RUSSIA – Five year Business Visa for Investors; Work Permission for Temporary Residents; Increased Penalties for Non-Compliance; Online Applications
The Russian government has announced several amendments to the law that affect immigration regulation, including the development of a new five year visa for investors, work permission for temporary residence permit holders, and increased penalties for both individuals and companies found to be out of compliance with the immigration law. Online application for work permits are now also possible.
Five Year Visa
The five year visa (introduced via #3030-FZ “On amendment articles 25 and 26 of the Federal law “On rules of departure from the territory of the Russian Federation and entrance to the Russian Federation”) is planned for representatives and employees of multinational companies which are investing in Russia. The exact criteria for the investment or level of seniority of the employee have not yet been clarified.
The visas will not require invitation letters issued by the Federal Migration Service (unlike current business visas) but will be issued on the basis of a specific application within Russia.
It remains to be seen how straightforward these new visas will be in practice, but they are designed to encourage investment into Russia and therefore should be administratively preferable to the current system.
Work Permission for Temporary Residents
In addition, the new law allows companies to hire holders of temporary residence permits without the need to obtain additional work permission.
Temporary residence permits are documents valid for residence in Russia for up to three years, leading to permanent residence or Russian citizenship. They are issued either under a very limited quota system, or, outside the quota, to specific categories of person, e.g. non-Russian citizens married to Russians.
Previously, temporary residence permit holders did not have the automatic right to work; this has now changed.
The amendments to the law put a strong focus on compliance. Individuals who have overstayed their permission to remain in Russia for longer than 30 days may be banned from entering Russia for a period of three years.
Organisations found to have arranged illegal entry, stay or transit through Russia may be fined up to 300,000RUB (c. EUR7500).
Finally, the Federal Migration Service has instituted a new online application system for work permits, although it should be noted that original supporting documents are required alongside the online submission.
- Note that employers may now hire temporary residence permit holders without the need for additional work permit applications – check on your staff who may be eligible for a temporary residence permit.
- Note increased penalties for non-compliance and make sure your staff are aware.