Immigration Lawyers in Russia

Immigration Lawyers in Russia

Updated on Monday 13th July 2020

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In 2002, Russia enabled the federal law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation that was meant to define the statute of foreigners in Russia who do not have permanent or temporary residence permits. In order to enter the Russian territory, foreign persons must obtain a visa that will be issued based on an invitation. Citizens of the Russian Commonwealth (CIS) states do not need a visa to enter Russia, with the exception of Georgia and Turkmenistan.
For details about the living and working conditions, you can ask our lawyers in Russia. We can also advise on how to obtain various types of Russian visas.

Who needs to obtain a visa for entering Russia?

Russia is not an EU or EEA member state, which is why both EU and non-EU citizens are required to apply for one of the available types of visas when coming for short or long periods of time or simply immigrating to Russia.
Each case is treated individually which means special conditions apply based on the citizenship of the applicant and this is why specialized advice from immigration lawyers in Russia is recommended.

Types of visas in Russia

Foreign citizens can obtain different types and subtypes of visas when going to Russia. The main types of visas are diplomatic, official, ordinary, transit and temporary residence visa. The ordinary visa is divided into:
  • private visa, for visiting relatives or friends;
  • the business visa that must be obtained for commercial and business purposes;
  • tourist and group visa;
  • study visa;
  • work visa;
  • humanitarian visa;
  • asylum visa.
The infographic below present the main services provided by our immigration lawyers in Russia:
Services provided by our Russian immigration lawyers

The temporary residence permit in Russia

A foreign citizen is allowed to obtain a temporary residence permit before a permanent residence permit is granted. It usually takes about six months to obtain a Russian temporary residence permit and it has a three-year period of validity. In order to obtain a temporary residence permit, a foreign citizen must follow the next steps:
  • applying for a visa as a temporary resident;
  • applying for a Russian temporary residence permit;
  • after receiving the permit, the visa must be prolonged;
  • if the foreign citizen wants to leave Russia, an exit visa must be obtained.
Foreign citizens in possession of a Russian temporary residence permit must know that they are not allowed to change residency within or outside the region where the residence permit is valid. Also, foreign citizens with a temporary residence permit are not allowed to work outside the region where the permit was obtained.
Those who want to obtain a temporary residence permit in Russia must file the following documents with the Directorate of Migratory Affairs:
  • the valid passport which must bear the Russian visa issued by the authorities;
  • a medical document attesting to the good health of the applicant;
  • one passport-size photograph must also be enclosed in the application file;
  • the receipt issued after paying the residence permit application fee;
  • the prescribed application form which must be duly filled;
  • a declaration of good behavior which must be accompanied by a clean criminal record;
  • proof of speaking the Russian language and knowing the country’s culture.
All documents must be translated into Russian by a sworn translator and must be apostilled.

The permanent residence permit in Russia

Foreign citizens must reside in Russia for at least one year before applying for a permanent residence permit. The Russian residence permit has a five years validity and it can be renowned for another five years. The permanent residence permit in Russia allows freedom of movement inside and outside the country without a visa. Obtaining a permanent residence permit usually takes about four weeks.
In 2015, a new immigration legislation was enabled which provides for new criteria related to foreigners applying for a permanent residence permit for Russia. Under these regulations, the following categories of individuals are allowed to apply for a Russian permanent residence permit:
  • persons who are at least 18 years old and maximum 60 years old;
  • students who were accepted by Russian accredited universities;
  • foreign specialists working in various industries and who can prove their qualifications and who speak Russian;
  • foreign family members of Russian citizens with documents issued before 1991 and who can prove they speak Russian.
Foreign citizens who are married to Russians are also allowed to apply for permanent residence permits. Also, those who were adopted by Russian citizens are also entitled to Russian permanent residency.
Given the fact that each case is treated separately by the authorities, our immigration lawyers in Russia can help you establish if you are a right candidate for permanent residency or for another type of visa.

Obtaining residency by investment in Russia

The good news about the changes brought the Immigration Law is that Russia has aligned with other countries and now permits foreign individuals to move to Russia based on investment in one of the strategic economic sectors acknowledged by the government.
Under the Russian Investor Visa Scheme, any foreign individual is allowed to move to this country by investing around 100,000 US dollars in specific industries. Among these are, agriculture, oil and gas, energy, healthcare, information technology (IT), mining, and research and innovation to mention some of them.
The following aspects need to be considered if you plan on immigrating to Russia under the Investor Visa Program:
  1.  the minimum investment in a business in one of the industries above must be a company which generates at least 10 million rubles or 170,000 USD per year for at least 3 years;
  2.   the businessman is also allowed to set up a business worth at least 35 million rubles or 600,000 USD;
  3.  donations to a state-owned fund can also be made – the minimum value of the donation is 7,5 million rubles or approximately 130,000 USD;
  4.   invest at least 15 million rubles or around 260,000 USD in a real estate investment project.
The main advantage of the Russian Investor Visa Program is that the application procedure is quite simple, and it takes approximately 3 weeks to be processed. Also, after the 3-year mandatory investment, the foreign citizen will obtain a permanent residence permit, while after 5 years he or she can be eligible for Russian citizenship.

Citizenship in Russia

In 2002, Russia enabled the Citizenship Law that allows foreign citizens to apply for citizenship if they have lived in Russia for five uninterrupted years since the permanent residence permit was issued. Dual citizenship is also allowed according to the federal law or international treaties Russia has signed.

Legal services offered by our immigration lawyers in Russia

No matter the way in which you decide to relocate to this country, our Russian immigration lawyers can advise you. We offer specialized and personalized support to foreign citizens interested in relocating to Russia through a temporary or permanent residence permit.
We have mentioned above that each case is analyzed individually by the authorities, and this is exactly what our immigration lawyers do. We will channel all applicants to the right type of permits based on their situations. We will carefully prepare each candidate’s application file and we will offer support through the entire immigration process.
You may contact our Russian immigration lawyers for help with the visa application. Foreign investors can also rely on our immigration lawyers in Russia if they want to relocate here through the Investor Visa Program.