Russia, EU Tackle Visa-Free Travel
One nice day you cross the border and find yourself in the territory of the Russian Federation. It doesn’t matter why you are visiting Russia (moving to a new place of residence, visiting relatives or friends, looking for a new job, travelling), you should remember that all foreign citizens or stateless persons should observe some rules to be a legal visitor of the Russian Federation. If you don’t, it may cause complications or entirely spoil your visit.
WHO IS WHO?
Before we learn these rules, we’ll introduce you the basic definitions.
A foreign citizen is a natural person, not a RF citizen, with an available proof of a foreign country citizenship. Stateless person is a natural person, not a RF citizen, who does not have any other foreign country citizenship proof. Further on we shall name foreign citizens and stateless persons the foreigners.
All foreigners enter the Russian Federation territory with a granted visa or have no-visa entry. This depends on what country a foreigner is entering from. Ministry of foreign affairs of the RF in its official letter as of February 15, 2006 has listed the countries with the stated ways for their citizens to enter the RF territory. For instance, Tajikistan citizens have a no-visa entry to our country. Otherwise, Turkmenistan citizens with no diplomatic or official passports have to be granted their visa in order to enter the RF territory.
Besides, the Governmental Regulation of the Russian Federation divides all foreigners into 2 large categories: foreigners with permanent or temporally residence and foreigners temporally visiting Russia.
If a foreigner doesn’t have a national passport (or a substitution document) as well as a migration card with a stamp notifying the RF cross border, it is admitted as an administrative violation.
Violation by a foreigner the following regulations:
- the RF territory entry;
- migration registration, moving, or choice rules of place of sojourn (residence);
- transit passage through the territory of the Russian Federation;
as well as:
- no documents proving a foreigner’s right to stay (residence) in Russia, no application to the authorized body in case of these documents loss;
- not informing a relevant territorial office of the Federal Migration Service of a foreign citizen's arrival to the place of sojourn in cases stipulated by law;
- evasion from leaving the RF on the specified period of sojourn expiry;
- discrepancy of a previously declared reason for visiting Russia to a real reason of sojourn (residence) or kind of business.
All these violations cause an administrative responsibility in a form of a penalty at 2,000 to 5,000 rubles, in certain cases accompanied with expulsion from the territory of the Russian Federation.
MIGRATION REGISTRATION QUESTIONS
Foreigners (temporary or permanent residents) have to acquire a registration at the place of residence and migration registration at the place of sojourn. Temporary visitors have to apply for a migration registration at the place of sojourn.
1. Migration registration of temporary foreign visitors
All temporary visitors have to acquire the migration registration. This implies to all foreigners regardless of what citizenship they have or how they have entered the RF territory (visa or no visa entry).
According to this regulation the Host Party is fully responsible for acquiring the migration registration of a temporary foreign visitor.
If a foreigner has entered the RF with visa on a legal body invitation, in this case the accommodating party is the legal body mentioned in visa as “the Host organization”.
According to the general regulations there are 3 working days from the moment a foreigner have reached the place of sojourn for an accommodating party to apply for the migration registration. In certain cases a Host Party has to notify about a foreign visitor reaching a place of sojourn within 24 hours. It works if a foreign visitor sojourns at:
- a hotel, health resort, rest home, holiday hotel, hospital, etc.;
- special centers for social rehabilitation of the homeless;
- any establishment executing administrative or criminal punishment.
The migration registration is possible, for instance, at the legal address of a company or at the address of the rented office. If a foreign visitor is sojourning in Russia for 3 days only (e.g. for a business trip), he/she is not subject to the migration registration.
If an accommodating party does not fulfill its duties of a foreign visitor migration registration, it is subject to an administrative responsibility in a form of penalty:
- for natural persons: 2,000-4,000 rubles;
- for public officers: 40,000-50,000 rubles;
- for legal persons: 400,000-500,000 rubles.
The administrative responsibility ensues for every foreign citizen or stateless person.
Period of sojourn in the RF
Period of sojourn of a foreigner depends on the way of entering the RF.
For foreigners with visa entry it is defined by a visa validity period. For the exception of foreigners arriving to the RF with the multiple entry one-year visas sealed to the national passport. In this case the period of a continuous sojourn in the RF cannot exceed 180 days from the day of arrival.
For foreigners with no visa entry the period of a continuous sojourn in the RF cannot exceed 90 days from the day of arrival to the RF, i.e. the date stamped by the passport control officials at the migration card of a foreign citizen.
On the period of sojourn expiry a foreigner must leave Russia for the exception of cases when the period of sojourn in the RF is extended. Period of a temporary sojourn in the RF for a no-visa-entry foreigner is extended after setting up a job contract or services contract. The extension is executed at the contract time validity but no longer than 1 year from the day of arrival.
The period of a temporary sojourn for a foreigner with visa entry is extended if his/her visa validity is extended or a new visa is issued.
Besides, the period of a temporary sojourn may be extended if a foreigner is granted a sojourn or residence permit as well as after applying for the temporary residence permit.
Striking off the migration register
Striking off the migration register of a foreigner is realized by the Host Party or other concerned natural or legal persons.
There are several reasons to strike off the migration register.
First of all, a foreign citizen departure from the place of sojourn. In this case the accommodating party shall be obliged to submit in person or post to the territorial office of the Federal Migration Service the detachable part of the Notification within 2 days since the departure of a foreign citizen (notifying the date of a foreign citizen departure).
Secondly, change of a place of residence. The Host Party is obliged to act in the same way.
Thirdly, a foreign citizen death or the court's declaration as deceased or recognition of a foreign citizen as missing without a truce - on the basis of the court's decision that has entered into legal force. Striking off the migration register is realized by a concerned natural or legal party on the basis of a death certificate or the copy of the court's decision drawn up in a statutory manner.
If a foreign citizen place of residence were a hotel, health resort, rest home, holiday hotel, hospital, etc. the administration of these establishments is obliged to notify the territorial office of the Federal Migration Service no later than the noon of the day following a foreign citizen departure.
2. Migration registration of the foreign citizens residing in the RF
The migration registration of the foreign citizens temporary or permanently residing in the RF is realized in a form of their registration at the place of their residence. If they leave the place of residence the foreign citizens permanently staying in the RF are obliged to be registered at the place of sojourn within 7 working days according to the previously described rules, while temporary foreign residents – within 3 working days.
A foreign citizen right to use the living accommodation at the RF territory serves as the basis for registration. The registration is realized by the territorial office of the Federal Migration Service at the place of living accommodations on the basis of the documents represented by a foreign citizen in person.
A mark of registration is put down at the temporary residence permit on the day of the documents submission.
Striking off the register at the residence place
Striking off the register at the residence place is realized in the following cases:
- recognition as invalid of the right to use the living accommodation (on the basis of the document proving the invalid right to use the living accommodation by a foreign citizen);
- invalid right of a temporary residence in the RF (on the basis of the document proving the residence permit has been annulled or the temporary stay permit has expired);
- the court’s decision that has entered into legal force recognizing a foreign citizen registration at the place of residence invalid (on the basis of a certified copy of the court’s decision that has entered into legal force);
- death of a foreign citizen in Russia or the court's decision that has entered into legal force recognizing a foreign citizen as missing without a truce or declaring him/her as deceased (on the basis of a death certificate or the court’s decision recognizing a foreign citizen as missing without a truce or declaring him/her as deceased certified copy).