Registration of German citizens in Russia

Dec, 09 2020

Contents:

Registration of German citizens in Russia is a registration of a foreign citizen with the migration service. It is closely related to the state activities aimed at collecting and analyzing information about foreign citizens temporarily or permanently residing in the Russian Federation. Registration allows to track movements of foreign citizens within the country. This procedure is mandatory for every person without an Internal Russian passport; and here residents of Germany are no exception. 

Registration terms

The law sets the migration registration terms that differ depending on the category of foreign citizens. Non-registration of a foreign citizen with the Ministry of Internal Affairs by the end of the term is considered to be an administrative offense. In this case, the migration service can impose sanctions up to deportation.

For German citizens, the registration period is 7 working days from the moment of the border crossing. This is a General requirement for all visitors from countries having a visa regime with the Russian Federation. However, there are exceptions to this rule. They apply to the following categories of foreign citizens:

  • Foreign citizens with an official status of a highly qualified specialist. These are professionals invited by Russian employers or arrived on a work visa. But the employer must justify an invitation of a foreign specialist and offer him/her higher-than-average salary in the industry. In addition, they have a grace period of stay in the Russian Federation without registration, that is 90 days. After this term, he/she still has the same 7 working days to apply and register with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
  • Foreign citizens with a temporary residence permit. This document gives its holder many rights, but still requires a foreign citizen to register with the Ministry of Internal Affairs within 7 working days after receiving a temporary residence permit.
  • Foreign citizens with an already received permanent residence permit. It grants a foreign citizen almost full rights and freedoms except for the right to participate in local elections. However, the document also requires that the foreign citizen has registered with the migration authority within 7 days by its receipt.

Please, notice that while leaving the country your registration at a place of stay or residence is automatically canceled. Therefore, you will have to register again, even if you left the Russian Federation for a couple of days. You do not have to return to Germany to make your registration invalid; you just need to cross the Russian border.

Place of registration

We found out that a German citizen has 7 working days to submit an application to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. But there is one more pressing question: where to register? The law requires a foreign citizen to register at a temporary address or a place of residence. There is a big difference between these two options, which is important to consider when contacting the migration service.

A temporary address when registering a German citizen in the Russian Federation implies:

  • A house, cottage or apartment that is not the property of a foreign citizen or their place of permanent residence, but where they do live after arrival. For example, this may be a rented apartment or an address of friends or relatives where a person is staying.
  • A hotel, hostel or other organization that provides similar services. Hotel or hostel addresses where a foreign citizen does live during his/her stay in the country should certainly be specified.
  • A hospital, sanatorium or other medical or social organization where a foreign citizen can temporarily live to receive certain services. For example, if a person has arrived for a treatment in one of the Russian clinics and is in a hospital, they indicate the hospital address in the documents.
  • An address of the hostel or other residential premises owned by an employer. In other words, a foreign citizen may specify an address of a hired company, if it provides some housing.

Registration documents

A German citizen needs a small set of documents to be registered at a place of residence in the Russian Federation:

  • an ID (a foreign passport);
  • a permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit;
  • a document confirming the right to use the housing, such as a lease arrangement.

To register at a place of temporary stay, you need to submit a similar set of documents: an ID and a migration card. With them, you need to contact the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at a place of residence or a multifunctional center. You can track the status of an application via the official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Penalties for non-registration

If you do not register in time, you may face sanctions from supervisory authorities. And they will affect not only the German citizen, but also the one who provided him/her with the premises. Usually everything is limited to a fine, but if you plan to apply for a residence permit or a temporary residence permit, several protocols on violation of migration legislation may be a reason for refusal.

Registration prolongation

First registration of German citizens in Russia can only be made for three months after their entry. So, the continuous period of a stay in the Russian Federation is only 3 months if one has come to the country for the first time and never registered with the local Ministry of Internal Affairs. However, one may renew his/her registration later in case of a legal basis. For example, an availability of an official employment permit. Also, a foreign citizen can register for three years after his/her registration of the temporary residence permit or issue an indefinite registration if there is a residence permit. 

A foreign citizen applies to the Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation to extend his/her Russian registration. They need to take a free-form application, a foreign passport, a current registration, and a document confirming the grounds for extending their stay in the country. For example, a statement of employment, a residence permit, and so on. 

The validity period of approval documents for foreign citizens was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How does this work in practice? If the registration period should had expired between March 15 and May 15, the new government decree automatically extended them for 93 days after the stipulated deadline. These measures were envisaged to eliminate the formal difficulties that may arise when restricting entry and exit from the country.

Receipt of a Russian visa 

German citizens must obtain a visa in advance to enter the Russian Federation. This can be done at the Russian Consulate. The standard set of documents for visa application does not change depending on a visa category. In addition to the most popular tourist visa, a foreign citizen can also apply for a business, work, study or private visa, depending on a visit purpose. All these visa categories have their own characteristics: for example, sometimes you need to issue an invitation from the Russian side.

One of the most important documents for a foreign citizen coming to the Russian Federation is a migration card. All foreign citizens receive it without exception. A migration card is filled out when crossing the border. A migration card serves as a basis for registration, a receipt of a work permit and an issuance of other documents, up to a residence permit. Therefore, it is critical to keep this document with you if you plan to stay in the country for a long period. 

A foreign citizen without migration card has no legal grounds for living in the Russian Federation. However, the document validity is limited: it corresponds strictly to the visa validity period.

Author of the article

Registration of German citizens in Russia
Kirill Chemlaev
Senior Lawyer

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