Permanent residence permit in the Russian Federation

Jan, 11 2024

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Foreign citizens who want to stay in Russia for long period of time should obtain some necessary documents. In some cases, they can apply for permanent residence permit straight away which allows to stay in the country unlimited period of time, work and do business there. However, most migrants can usually apply only for temporary residence permit first of all. 

What does temporary residence permit for foreigners in Russia mean? It is a document which officially establishes status of foreign citizen and allows him/her to live and work in the country. If you have this document, you should live in the Russian Federation for at least a year to be entitled to apply for permanent residence permit in general order. Having obtained permanent residence permit, foreigner can then apply for citizenship.

For how long temporary residence permit is issued in the Russian Federation

Permanent residence permit has been recently made unlimited. However, temporary residence permit is only valid for three years in Russia. Within this period, foreigner can officially stay in the country, work, do business, however only within the region where the permit was issued. It is impossible to prolong the permit after three years: you will have to apply for permanent residence permit or start the whole procedure once again.

What does temporary residence permit grant a foreigner in Russia

This type of document is usually chosen by those foreign citizens who come in Russia to study, work or for personal reasons. If foreigner does not plan to link his future with Russia a three-year period is enough for him to achieve his goals.If he/she intends to stay in the country longer, it is possible to apply for permanent residence permit after temporary residence permit expires and for citizenship in future.

The main reason to obtain documents – necessity to legally live and work in the country. Although the permit may be revoked for violation of migration legislation its holders rarely have difficulties with the law. TRP grants foreign citizens following rights on the territory of the Russian Federation:

  • to cross border freely, arrive and leave any number of times;
  • to work legally without patent or additional permit, and most of the specialties (with a few exceptions) are available to foreigners;
  • free medical care in state hospitals;
  • to apply for permanent residence permit eight months after receiving TRP.

Considering all the advantages it is clear why migrants are so concerned with obtaining temporary residence permit in Russia. The procedure is quite complex, since it involves participation in governmental quota or necessity to prove that you are entitled to apply without quota. Let us take a closer look at how to proceed if you want to formalize your status in the Russian Federation.

When is it possible to submit application

In order to obtain temporary residence permit in Russia it is necessary to contact the Ministry of internal Affairs at your place of residence and submit an application. It is also necessary to enclose all documents with it. You need to start collecting them as early as possible, because among other things, you will need to pass medical commission, pass several exams, and perform a number of other procedures that require time. Do not expect that you will be able to prepare all the papers in a week.

It is possible to submit all the documents at any time starting from 1 January. The sooner you start processing papers, the better, because quota is limited. Accordingly, closer to the beginning of the year, the more likely you are to get it. This does not apply to those categories of migrants who are entitled to issue papers in simplified manner, that is without first applying for governmental quota. However, even in this situation, the best thing is to start all paperwork in a few months.

Where to apply for temporary residence permit in Russia in 2020

For those foreign citizens who want to legally confirm their status in the country, there are several options for applying to state agencies. The easiest and most obvious way to submit an application is to personally contact the Migration Department of the Ministry of internal Affairs or multifunctional migration center. It is necessary to bring there an application written in any form and a set of documents.

However, if it is inconvenient for you to submit documents in person, you can contact state authorities through official online service. To do so, it is just necessary to visit website of public services and register in the “Unified identification and authentication system”. You can submit application and documents through the online service, but you can still get the permit only in person. Also, the results will not be reported online. The maximum that you will find out through website is whether your request was processed or not.

Execution of all necessary documents 

The general procedure of documents’ execution implies that a foreigner applies for TRP within quota. It is annually set by the government for each region independently considering demographic situation and a number of other factors. The quota is small, so few lucky people manage to get it from the first time. Most of applicants apply several times. Because as soon as quota is exhausted, you have to wait for the next year to apply.

However, any foreigner can apply for quota, as long as there are no circumstances that prevent obtaining TRP. Moreover, some categories of foreign citizens can apply for permit in simplified manner, that is, without quota. For example, TRP can be issued without quota by birth in the Russian Federation: if foreigner’s parent, son or daughter is Russian citizen, he/she is entitled to apply for residence in simplified manner. The same benefits are provided for the following categories:

  • citizens of other countries who have married local citizens;
  • foreign citizens who have worked in the Russian Federation for at least 6 months in a profession included in the special list;
  • participants of official programs aimed at returning ethnic Russians to their homeland;
  • foreigners who have joined the ranks of the Russian armed forces;
  • former USSR citizens who were born in the territory of RSFSR, but after its collapse received passports of other States;
  • former students of local universities if they studied under programs with state accreditation and graduated with honors;
  • highly qualified specialists;
  • participants of resettlement programs in accordance with international agreements.

