The most important changes in Russian migration law from the beginning of 2020

Jul, 02 2020

Foreigners’ period of stay in Russia is suspended

From March 15 till September 15, 2020 the term of the following permits will be automatically suspended:

  • visa;
  • migration card;
  • registration at the place of arrival/residence;

However, if foreigner changes place of temporary stay or place of residence, she or he should register in migration authorities on general rules (within 7 days starting from the day of arrival).

  • temporary residence permit;
  • residence permit.

Suspension of term means that when the period of one of the above-mentioned documents expires, foreigner or the owner of the apartment where the foreigner lives does not have to go to the migration authority and apply for its extension. The permit will be valid within 6 months after it expires.

Employment activity of the foreigners during pandemic

0nly those foreigners located in Russia will be able to obtain work permit. Meanwhile if foreigner gets a job with an employer who has a permit to hire foreign citizens, the entry purpose specified in the foreigner’s visa does not matter.

However, those located abroad will not be able to obtain such documents. This is because Russia has not opened its borders to foreigners who come to the country for employment.

Moreover, foreign citizen has an additional obligation when obtaining work permit, temporary residence permit or residence permit. Along with other mandatory tests and analyses, foreigner will have to do a test for coronavirus. If the disease is detected, migration authorities have the right not to issue or even cancel the permit.

We remind that nowadays highly qualified specialists (HQS) can obtain residence permit in simplified manner immediately after obtaining temporary residence permit. However, such residence permit has considerable restrictions:

  • residence permit’s term is equal to the validity term of work permit (maximum 3 years);
  • foreigner will be tied to the employer that issued work permit;
  • if status of HQS is lost, residence permit is automatically annulled.

However, according to recent legislative amendments, HQS is able to obtain unlimited residence permit.

To do so, firstly, it is necessary to obtain temporary residence permit on the basis of work permit, to live 8 months with it and only then to apply for unlimited residence permit.

Such method entitles foreigner to give up the status of HQS and work under temporary residence permit, and then under residence permit on general grounds without having to pay a minimum salary of 167,000 rubles.

Notable, that the foreigner will still have to take exams proving the knowledge of Russian language, history, and legislation to obtain temporary residence permit and residence permit.

These amendments considerably simplify the procedure of obtaining unlimited residence permit for foreign HQS. Nevertheless, it is necessary to wait for detailed explanations from migration authorities to understand how the procedure will work in practice.

Residence permit has become unlimited

Earlier, a residence permit could be obtained only for the period of 5 years. Thus, it was necessary to extend it. Now it replaces the citizen’s passport. A foreigner needs to change it only at 14, 20 and 45 years old, as well as when changing personal data (for example, last name). At the same time, the foreigner still has to annually submit a notification to the migration authority confirming residence in the Russian Federation and income.

Those who received a residence permit before November 1, 2019, can also apply for an unlimited residence permit. Review duration of the application will be only 2 weeks.

Citizenship of the Russian Federation

• From July 24, 2020, a foreign citizen does not have to renounce his or her current citizenship in order to enter the citizenship of the Russian Federation.

• Foreigners and stateless persons residing in the territory of Russia can apply for Russian citizenship without confirming duration of residence and existence of legal income. * This change will affect only certain categories of citizens (for example, citizens of Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Kazakhstan; foreigners married to a citizen of the Russian Federation for at least 3 years)

New rules for migration registration

According to the new rules, foreign citizens who own residential real estate in Russia will be able to provide it for the actual residence of other foreign citizens, acting as a host.

Also, it will be possible to notify migration authorities of arrival both personally and online via the State Services portal.

Keep track of changes in migration legislation with our lawyers. We publish the most relevant news on our website:, as well as on social networks.

Author of the article
The most important changes in Russian migration law from the beginning of 2020
Valentina Khlavich
Managing Partner
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