Actual migration news

1. The RF Presidential Decree dated from 09.05.2017 №202 introduced a special procedure for registration and migration registration for the period of the World Cup FIFA-2018. These restrictions apply to the cities of Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, St Petersburg, Saransk, and Sochi starting from May 25th to July 25th, 2018 (inclusively). The Decree applies to all foreign citizens (including highly qualified specialists, citizens of the EAEU, CIS, etc.).

We should also note that an additional Presidential Decree No. 214 has been signed12.05.2018. This Decree makes the process of migration registration much more easier due to increasing the terms of arrangement from one day to three calendar days.

At the same time, the process of migration registration for hotels (boarding houses, etc.) remains unchanged. The document must be arranged within a day from the date of arrival of a foreign citizen.


2. In April 20, 2018, the Order of the Ministry of internal Affairs (dated from 10.01.2018 No. 11) entered into force. The Order established new forms of notifications, including forms of notification on payment to highly qualified specialists, forms on conclusion and termination of employment contracts with foreign citizens.

In fact, the content of the notifications remained almost unchanged, but there took place some changes in the paperwork.

It is worth to note some significant changes in regulaion:

- there has been prescribed the possibility of using official abbreviations in the form of notification on payment to highly qualified specialists;

- in the form of the notification on payment to highly qualified specialists they clarified that under the salary (remuneration) is understood the definition used in the Labor Code, article 129. Therefore, it has been eliminated some uncertainty about whether it is possible to include in the amount of salary additional compensation and incentive payments (according to the Labor Code the salary includes these sums);

- there has been indicated that the terms of submitting for notifications on conclusion and termination of employment contracts (three working days) shall be calculated from the next day from the date of conclusion (termination) of the relevant contract.

In addition, it should be noted that the governmental body considers it unacceptable to add additional lines, fields, cells to the notification forms.


3. For the present moment the draft law No. 350179-7 "On amendments to the Federal law "On migration registration of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Russian Federation" is under consideration (second reading).

If this draft law is adopted, the process of migration registration for foreign citizens will be significantly changed. In this case there will be possible to arrange the document (including foreign employees and highly qualified specialists) only to the very address of living in Russia. Thus, the text of the current draft law deprives legal entities of the right to register foreigners to their actual address, that is, in the case of foreign workers, at their work address.

At the same time, the draft law gives highly qualified specialists (owners of apartments) the possibility to arrange migration registration to their family members.


Actual migration news

1. During 2017, the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia modified the Administrative regulations establishing the procedure of migration documents arrangement. The documentation process has remained unchanged, some changes have been made to some application forms and blank forms of arranged documents (e.g. a patent, an invitation letter for visa arrangement, a residence permit).

Since January 01, 2018 there has entered into force one of the last Orders which approves a new Administrative regulation concerning migration registration arrangement process for foreign citizens.

The Regulation approved a new notification form about arrival of a foreign citizen (there was added an additional field with information about the former address of place of stay in Russia) and an application for registration of a foreign citizen at the place of stay (it is required in case of migration registration arrangement by a physical person to the address of the actual apartment).

The new Regulation didn’t specify rules of the document arrangement for foreign citizens who enter Russia on business visas, or for foreign citizens – accompanying family members of foreign employees. Therefore, some local divisions of the governmental body refuse to arrange migration registrations for these categories of foreign citizens.

2. Since December, 2017 the department of Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia in Moscow has stopped arrangement of originals of invitations letters for multiple business entry to the Russian Federation. Today, this type of invitations is issued in electronic format only. When submitting documents for electronic invitation letter arrangement, there should be kept in mind that the document could not be corrected (even in cases when the error committed by the fault of the governmental body).

3. Since November 30, 2017 there entered into force the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation which introduced an additional category of visa - the Ordinary visa to enter the Russian Federation for the purpose of temporary residence permit receiving.

With the introduction of this visa category, foreign citizens who received a decision of territorial body of the Ministry of internal Affairs of the Russian Federation on granting the permit for temporary stay, could receive in the Russian Consulate a special visa for entry to Russia. This visa is valid no longer than 4 months and allows to enter Russia. To visa could be rearranged for a multiple one only in the territorial department of the Ministry of internal Affairs in Russia.