The list of documents necessary for permit is almost the same regardless of whether you apply for within quota or without it. However, in the first case, you will also have to attach papers confirming that you have received quota to the standard package of documents.

To legalize temporary residence in the Russian Federation foreign citizen has to submit following documents to migration authority (approximate list):

  • application in two copies;
  • color or black-and-white photos; 
  • identity card, such as civil passport;
  • proof of no criminal record with notarized translation;
  • certificate of passing commission, which certifies absence of dangerous diseases;
  • certificates of passing exams in the Russian language, history, and basic knowledge of Russian legislation;
  • receipt confirming that you have paid state fee.

We would like to draw your attention that in case of refusal to issue a permit, regardless of the reason, money spent on the fee will not be refunded to you. Therefore, you should pay attention to the preparation of documents because migration authority may refuse due to formalities, and then you will have to start the whole procedure all over again.

If you submit documents without quota it is necessary to add papers justifying your right to simplified registration to the standard list of documents. These can be birth certificate or marriage certificate. However, if the marriage with a citizen of the Russian Federation is fictitious, state authorities will not only refuse to grant you temporary residence permit but may also require you to leave the country. Therefore, it is critical that all papers are authentic.

Who can submit an application 

The main requirement for submitting documents is to be of age. You will not be able to apply to the Ministry of internal Affairs if you are under the age of 18. However, you do not have to live permanently in Russia. The procedure for obtaining permit allows the applicant to permanently reside outside the country.

What should minor foreigners who need to issue papers do? For them, an application must be submitted by adults: citizens of the Russian Federation or another state. The same applies to those who are officially recognized as incapacitated.

State authorities will consider your application no more than 4 months. It is likely that you will get a response faster. However, when planning a move or employment, you should bear in mind maximum period for considering documents. There is an exception to this rule. Citizens of countries with which the Russian Federation has signed a visa-free regime agreement will wait for the authorities’ decision just 2 months.

Finally, there is one more important issue related to the conditions of obtaining TRP in Russia: the amount of state fee. When applying, you will have to pay 1,6 thousand rubles. But this is not the full amount of expenses for processing documents. When calculating the budget, take into account not only the fee, but also the fees associated with passing the medical commission and passing mandatory exams.

Obtaining citizenship after TRP in Russia

The general procedure for foreigners who want to move to the country is as follows: obtaining temporary residence permit, then – permanent residence permit, and only after that – submission of documents for citizenship. Actually, many people prefer to stop at permanent residence permit, since this document grants migrants an almost complete list of rights.

However, some foreigners can apply for citizenship having only temporary residence permit. These are the migrants who participate in state resettlement programs. For all others, the procedure is the same: first permanent residence permit, then citizenship.

Possible grounds for refusal to issue documents

Sometimes applicants are denied official status. Officials must have good reasons for this. For example, they suspect the applicant of posing a threat to the security of the country, participating, or being involved in terrorist acts.

But most often, problems with law lead to refusal, so they should be avoided. If you have been expelled from the country for the past 5 years in an administrative manner, it is highly likely that you will be denied a permit. The same applies to people who were brought to criminal responsibility, committed serious crimes. Even if you were brought to administrative responsibility, but this happened repeatedly over the past year, your application will be “wrapped up”.

In order to avoid any problems, do not use false documents or provide false information. If you have lived in the country for 3 years, you will have to confirm that you have a home and a job that provides at least a minimum income. Otherwise, officials have the right to refuse to grant you TRP.

Fictitious marriage is another possible reason why the migration service may not only refuse to issue documents, but also expel a foreign from the country. Therefore, you should not try to cheat the law by entering into a fictitious marriage with a local citizen. However, please note that only a court can recognize your marriage as fictitious.

Problems may also arise if you have spent more than six months abroad without a good reason, such as urgent treatment or business trip. Finally, if it was decided that your stay in the country is undesirable, it is simply pointless to submit documents to migration authority.

However, if everything goes well and you become the owner of temporary residence permit, do not forget to go through the procedure of fingerprinting and entering them into database. You will also need within a week after receiving the documents to register at your place of residence. The address specified in the permit and the address of place of residence should be the same. If you cannot register at your place of residence, you need to register for migration.

If you have complied with all rules of obtaining TRP in Russia, there will be no problems. However, if you are refused in obtaining documents and you believe that there are no grounds for this, you can always challenge the decision of the authorities through the court.

Author of the article
Permanent residence permit in the Russian Federation
Valentina Khlavich
Managing Partner
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