Legislation for Foreign Citizens Residing in the Russian Federation for the Purposes of Business and Labor
1. Entry and period of stay of foreign citizens on the territory of the Russian Federation.
In accordance with Russian legislation, foreign citizens residing on the territory of the Russian Federation can be divided into two categories:
- Arrivals (Foreign citizens) arriving according to where visa regulations are in place. (visa is required);
- Arriving according to a visa-free regime (visa not required).
The procedures for obtaining official documentation vary for each category;
And they include varying periods of stay for foreign citizens on the territory of the Russian Federation:
- In instances when a visa is required: and the period of its validity;
- In instances when a visa is not required: 90 Days; excluding foreign citizens holding a valid work permit.
Foreign citizens residing in Russia according to a visa regime should remember that their category of visa must meet the objectives of their visit to Russia. In addition, in the case of a yearly multiple-entry visa, a foreign citizen has the right to continuously stay in Russia for up to 180 days.
When entering Russia, every foreign citizen is obligated to complete a migration card which is issued to him/her at the border. A completed ‘entry’ section of the migration card is taken by officials at border control, a second ‘exit’ section of the migration card remains with the foreign citzen to be completed at passport control at the date and point of departure from the Russian Federation.
In order to ensure a lawful stay while on the territory of the Russian Federation, a foreign citizen must carry with him/her the following documents:
- A valid passport;
- A valid visa (if entering upon visa regime);
- Migration card;
- Notification of the migration registration (tear-off form of notification at arrival);
- Work permit (if the purpose of his/her visit to the Russian Federation is as a hired employee).
2. Categories of entry visas for foreign citizens in the Russian Federation.
The category of an entry visa for foreign citizens depends on the purpose of the visit to the Russian Federation.
A visa is issued by diplomatic missions, consular institutions of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its offices in Russia, including at checkpoints across the state border, federal executive body in charge of migration, or its territorial body.
Russian visas can be single, double and or multiple-entry.
• A single-entry visa provides the right to the foreign citizen to cross the Russian border only once, upon exiting from the Russian Federation the visa is no longer valid.
• Double entry Russian visa entitles the foreign citizen for a double entry into the territory of the Russian Federation.
• A multiple-entry Russian visa entitles the foreign citizen repeated entry into the Russian Federation during the period of the visa’s validity.
Under federal law of the Russian Federation as of 15 August 1996 № 114-FZ “On the Procedures of exit from and entry into the Russian Federation and in the articles of Federal Law as of 10 January 2003, № 7-FZ " On Amendments and Additions to Federal Law “On procedures of exit from and entry into the Russian Federation; are the following categories of visas:
2.1. Diplomatic Visa:
A Diplomatic Visa is issued on the basis of the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the presence of an application (note verbale) by an another Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic mission or consular institution representing a foreign state or an international organization that is located in the Russian Federation for foreign citizens and which has diplomatic status.
2.2. Service Visa:
A Service Visa is issued on the basis of the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the presence of an application (note verbale) from another Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic mission or consular institution of a foreign state or of an international organization located in the Russian Federation for foreign citizens and who have official status.
2.3. Ordinary Visa:
Depending on the circumstances and purposes of a foreign citizen entering Russia, a visa may be issued for personal, as well as business, tourist, period of study, work or for humanitarian reasons for the purpose of seeking asylum.
An ordinary private visa can be issued for a period of up to 3 months for foreign nationals who enter the Russian Federation as a guest and on the basis of an official invitation issued at the request of a Russian citizen, foreign national holding a residency permit or by a legal entity in the Russian Federation. In addition, the visa can be issued in the case of an emergency or for treatment due to a severe illness or death of a close relative. A private visa may be single or double entry.
•Ordinary business visa can be single or double entry for a period of up to 3 months, or a multiple-entry for up to 1 year. Continuous residence on the basis of a multiple business visa issued for 1 year may not exceed 90 days out of every 180. A visa is issued on the basis of an invitation to enter the Russian Federation; and is issued by the inviting party in accordance with Russian legislation and the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or, in exceptional cases, decision by the head of a diplomatic mission or consular post of the Russian Federation. A visa can be issued to foreign citizens who enter the territory of the Russian Federation to conduct negotiations, presentations, to address specific business issues: the conclusion and renewal of contracts, commercial services, participation in conferences, symposia, congresses and other events, or of trade and economic nature, to enhance training and retraining; drivers of motor vehicles, offering scheduled passenger and cargo transportation, crew members of aircraft and ships, for a medical examination and or for treatment, adoption, lectures at colleges and vocational schools, and for temporary correspondents and technical staff of foreign media offices. In addition, a business visa can be issued to foreign citizens deported to the Russian Federation from other territories (states) in accordance with agreements regarding readmission
• An ordinary tourist visa can be issued to foreign citizens for up to 1 month who are entering the territory of the Russian Federation as a tourist under a contract for the provision of tourist services (travel voucher), and by confirmation of the organization-tour operator. A visa can be single and double-entry, individual and or group.
