Visa And Immigration And Citizenship Law Russia

VISA AND IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP- RUSSIA

The Russian Federation introduced a Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation in 2002. A foreign citizen is defined as a person temporarily staying in the Russian Federation. This person has either come to Russia on the basis of a visa, or is in a category not requiring a visa, as is the case with citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States except for Georgia and Turkmenistan, and who has no residence permit or only a temporary residence permit. A visa is a document issued on the basis of an invitation to enter the Russian Federation. A visa determines how long a foreign citizen can stay in Russia.
 
Types of visas:
  1. Diplomatic
  2. Official
  3. Ordinary Visa
    1. Private
    2. Business
    3. Tourist, including group
    4. Study
    5. Work
    6. Humanitarian
    7. Asylum
  4. Transit
  5. Temporary residence visas.
ORDINARY VISA
 
PRIVATE VISA (VISITS TO RELATIVES OR FRIENDS)
If you are going to visit Russia to stay with your relatives or friends you should firstly obtain an official Invitation and only then apply for a Private visa. We accept only standard original Invitation issued by the Ministry of Interior (MI) of the Russian Federation. To obtain such an invitation your relatives or friends will need to present a photocopy of your passport and personal data to the special local branch of the Ministry of Interior in Russia. Having received this invitation you should apply to the Consulate submitting the following paperwork:
  1. Duly completed visa application form obtainable (free of charge) from the Consulate or from any travel agency. A valid original 10-year passport with at least one blank page.
  2. One recent passport size photo stapled twice to the upper-right corner of the application form.
  3. The Invitation ( original only).
BUSINESS VISA
 
Everybody wishing to enter Russia for business or commercial purposes or to attend a conference, exhibition etc., or as a journalist, or to work or study in the Russian Federation is required a Business Visa.
 
To be granted with business visa the following documents should be submitted to the Consulate:
  1. Duly completed visa application form obtainable (free of charge) from the Consulate or from any travel agency.
  2. A valid original 10-year passport with at least one blank page.
  3. One recent passport size photo stapled twice to the upper-right corner of the application form.
  4. An invitation from the Russian Foreign Ministry or its regional representatives or from special local offices of the Ministry of Interior (ОВИР). The invitation must contain: official seal and legal address of the host institution, document registration number, date of registration, signature and name of the official authorized to invite foreigners to Russia, travel itinerary, dates of stay, names of persons invited. The Embassy reserves the right to request the original invitation.
  5. An introductory letter from your British company (or from yourself if you are self-employed) giving full details of the traveller, destinations, terms and purpose of the visit. It must be indicated in the letter who is financially responsible for your stay in Russia. Self-employed persons should produce copies of their bank statement for the last three months.
TOURIST VISA
 
To get a Tourist Visa to Russia you should submit the following paperwork to the Consulate:
  1. Duly completed visa application form obtainable (free of charge) from the Consulate or from any travel agencies.
  2. A valid original 10-year passport with at least one blank page.
  3. One recent passport size photo stapled twice to the upper-right corner of the application form.
  4. An original Tourist Voucher from a British (Russian) travel agency stamped and signed by an authorized person.
  5. A standard Tourist Confirmation (in Russian language) of acceptance from the authorized Russian travel agency or a hotel, registered with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The confirmation must contain the agency's reference number and registration number. A standard covering letter from your travel agency in the UK (for the tourist agents only).
TRANSIT VISA
 
If you are going to transit via Russia to any other country you will need a Transit Visa. However, Transit Visa is not required if you remain in the transit zone of the airport in order to catch an onward or connecting flight within 24 hours of arrival. Transit visas are normally valid for maximum of 3 days.
 
