refused on other grounds not provided for in the law.
from Andrey Nikishenko, 2018