• Common study visas can be issued to foreign citizens entering the territory of the Russian Federation for the purpose of study at educational institutions. A visa is issued for a period of up to 3 months with the possibility of an extension without a break for the duration of the contract for study, and concluded in accordance with the requirements of Russian legislation, but not more than 1 year for each subsequent visa.
• Ordinary work visa can be issued by a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Russian Federation to foreign citizens entering the territory of the Russian Federation for the purposes of employment on the basis of an official invitation from an organization, employer or as providing client services in accordance with Russian law. Work visas can be issued for up to 3 months and provides a single entry with the possibility of renewal to a multi-entry visa issued be the federal authority in charge of migration and is valid for the duration of labour or civil contract, but no more than 1 year for each subsequent visa.
• Common humanitarian visa can be issued to foreign citizens entering the territory of the Russian Federation for the purposes of scientific, cultural, political, sporting or religious ties and contacts, pilgrimage and charity work or for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. A visa may be single or double for a period of up to 3 months, or a multiple-entry for of up to 1 year. Continuous residence on the basis of multiple humanitarian visas issued for 1 year may not exceed 90 days out of every 180. A visa is issued on the basis of an invitation to enter the Russian Federation, issued by the inviting party in accordance with Russian legislation, or in exceptional cases, the decision is made by the head of the diplomatic mission or consular post of the Russian Federation.
• Common entry visa to the Russian Federation in order to obtain asylum can be granted to foreign citizens for up to 3 months based on the decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the recognition of refugee status to citizens of the Russian Federation. This visa can only be a single-entry.
2.4. Transit visa
A Transit Visa can be issued to a foreign citizen in order to transit through the territory of the Russian Federation or for the evacuation of foreign citizens arriving in a manner not requiring a visa (cruise ship passengers, citizens of countries with which there is an exiting agreement on visa-free entry, and passengers who make visa-free transit for a period up to 24 hours). A visa can be issued for up to 10 days. If a foreigner goes through the territory of the Russian Federation by air, the visa is issued for a period of not more than 3 days. If a foreigner goes through the territory of the Russian Federation to a third country destination in a vehicle, the visa is issued for the period of time required for travel by the shortest route that is calculated on the basis of the daily mileage of the vehicle as 500 km. Visa code TP1 can be only a single-entry visa, where as Visa code TP2 can be single or double-entry. A transit visa is issued only in accordance with Russian legislation and only with the required supporting documents.
2.5. Temporary Residency Visa
A temporary residency visa can be issued to those foreign citizens holding a temporary residency permit and who are residing as indicated on their residency permit.
3. Registration of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation.
The procedures for registration include:
3.1. Migration registration is required within three working days:
· From the date of crossing the border by a foreign citizen onto the territory of the Russian Federation;
· When a foreign citizen is travelling to another location on the territory in Russia, and if the period of stay in that particular region is more than three working days.
Registration of foreign citizens arriving on the territory of the Russian Federation must submit their migration card and passport along with valid visa (if provided a visa to enter the territory of the Russian Federation). Host Party (is a Russian citizen, a permanent resident in Russia as a foreign citizen, a legal entity, a branch or entity, or other) referred to authorized bodies to carry out registration of foreign citizens). Submitting to (Offices of the Federal Migration Service) a form of notification of the arrival or the foreign citizen giving notice in the prescribed manner by post, and then passes the detachable part of the notification form for evaluations by the of state authority, including the post office; notification and confirmation of the migration registration will be in the form of an official stamp on the detachable part of the migration card.
If a foreigner is staying at a hotel, residence for tourists, health spas, sanatoria, etc., registration of the migration card can be submitted to hotel administration within 24 hours.
3.2. Withdrawal of migration registration is within two days from the planned date of departure from the place of residing in the Russian Federation.
The grounds for removal from the migration registration are:
· Departure of the foreign citizen from the Russian Federation;
· For travel outside the region in which the migration card is registered for a period exceeding three working days and for other reasons according to federal law.
3. Procedures for the authorizing of documents for foreign citizens arriving on the territory of the Russian Federation for employment on a visa.