In order to process your Transit visa application the Russian Consulate in London will require:
  1. Duly completed visa application form obtainable (free of charge) from the Consulate or from any travel agency.)
  2. A valid original 10-year passport with at least one blank page.
  3. One recent passport size photo stapled twice to the upper-right corner of the application form.
  4. The original and a copy of your confirmed air ticket to and from Russia.
  5. A valid visa for the country your suppose to enter after crossing Russian territory.
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMITS
 
A temporary residence permit is a document proving the right of a foreigner to reside in Russia before obtaining a permanent residence permit. The temporary residence permit should be issued within six months from the date of application. A temporary residence permit is issued for three years.
A temporary residence permit may be issued to a foreign citizen from within the quota established by the federal government.
Exclusive of this quota, a temporary residence permit can be issued to the person
  1. Who was born in USSR and was a citizen of the USSR, or a person that was born in the Russian Federation
  2. Declared disabled, who has a son or a daughter who is a citizen of Russia
  3. Who has at least one disabled parent who is a citizen of Russia
  4. Married to a citizen of Russia, who resides in Russia
  5. Investing in Russia
PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING A TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT
  1. The foreign citizen applies for a visa as a temporary resident (four-month single entry visa).
  2. The foreign citizen applies for a temporary residence permit.
  3. After obtaining a temporary residence permit, the visa of the temporary resident is prolonged.
  4. If a foreign citizen wants to exit Russia he/she should apply for an exit/entrance visa.
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF A TEMPORARILY RESIDING FOREIGN CITIZEN
 
A temporarily residing foreign citizen cannot, at his own discretion, change his/her place of residence within the territory of the region where he/she obtained the temporary residence permit, or reside outside the region where he/she obtained the temporary residence permit.
 
A temporarily residing foreign citizen cannot work outside the region where he/she obtained the temporary residence permit.
 
RESIDENCE PERMIT
 
After obtaining a temporary residence permit, and residing in Russia no less than one year on this basis, a foreign citizen may apply for a permanent residence permit. A residence permit is issued to a foreigner for five years and can be prolonged for another five years. The residence permit enables a foreign citizen to travel in and out of Russia without a visa.
 
TIME TAKES TO OBTAIN A VISA
 
Each case is treated on its merits. Most applications are assessed initially within 24 hours of receipt. Due to the great number of variable factors it may take anything from a few minutes to several weeks to reach a decision whether to authorise the issue of a visa. Settlement and other long-term applications have to be referred to Moscow before issue can be authorised. This process normally takes around 4 weeks. Once a visa has been authorised, it is usually ready for collection according to above-mentioned schedule.
 
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
 
Visitors should register their visas within three working days of arrival in Russia with the local branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Most major hotels will do this automatically. It is not necessary to register a visa if the visit is for only two to three days.
 
Entry to Russia may be refused and airlines may not carry passengers holding passports with less than six months validity.
 
MONEY
 
One may import into the country up to $10000 (or equivalent) without declaring it. One may export from the country up to $3000 without declaring it. If one exports from the country a sum of money over $3000 and up to $10000 it must be declared on departure.
 
If someone imports into the country a sum of money over $10000 or certain categories of goods such as more costly electrical items, jewellery/antiques and valuable musical instruments you must complete a customs declaration form (available at all ports of entry) on arrival.
 
If someone wishes to import certain sophisticated electronic items (e.g. Global Positioning System instruments), onemust get an operating licence from the Russian authorities before you travel. If you are unsure whether you should declare an item or need an operating license you should check with the Russian Embassy before your departure.
 
If you complete a declaration form you must ensure that it is stamped by a Customs official at your port of entry or it will not be valid. If you fail to complete a declaration form on arrival or to get it validated by Customs officials your foreign currency and non-declared items may be confiscated when you leave Russia and you may be fined.
 
WORK PERMITS FOR FOREIGNERS
 
Russian companies that wish to employ foreign labour in Russia must apply for a general permit to do so. General permits are issued by regional divisions of the Ministry of Ethnic and Migration Policy and are issued for one year, which may be extended on request. For each individual foreign national, a Russian company requires a "confirmation" of the right to work which is, in effect, a personal work permit. Certain categories of employee are not covered by these requirements, including employees of foreign embassies, scientists and artists working in institutions established in accordance with international agreements, journalists accredited in Russia, crew members of ships and boats, and students on study internships.
 