It should be mentioned, that the temporary residence visa could not be annulled or re-issued by the Russian Consulate abroad.

4. In January 2018 there was increased the size of the monthly advance payment of income tax for the patent, allowing citizens of the CIS to carry out labour activity in Russia. In Moscow the amount of the payment was increased to 4500 rubles and in the Moscow region – up to 4300 rubles.

5. There was approved a quota for temporary residence permits arrangement in 2018. In Moscow the size of the quota is 2,000 documents, in the Moscow region – 5000 documents. It should be noted that in comparison with 2017 the size of the quota in Moscow stay the same and for the Moscow region it has been reduced (8,000 documents in 2017).

6. In November 24, 2017 there was ratified the agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the organized recruitment and attraction of citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the implementation of the temporary labor activity on the territory of the Russian Federation.

In accordance with the Agreement in the Russian Federation shall be established a special information-analytical system ("Work in Russia"), which will display the information about Russian employers interested in attracting of foreign workers from Uzbekistan. In turn, the "sending organization" in Uzbekistan will assist in recruitment.

The agreement does not provide for any simplification of the migration process, i.e. for employment in Russia a citizen of Uzbekistan will need to apply for authorization document (patent) and complete all other necessary procedures (confirmation of knowledge of Russian language, medical examination, arrangement of voluntary health insurance policy, etc.). In turn, the employer will have to provide the foreign employee with the place of living. In case of employer’s refusal of hiring a candidate (by his own decision or on grounds which are not indicated in the contract), he must send a migrant worker in the Republic of Uzbekistan at its own expense and to pay compensation.

7. In the Administrative Offenses Code of the Russian Federation there was amended the changes strengthening the liability of the parties for the provision of a place for living or a vehicle to the foreign citizen who broke the rules of travel in transit through its territory.

In particular, the Federal law from 31.12.2017 N 499-FZ increased the size of financial responsibility for the administrative and legal entities.


Migration news

  • It is proposed to oblige foreigners, who do not require a visa to arrive to Russia, to pass fingerprint registration

A compulsory procedure for fingerprint registration may be applied to foreigners, who arrive to Russia according to the procedure which doesn't require obtainment of a visa, i.e., from visa-free countries. It is assumed that such fingerprint procedure will take place directly on the border at border crossing checkpoints for foreigners. The relevant bill was introduced to the State Duma of the Russian Federation for consideration at the beginning of the 2017 year. The author of the bill believes that the introduction of fingerprint registration on the border for visa-free foreign citizens is compulsory due to the fact that the prevailing majority of crimes is made by foreigners from visa-free countries. Such innovations will allow establishment of the identity of such citizens if they make a crime or offense.

Consideration of the bill is currently postponed by the Council of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.


  • The MIA of Russia intends to update forms and procedure for notification of public authorities about employment of foreign citizens in Russia

The MIA of Russia intends to introduce new rules for the preparation of notifications on the performance by employers of obligations to pay salary to highly qualified employees conclusion and termination of the employment  or civil agreement with a foreign citizen, granting a vacation leave without retention of salary for over a calendar month within a year to a foreign citizen studying in the Russian Federation, as well as rules for the preparation and form of a foreign citizen’s motion on his engagement as a qualified employee, etc. The relevant draft order was prepared in March 2017. The necessity to introduce a new regulation was ca used by the elimination of the Federal Migration Service of Russia in 2016 and transfer of its powers to the   Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.

The text of the order has not been approved yet and is at the stage of final preparation. We would also like to note that this regulation will not bring significant innovations to the notification procedure.


  • The Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation intends to provide students studying at the preparatory faculties with an opportunity to work in Russia under a work permit

Currently, the right to work may be exercised by foreign students studying at educational organizations according to the educational program with state accreditation. The term of foreign students’ staying in the territory of the Russian Federation may not exceed the term of studies according to the educational program with state accreditation. The Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation proposes extension of temporary staying in Russia till the completion of mastering the additional professional program with no state accreditation, as well as granting a work permit to foreign students studying at the preparatory faculties. Such opportunity is not currently provided for by laws.

The Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation has placed the relevant bill on the Federal Portal of draft regulations. The bill allows resolution of the problem of extension of the term of staying of foreign students, who have to interrupt studies according to additional general educational programs due to expiry of the term of studies according to the principal educational program.

The text of the bill has not been approved yet and is at the stage of final preparation.


  • The MIA of Russia proposes introduction of a grade assessment system for foreign citizens to obtain a residence permit without preliminary obtainment of a temporary residence permit

The MIA of Russia wants to simplify the procedure for obtainment of a residence permit for foreign citizens on the ground of the grade assessment system. It is assumed that the grade assessment system will consist of assessment criteria, indicators of the assessment criteria, as well as total number of grades accrued on each indicator, which a foreign citizen will have to get to obtain a residence permit. A residence permit will be granted without obtainment of a temporary residence permit for a foreign citizen, who has got the number of grades, which is equal to or exceeds the total grade necessary to obtain such a residence permit, the amount of which shall be approved by the Government of the Russian Federation. In such case, the “institute” of a residence permit will not be eliminated. It is assumed that a foreign citizen will be able to choose whether to obtain a residence permit according to the new “grade system”, or to obtain a residence permit according to the “usual” procedure with preliminary obtainment of a temporary residence permit.

A foreign citizen will be able to state his willingness to participate in the grade system on the ground of a questionnaire and documents confirming data specified in the questionnaire and filed to the department of migration of the MIA together with a statement on the issue of a residence permit.

The relevant bill has been placed on the Federal Portal of draft regulations. The purpose of this bill is to attract to the country foreigners, who would meet the interests of the economic and demographic policy of the Russian Federation.

The text of the bill has not been approved yet and is at the stage of independent anticorruption examination.


Migration news

The Russian President has signed the order according to which the documents given on the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine are recognized by Russia. Therefore, till the solving of the political situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine the Russia would recognize passports, diplomas, birth and marriage certificates, etc. given in these regions by the effective bodies and structures.

Russia build up the border zone with Belarus in the Pskov, Smolensk and Bryansk regions. The decision has been made to protect Russian border due to introduction of visa free regime for citizens of 80 countries who could enter to Belarus without visa via airports for 5 or less days. Till the moment there was the free movement between Russia and Belarus, i.e. in fact there had no border. The introduction of free-visa regime by Belarus is regarded as a condition for illegal infiltration to Russia.

There has been issued a Regulation of the Russian Constitutional Court which regards administrative expulsion from the Russian Federation and the exclusion to Russia for 5 years as a disparity penalty for foreign citizens who have the (temporary) residence permit in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and its regions and who have not provided the annual confirmation of residence in Russia for once. In such cases the Russian court should make decision whether the administrative expulsion should be applicable or not for this case. The court should take into consideration additional factors, e.g. a family status, the history of tax payment, the income and housing accommodation in Russia, the profession and labor activity in Russia, etc.

The government decree which fix the quote for temporary residence permit has been come into force. For 2017 Moscow received the quote equal to 2000 documents, Moscow region for 8000 documents.

In 2017 the citizens of Eurasian Economic Union members could receive the Compulsory Health Insurance in Russia for free. To receive the Compulsory Health Insurance a foreigner should work in Russia on the basis of Labour Contract (not the Contract for Service). The Compulsory Health Insurance could be valid till the end of the year but no longer than the validity of the Labour Contract.

The Minutes between the Russian Federation and Republic of South Africa has come in force: the citizens could visit the opposite country without visa for no longer than 90 days. However the visa must be arranger if the purpose of visit is work or study.

Since 02/2017 Russian citizens could arrange tourist visa for free in the airports of United Arab Emirates upon arrival. The visa is given on stand Visa on arrival and valid for no more than 30 days. The passport should be valid for 6 months upon arrival.

10/03 there took place the meeting of the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On the results of the meeting it is expected that the prohibition to employ Turkish citizens in Russia would be lifted in the nearest future.

Changes in the process of work permit arrangement. Mooving of the former FMS of Russia. New address for arrangement of residence permit and citizenship of Russia. Electronic invitations and problems.