In order for a foreign citizen to enter the Russian Federation for the purposes of employment on a visa, the employer must first arrange for the following documents:
1) Permission to hire foreign workers
Permission to hire foreign workers is issued for a period of one year within the system of quotas that is approved on an annual basis by the government of the Russian Federation. Upon receipt of this authorization to a branch or a representative office of a foreign organization, the duration of authorization is for the period of their accreditation in Russia. The document indicates the number of employees, their positions, citizenship, as well as the territory for which the document is valid.
It should be noted that prior to filing for registration permit to hire foreign workers, the employer should go through the procedure of quotas, i.e., application for a quota until May 1 for the coming year, and a month before applying to the immigration authorities to file a civil service employment information about the request for employees.
2) Work permits for foreign citizens or for persons without citizenship
А work permit can be issued for up to one year on the basis of an employer’s authorization to hire foreign workers.
There is no procedure for extending the work permit of foreign employees, and each year an employer is obligated to renew its authorization to hire foreign workers.
3) An employer must provide notification to authorities of its desire to attract foreign employees
Upon receipt of authorization to hire foreign workers, the employer must notify the Regional Employment Center, State Labour Inspectorate and the tax authorities on plans for hiring foreign staff. Legislation of the Russian Federation on migration establishes a time limit within which these procedures are to be carried out.
4) Accreditation (registration card) and visa registration support
Accreditation (official stamp on the visa and registration), which results in the issuance of registration card to the employer from the Federal Migration Service, FMS Moscow and entitles the company to issue an official invitation for travel to Russia by foreign citizens with business, labour and other objectives, to re-apply or to extend multiple work visas for expatriate staff, and to implement migration registration of foreign citizens arriving in Russia upon the invitation of the employer.
5) Work Visa
The procedure to obtain a work visa consists of two phases:
· Visa support for single-entry work visa is valid for three months;
· Re-registration of a single-entry work visa to a multi-entry visa for the duration of the work permit (not more than 1 year).
6) The employer must provide notification of the foreign citizens arrival and has assumed his/her position in the company (notification is a detachable form)
The procedure for foreign citizens in the Migration Service of the place of residence includes:
• Notification of arrival to the regional authority of the FMS (Federal Migration Service) within three working days:
- From the date of crossing the border onto the territory of the Russian Federation;
- When travelling to other areas on the territory of the Russian Federation and when the plan duration of their stay in that particular region is more than three working days.
• Withdrawal from migration control:
- Upon planned departure of a foreign citizen from the territory of the Russian Federation;
- When leaving the region in which the migration card is registered for a period exceeding three working days and if there are other grounds provided for by Federal Law.
The host party (employer) shall notify immigration authorities on departure of foreign citizens no later than two days from the planned date of departure. Notification is provided with a detachable form of arrival and the returned to the relevant bodies of executive authority before departure.
4. Procedures for the authorization of documents allowing foreign workers employment in the Russian Federation without a visa (visa free regime)
Listed below are the main procedures for foreign citizens to enter the territory of the Russian Federation without a visa (visa free regime):
1. From the moment of arrival a foreign citizen is obliged to register with migration authorities his/her place of residence within 3-working days.
2. In order to work and pursue employment officially, once hired by the employer the employer must then obtain a valid work permit. The said document entitles the foreign citizen to exercise the right during the term of the permit for employment with any company, but at the conclusion of an employment agreement with one and subsequently hired by another firm, the foreign citizen must within 7 working days apply to the territorial agency of the federal executive authority in the field of migration to make changes in the official information contained in his/her work permit.
3. Work permit for a foreign worker is valid for up to 3 months, but a foreign worker can receive independently from the regional authority FMS (Federal Migration Service) a work permit valid up to 1 year, as requested on the application of the employer, and to be issued in the FMS of Russia in Moscow with the personal request by the foreign citizen.
4. Upon receiving a work permit the foreign citizen must within 30 calendar days of submission to the appropriate state agency, a medical report confirming the absence of disease, drug addiction, HIV infection and other dangerous infectious diseases, and provided to the appropriate federal authority on health and welfare. Failure to comply will result in the work permit being annulled.
5. Upon receiving a work permit, the term of its validity may be extended for the duration of the contract, but no more than one year, counted from the date of his/her entry into the Russian Federation. The application for the extension to the regional office of the FMS, the foreign citizen must produce documents substantiating the reasons for extending the stay of a foreigner, providing a work permit and a copy of the employment or civil contract.
6. When entering into an employment or civil contract with a foreign national entering the territory of the Russian Federation in the visa-free regime, the employer shall within three days give notice to the regional center of employment and immigration, as well as notification to the tax inspectorate within ten days.