The documents to be submitted with the work permit include:
  1. copies of passport and visa;
  2. results of an HIV test;
  3. copy of the employment contract;
  4. copy of the tax registration certificate of the employer;
  5. copies of the employer's statutory incorporation documents.
Individuals who are employed by representative offices of foreign companies may apply to the registration body where the representative office is accredited for their own personal accreditation
for example, the State Registration (SRC) will accredit a representative office and will usually allow that representative office to accredit up to five individuals. On application this number may be increased.
 
Personal accreditation confirms the official status of a representative office's employee and gives that individual the right to work in Russia without needing a separate personal work permit from the Ministry of Ethnic and Migration Policy.
 
Family members of employees may also be granted personal accreditation. The validity of personal accreditation is linked to the term of accreditation of the representative office and thus personal accreditation may be extended only after the accreditation of the representative office of a foreign company is extended.
 
REGISTRATION WITH THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR
 
Foreign employees of Russian companies and representative offices in Russia must register with the Department for Visas and Registrations of the Ministry of Interior (UVIR). Foreign nationals visiting Russia must register their passports and visa with the UVIR within three days of arriving in Russia. If the foreigner is staying in a hotel, the hotel will usually organize registration with UVIR. If the foreigner is not staying in a hotel, registration with UVIR is nevertheless still required. UVIR places a stamp on the foreign visitor's visa to confirm registration and without this stamp some difficulties may be encountered with the militia and other authorities.
 
VISA FEES
 
TOURIST VISAS
 
Single-entry tourist visa Double-entry tourist visa
Processing Time Consular Fee Processing Fee Total
Processing Time
Consular Fee
Processing Fee
Total
2 Weeks
$100+
$50
$150
2 Weeks
$100+
$60
$160
1 Week
$150+
$70
$220
1 Week
$200+
$70
$270
Next B/Day
$200+
$100
$300
Next B/Day
$250+
$100
$350
Same Day
$300+
$150
$450
Same Day
$350+
$150
$500
 
BUSINESS VISAS
 
Single-entry
business visa
(valid for 90 days)
Double-entry business visa (valid for 90 days)
Processing Time
Consular Fee
Processing Fee
Total
Processing Time
Consular Fee
Processing Fee
Total
20 B/Days
$100+
$140
$240
20 B/Days
$100+
$150
$250
15 B/Days
$200+
$140
$340
15 B/Days
$200+
$160
$360
10 B/Days
$250+
$150
$400
10 B/Days
$250+
$170
$420
Multiple re-entry business visa (valid1 for 1 year)
with your own official invitation
Multiple re-entry business visa
Processing Time
Consulate Fee
Processing Fee
Total
Processing Time
Processing Fee
2 Weeks
$100+
$50
$150
30 Days
$500
1 Week
$300+
$50
$350
21 Day
$600
Next B/day
$350+
$100
$450
10 Days $750
Same day
$450+
$100
$550
 
CITIZENSHIP
 
A Law on Citizenship of the Russian Federation was introduced in 2002 which allows foreign nationals to apply for citizenship providing they have permanently resided in the Russian Federation for five years since they were granted permanent residence permits.
 
This requirement excludes persons who have resided in Russia irregularly, regardless of the duration, it would therefore exclude citizens of the former Soviet Union who have not obtained permanent residence status in the Russian Federation. A person is granted political asylum and refugee status may be able to apply for citizenship after a shorter period.
 
The Russian Federation acceded to the Geneva Convention in 1993 and the Russian Constitution provides in Article 63, paragraph 1, that foreign citizens shall be granted political asylum "in conformity with the commonly recognised norms of international law". It also guarantees that people will not be extradited if not classed as criminal by the law of the Russian Federation, to others states if persecuted for their political views or actions.
 
DUAL CITIZENSHIP
 
The citizen of the Russian Federation may have the citizenship of a foreign state (dual citizenship) in conformity with the federal law or international treaty of the Russian Federation.
 
Possession of the citizenship of a foreign state by the citizen of the Russian Federation shall not belittle his or her ranks and liberties or exempt him or her from the duties stemming from Russian citizenship unless otherwise stipulated by the federal law or international treaty of the Russian Federation.
 
Foreign citizens and stateless persons shall enjoy in the Russian Federation the rights of its citizens and bear their duties with the exception of cases stipulated by the federal law or international treaty of the Russian Federation.