For the present moment, it is still going on the process of the Federal Migration Service reorganization (which has become the part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs). Most changes are not significant; however, we would like to pay your attention to the following ones:

- the new appointments to the leading positions take place;

- the projects of the MIA Orders which determine the new Regulations of documents arrangement (including the documents for foreign citizens) are discussed. The new Regulations are based on the earlier existed documents. Therefore they don’t suppose any significant changes in procedures;

- the state duty for work permit arrangement must be paid via the Employee’s account (earlier there was a possibility to pay it in Sberbank);

- all the documents that contain more than one page must be arranged in accordance with requirements (to have a number, to be bound, stamped and signed);

- the MIA Department (the former FMS of Russia on V. Radischevskaya, 4/1) arranges work permits for highly qualified specialists at the new address Boyarskii pereulok, 4. The documents could be submitted by employees who have the accreditation in some definite Chambers (e.g. the American Chamber of Commerce, the Association of European Business) and have the legal address in Moscow. For the present moment, only the representatives (employees) of the Chambers have the right to submit documents.

Another news is connected with the moving of the MIA Department which arranges temporary residence permits, permanent residence permits and citizenship of Russian Federation for foreigners who are registered in Moscow. Earlier the process of arrangement took place at the Departments in the relevant district of Moscow. Now all the applications could be submitted only at the following address: Voronovskoe, Varshavskoe shosse, 64 km, 1/47. Moreover, Passport and Visa Centre on Novosobodskaya Street (45B Novoslobodskaya Street, Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation) does not accept documents anymore. Therefore, the situation with arrangement of these documents is very challenging.

Also we would like to inform about some difficulties connected with the process of electronic invitation letters arrangement in Moscow. The governmental body arranges either originals of invitation letters or electronic invitation letters as it has been earlier. However, cases of incorrect invitations arrangement have become more frequent. As well there are cases when the foreigners have been denied in visa receiving due to the Consulates don’t have the information in database. Due to the electronic invitations could not be corrected, we recommend to arrange originals of invitation letters for the present moment or to consider the risks.


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.


The Federal Migration Service reformation

05/04/2016 took place a meeting between Vladimir Putin and executives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Migration Service and the Federal Drug Control Service, where the President informed about the merger of Services (the FMS and the FDCS would be under control of the MIA).

The question about the FMS and the FDCS dissolution or merger has been discussing since the beginning of 2015. We would like to remember that the FMS was the part of the MIA earlier. However, the following subsidiary of the FMS, as well as the Multifunctional centers chain opening caused the overlapping of its activities. As the result, the FMS has been mergerred to minimize the costs.

The President expects that the FMS would function as a self-sufficient structure but in frames of the MIA in future. Taking into consideration this statement and the peculiarities of the FMS different branches activity there exists an opinion that these changes would have the smallest impact on labour migration branches.


Residence permit and administrative expulsion from the Russian Federation in case of non-confirmation of residence

In accordance with the migration legislation, every year a foreign citizen with the residence permit must provide confirmation of his residence in Russia. The non-confirmation is regarded as the violence of migration legislation and leads to such administrative penalties as a penalty equal to 5000-7000 rubles and an administrative expulsion from the Russian Federation (applicable for Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and its regions). In its turn, the administrative expulsion leads to the cancellation of residence permit validity and to the exclusion to Russia for 5 years.

17/02/2016 the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federations has considered a complaint of the Moldova citizen about the inconsistency of these procedures and the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The Constitutional Court has recognized the procedure as the legal one but the article of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation in accordance to which the Court has no right to annul the administrative expulsion in case if the violation has happened for the first time.

Therefore, in accordance with the Constitutional Court decision, a Court in Russia should has the possibility to annul the administrative expulsion if it regards that the expulsion and the exclusion to Russia for 5 years are an excessive restriction of the right for private life respect and doesn’t coherent penalty for single violation. The Court should pass a verdict taking into consideration additional factors, e.g. a family status, the history of tax payment, the income and housing accommodation in Russia, the profession and labor activity in Russia, etc.

In accordance with the Constitutional Court verdict there should be made the related amendments in the legislation.


Latest changes in migration legislation: terms of passport validity, process of work permits correction, new list of potential Employers.

