Russia – Covid-19 – Immigration update

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Update : March 17th, 2020

Inbound foreign travel suspension extended

What is the change?

Russia recently extended the suspension of inbound travel for foreign nationals to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key points:

  • The suspension of inbound travel for foreign nationals has been extended until further notice.
  • The extension keeps various travel restrictions in place such as banning the entry of most foreign nationals, with exceptions for: transit air travelers, employees at diplomatic missions and consular establishments in Russia, official delegation members, ship, air and rail crews, motor vehicle drivers on international routes, and diplomatic and service visa holders, as well as private visa holders traveling in Russia because of the death of a close relative. Those who have close relatives in Russia are also allowed to enter the country.
  • The suspension declared in March also halted the issuance of all types of visas and permits for foreign nationals. (The migration authorities continue accepting applications for permit and visa renewal and amendment for those foreign employees who are currently staying in Russia.) An exception exists for foreign nationals securing a visa and entering the country to provide technical support for foreign equipment and who are on a list approved by a ministry or federal entity that oversees the organization using the equipment. Those who have appropriate documents are also allowed to postpone the renewal of their work permits, patents, visas, immigration registration, residence permits, and other similar documents that expire between March 15 and June 15. These documents are automatically prolonged for up to three months.

On March 18, Russia suspended inbound travel for most foreign nationals until May 1. The issuance of visas and permits for foreign nationals was also suspended at that time.

The inbound foreign travel suspension extension will impact the movement of people into Russia. Employers should be aware that their foreign employees outside of Russia, with some exceptions, will not be allowed to enter until further notice.

Update : March 17th, 2020

Borders closure for entrance of foreign nationals

What is the change?

The Russian government has announced border closure for foreign nationals with few exceptions.

All foreign nationals are banned from entering Russia. Exceptions are announced, in particular, for those holding Russian permanent residence permit, transiting through Russia or arriving to Russia due to a close relative’s death.

  • Implementation time frame: From March 18 till May 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Foreign travelers with Russian private, tourist, business, student and work visas.
  • Who is affected: Almost all categories of foreign nationals willing to come to Russia after 17 March. 
  • Next steps: The restrictions are in force until 1 May or/and further notice. Employers should expect that any of their foreign employees who are currently outside of Russia will not be allowed to enter the country.

The majority of the categories of foreign nationals are banned from entering Russia. Additionally, the issuance of all types of visas and permits has been suspended.

The new Russian travel restrictions were implemented to halt the spread of COVID-19, which continues to develop. Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

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