Changes in documents arrangement due to reorganisation of the FMS. Russian citizenship on the basis of a simplified procedure. Visa news.

The reorganization of the Federal Migration Service has been the most significant news of the first half of this year. Specifically, in April the functions of the Federal Migration Service were transferred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). Since that time, changes in the staff number, the transfer of employees to the MIA, the re-naming of divisions and other changes have been implemented. Minor but significant changes in terms of the submission of documents for foreign citizens have been gradually introduced in procedures. For example, an official change of most of the structural divisions’ names and details of governmental fee payments have been already taken place, requirements regarding demands of documents arrangement have been changed (e.g. the time of a voluntary medical insurance policy validity must cover the period that a foreign employee is going to work in accordance to a work permit; an extract from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities must be provided in some cases, etc.).

It is supposed that this reorganization was also the reason for changes in the procedure of migration registration. Earlier, the governmental body in Moscow Region announced that applications should be submitted to the territorial subdivisions but the central subdivision of Moscow region. Recently, the submission of documents for extension of migration registration for CIS citizens on Barrikadnaya Street was terminated (there was the subdivision of the Federal Migration Service for central part of Moscow). Earlier on the basis of labor contracts CIS citizens could prolong there migration registrations that valid for 3 months to 1 year migration registrations. Today CIS citizens should apply for migration registrations at state territorial subdivisions and could arrange a 1 year migration registration at once.

The changes also affected the procedures of temporary residence permits, residence permit and Russian citizenship arrangement. For example, today it is possible to submit documents not only through state territorial subdivisions but also through the Passport and Visa Centre on Novosobodskaya Street (45B Novoslobodskaya Street, Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation).

Also it should be mentioned that the Federal Law 124-ФЗ has come into force on July 31, 2016 and has amended some articles of the Federal Law Regarding Citizenship in the Russian Federation. These articles contain the grounds for obtaining the RF citizenship for some categories of foreigners under a simplified procedure (i.e. the residency in the RF for 5 years from the date of residence permit receiving is not required). According to these changes, foreign citizens that received their professional education in the RF after 1 July 2002 and qualified specialists (based on an established list of occupations) can submit documents applying for the RF citizenship under the simplified procedure only if their employer has paid funds into the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation over the last three years. These changes particularly affect the submission of documentation for individual entrepreneurs and investors; for individual entrepreneurs, the amount of taxes and social insurance funds paid to the RF Pension Fund must be no less than 1 million rubles per year for the last three years, and for investors no less than 6 million rubles per year for the last three years.

Particular attention is warranted for a bill stating that a court may decide that administrative deportation of a foreign citizen from the RF is not required in the event of a single violation by a foreign citizen of Russian entry regulations or residency rules in Moscow, Saint Petersburg or the Moscow or Leningrad Regions.

One more current question for today is the matter of mutual relations with Turkey. In view of the improving political atmosphere, many people are waiting when Turkish citizens can visit Russia without visas again and receive work permits and work visas without any restrictions.

The agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia for visa-free travel enter in force since October03, 2016. In accordance with the concluded agreement, citizens of both countries may remain in the RF/Bolivia without visas for 90 out of 180 days, except for situations involving work or commercial activity.