19/02/2016 there has come into force the FMS order, according to which the process of work permits arrangement has undergone several changes (the FMS order # 574 d/d 30.12.2015).

The demand connected with the terms of passport validity of foreign Employees could be regarded as the most important novelty for most of Employers. In accordance with the new order the passport of foreign Employees (including highly qualified specialists) must be valid for at least 1 year since the date of documents submitting to the FMS. Earlier a highly qualified specialist must have had a passport with the terms of validity for at least 3 years since the date of documents submitting in order to arrange a new work permit or to prolong the earlier received one.

Moreover, the order specifies the process of work permit’s correction. First of all, there has been indicated the list of documents which the Employee must submit to the governmental body. An application form, a passport, an original work permit and a document, which is the reason for correction, are among the list. Secondly, the order determines that the work permit with corrected data is printed on a new headed paper and no governmental fee should be paid for the procedure.

Additionally should be mentioned that in accordance with the order the list of Employers who could arrange work permits for foreigners has been expanded: sports and physical organizations have the right to arrange work permits for highly qualified specialists, members of international medical cluster and residents of Vladivostok free port could arrange work permits for foreign citizens (not highly qualified specialists).


Latest News in the Migration Legislation of the Russian Federation

1. The receipt of documents for the quota is renewed
Applications for the quota are being received as from January 11, 2015. The process of application submitting includes three stages: 1. Presentation of data to the regional office of the Employment Center; 2. Preparation of the application in the electronic office of the company at; 3. Submission of the application for the quota to the authorized body of the territorial entity of the Russian Federation. The following deadlines for the application submission have been established: documents for the quota of 2017 may be filled until June 16, 2016, and the documents for the quota adjustment - until 21.10.2016.
2. The Directorate of External Labor Migration of the Federal Migration Service Department of Russia for Moscow has moved
Since January 12, 2016, the External Labor Migration Directorate of the Federal Migration Service Department of Russia for Moscow (issuing of work permits for foreign citizens) accepts documents at a new address: Moscow, Voronovskoye Settlement, Varshavskoye Highway, 64th kilometer, estate 1, bld. 47, . You can get to the state agency office by bus from the Annino metro station. The buses go daily since 6:35 am with an interval of 20 to 50 minutes. The one-way trip costs 150 rubles.
3. The amount of payment for the patent as from January 01, 2016
On January 01, 2016 the amount of the fixed advance personal income tax payment for patents entitling the CIS citizens to work in Moscow, was changed. Currently the amount of payment runs at 4200 rubles, and in case of a delinquent payment the patent shall be deemed invalid.
4. Touring activity of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation
The amendments to the migration legislation governing touring activity of foreign citizens have entered into force. Thus, if a foreign citizen is a creative professional and plans a trip to the Russian Federation with a purpose of public performance of literary compositions, works of art or folk art, he/she will not require a work permit, if the duration of his/her stay does not exceed 30 calendar days. In this the case he/she will enter the Russian Federation by virtue of a business visa, and a civil contract shall be made with the inviting party on a remuneration basis.
5. Executing of invitations for citizens of Georgia
According to the comments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the process of annealing of the Russian-Georgian relations is currently underway. The regional offices of the Federal Migration Service of Russia must renew the executing of business, academic and humanitarian invitations to enter the Russian Federation for the Georgian citizens within the framework of this process. It is to be recalled that only relatives (having the Russian citizenship or residence permit) could issue invitations to the Georgian citizens formerly.
6. Issuing of two foreign passports
According to the Federal Law, which entered into force on December 17, 2015, the citizen of the Russian Federation may receive a second biometric foreign passport. Additionally, the second passport will be issued for 10 years since the date of the document submission (the term of the second passport was restricted by the term of the first passport earlier on).
7. Registration of citizens of the Republic of Belarus in the Russian Federation
The amendments, in accordance therewith citizens of Belarus are released from a necessity of registration within 90 calendar days since the date of entry, have been made to the Agreement on the citizen’s rights for freedom of movement and choice of place of residence between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. In case of an extended stay in the Russian Federation citizens of Belarus shall file documents for the migration registration in advance (no later than 7 business days prior to the expiration of the specified period).

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