Unlimited permanent residence permits in Russia

Jul, 16 2020

Foreigners may stay in Russia for the period stipulated by their visa. There is a visa-free regime with some states, so their citizens need only an international passport, and in exceptional cases an internal civil passport, to stay in the territory of the Russian Federation. However, the period for continuous stay in these situations is limited, for example, to three months. After that, the foreigners have to leave Russia. If they have some other things to do, they have to return and fill in the migration card again.

For those foreign citizens who want to reside in the Russian Federation for several years in a row, there are permanent residence permits. They officially confirm the right to stay in the country for a long time. Certainly, if you reside in Russia and build your career here, it is more convenient to obtain an unlimited permanent residence permit (PRP). It is not citizenship yet, and does not provide foreigners with such rights as participation in the elections, but significantly facilitates the work, leisure, and communication with official agencies.

This document is usually issued on the basis of temporary residence permits, but provided that its holder resides in the Russian Federation at least for one year. In other words, first foreigners have to apply for temporary residence permits and only after – for PRPs. However, there are exceptions to this rule. It is not necessary to obtain temporary residence permits before for the following persons:

  • highly qualified specialists and their families invited to work in Russia;
  • foreign citizens who were born in the territory of the RSFSR and had Soviet citizenship before;
  • foreigners whose parents or children have Russian citizenship and permanently reside in the Russian Federation, etc.

Until recently, permanent residence permits were issued to foreigners for 5 years, subsequently they had to renew the documents. However, the amendments to the migration legislation came into force on November 1, 2019. They allow obtaining unlimited permanent residence permits in Russia. This relieves foreign citizens residing and working in the Russian Federation from the necessity to renew the documents from time to time. Nevertheless, it is obligatory to follow some formalities. It is important to know about them to avoid the situation where the migration service initiates cancellation of a PRP.

Notification to authorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

Many migrants face this problem: their unlimited permanent residence permits are cancelled. In this case, the law obliges foreigners to leave the country within 15 days. Why does this happen? There are about a dozen grounds on which residence permits of foreign citizens may be withdrawn. Most often this is due to violation of such a rule as the mandatory annual notification to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This means you are obliged to confirm that you still reside in Russia through this notification.

The notice may be submitted online, but every 5 years it must be done in person. If foreign citizens fail to send the notice continuously within 2 years, the migration service may initiate the procedure for cancellation of their permanent residence permits. They are notified of this within three days. It is possible to challenge the decision of the authorities, but you have to apply to court for this purpose.

Unlimited permanent residence permits in the Russian Federation: advantages

This type of residence permits is necessary if you want to acquire citizenship of the Russian Federation in the future. Unlimited PRPs are a stage that is necessary almost in all cases on the way to become a full-fledged Russian citizen.

However, there are also other advantages that are not associated with citizenship. For example, if you have this document, you may freely change the place of residence inside the country, without notifying the Ministry of Internal Affairs every time you move. Everything that foreigners have to do in this case is to register at the new place of residence.

In addition, unlimited permanent residence permits provide the possibility to freely cross the border of the country, entering and leaving at any convenient time. The only restriction is that the total period of stay of foreigners outside the Russian Federation is one year. The migration service may cancel your permit if you spend abroad more than six months. Though this does not apply to foreigners that have to stay abroad in case of emergency treatment, death of a relative or business need.

Another advantage of unlimited permanent residence permits is the possibility to freely work at a local company and in any region, or to become an individual entrepreneur. Moreover, this type of residence permits grants the right to Russian pension – under the same conditions as for Russian citizens.

Having obtained unlimited PRPs in Russia, foreigners may issue invitations for entry for their friends, partners, and relatives. You also have the opportunity to get compulsory health insurance and use the services of state health care institutions for free instead of spending money on private clinics and returning to the homeland for treatment.

How to obtain a new unlimited permanent residence permit in the Russian Federation?

The first thing to do to obtain an unlimited PRP is to file an application with a territorial authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. You may do it not earlier than after 8 months of the first year of residence in the country on the basis of a TRP (however, it is not necessary for some foreigners to obtain this document). Another important condition: the validity period of this permit must be over not later than 4 months after the submission of documents.

In addition to the application, you provide also the following set of documents (the list is not exhaustive):

  • valid identity document;
  • four black and white or color photographs, 35×45 mm;
  • receipt confirming payment of the state duty;
  • medical certificates;
  • criminal record certificate (for visa foreigners).

Please note that in 2019 the duty for issue of unlimited permanent residence permits was increased to 5 thousand rubles. If you belong to highly qualified specialists, who do not need TRPs, it is necessary to attach also the employment contract to the listed documents.

Cancellation procedure

It may happen that your plans change and a permanent residence permit will be no longer necessary. In this case you may file an application for its cancellation. It is another new rule stipulated by the 2019 amendments, since before foreigners could not cancel previously issued PRPs.

The migration service may withdraw permanent residence permits of foreign citizens also involuntarily. We have already mentioned some grounds on which this happens: failure to notify authorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs within 2 years or stay outside the country for 6 months of one year. However, there are also other possible reasons:

  • submission of false documents to local authorities;
  • provision of knowingly false information to state authorities;
  • inability to support themselves and their family members without state assistance;
  • lack of accommodation after 3 years from the day of entry;
  • entering into a fictitious marriage with a citizen of the Russian Federation to obtain an unlimited PRP.

Foreign citizens that obtained permanent residence permits before the legislative amendments came into force may replace them with new documents. It is not necessary to undergo the whole procedure again, it is enough to file an application and obtain a permanent residence permit without a validity period in 7 working days.

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