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Foreign citizens wanting to live in Russia are required to apply for a Russian residence permit. The Russian authorities issue two types of residence permits for foreign citizens: temporary residence permits and permanent residence permits. Obtaining a Russian residence permit leads to Russian citizenship for those interested in acquiring a Russian passport. In 2015, the government amended the Immigration Law and our immigration lawyers in Russia can explain what the new changes imply and how they influence those who want to apply for residence permits.
Temporary residence permit types
- family reunification,
- medical purposes
Time needed to obtain the temporary residence permit (approx.)
Around 20 days
Temporary residence permit validity
Documents for obtaining temporary residence
- valid passport,
- clear criminal record,
- medical certificates,
- negative HIV test
Mandatory registrations with state authorities (i.e. with the population/municipality register)
Dependents can join the temporary permit holder
Temporary or permanent residency for investment purposes
Minimum temporary residence before applying for permanent residence
Documents for obtaining permanent residence
- valid passport,
- proof of income and accommodation,
- health insurance,
- basic knowledge of Russian language
- hold a valid residence permit,
- living at least 5 years in Russia,
- renunciation of foreign citizenship,
- proof of income
Citizenship after permanent residence
The first step to acquiring a permanent Russian residence permit is to obtain a temporary residence in Russia. Our lawyers in Russia will help you apply for any of the two types of residence permits and explain the procedures for 2023. Contact us if interested inimmigration to Russia.
Full-time students from overseas who hold a permanent residence permit in Russia can select the path to obtaining citizenship. This status allows them to stay for a longer period in Russia.
Who can apply for a Russian residence permit in 2023?
It is important to note that the Russian authorities have well-established regulations as to the foreign citizens who are eligible to obtain residence permits (temporary and permanent). Under the new Immigration Law, all foreign persons who want to obtain Russian residency must prove their knowledge of the Russian language, history, and legislation. The knowledge must be supported by documents issued by Russian authorities. The following categories of individuals are exempt from certain requirements when applying for residence permits in Russia:
persons aged below 18 and over 60 who must not demonstrate they speak Russian or that they know the country’s history;
foreign students enrolled with Russian accredited universities or other schools can obtain temporary residence in Russia;
foreign citizens who specialize in specific areas which are sought by Russian companies are also exempt from the above-mentioned requirements;
foreign citizens who have family members from the Soviet Union and who want to move back to Russia.
Our attorneys in Russia can offer more information on the requirements related to obtaining residence permits. We can also advise Russian companies interested in hiring foreign specialists for whom work permits are necessary. You can also read about how to obtain a residence permit in Russia in 2023 in the infographic below:
Obtaining a temporary Russian residence permit
The temporary residence visa grants a foreign citizen the same social rights as any other Russian citizen. The temporary residence permit is issued for a period of three years, but it must be re-validated every year. Russian temporary residence permits are issued by the Federal Migration Service, and one must align with the procedures and formalities for 2023.
Foreign citizens with a temporary Russian residence permit are allowed to leave the country only after obtaining an exit and a re-entry Russian visa. In order to obtain a temporary residence permit, one must fulfill the following criteria:
the foreign citizens must have been born in Russia,
must have been enrolled in the Russian military service.
For information about the documents required to apply for a temporary residence permit in 2023, you may rely on our immigration lawyers in Russia.
Law modifications have been made for foreigners who want to easily obtain a residence permit in Russia. For instance, candidates are informed on the process, whether the application has been rejected or accepted, in a relatively fast manner compared to the previous period.
Permanent Russian residence permits
The permanent residence permit is the first step to acquiring Russian citizenship. A Russian permanent residence permit may be obtained after holding a temporary residence visa for two years. The Russian permanent residence permit has a five-year validity period and can be extended without any limitation. However, just like the temporary residence visa, it must be authenticated on an annual basis. Also, foreign citizens holding a Russian permanent residence visa may leave the country without applying for other visas. Holders of permanent residence permits may work in Russia without a work permit.
Here is a video presentation we have prepared with information about how to obtain residency in Russia:
If until recently, the Russian residence permit was issued for 5 years with the possibility of extension, starting from 2023 such document is issued perpetually. Moreover, the residence permit can be obtained within 3 months from the date of submission of documents.
Obtaining investor residence visa in Russia in 2022
Also known as the business investment visa, the program provides for very advantageous conditions under which foreign entrepreneurs can obtain Russian residence permits based on investment. One must comply with the following requirements in order to obtain a Russian residence permit as an investor:
the minimum amount of money to be invested is 100,000 USD;
the investment must be made in specific industries, among which oil and gas, agriculture, energy, medicine, information technology, and research and innovation;
the money to be invested must derive from a legitimate source (proof of that is required by the authorities);
the applicant must live in Russia for 90 days prior to applying for the investor residence permit.
Among the advantages of the Russian investor residence permit are the short processing time of approximately one month, the possibility of obtaining permanent residency after 3 years and the possibility of obtaining Russian citizenship after 5 years.
Our Russian law firm can help foreign investors who want to relocate here through a citizenship by investment program. We can explain the requirements and assist with the documentation to be filed with the immigration authorities. Contact us for information about temporary residence in Russia and for Russian permanent residence.
Documents required for obtaining a Russian residence permit
No matter the type of residence permit a foreign citizen wants to acquire in Russia, he or she will need to submit the following documents with the immigration authorities:
an application form;
four passport-sized photos;
the valid passport;
proof of income (bank statement);
a health certificate indicating the applicant does not suffer from any contagious disease.
In the case of foreign citizens applying for permanent residency in Russia, the temporary residence permit is also required. Foreigners seeking to relocate to Russia with their children must also submit the children’s birth certificates. Our law firm in Russia can offer more information on the requirements related to applying for residence permits in the case of family members. The formalities for 2023 can be explained by our team.
How can one immigrate to Russia?
Foreign citizens interested in immigration to Russia can do so by finding a job with a local company or by opening a company here. There are also special situations in which a foreign citizen can apply for asylum in Russia. However, in most cases labor migration is the main reason foreigners come to Russia. In this situation, the Russian company employing the foreign worker will handle the process for the foreigner to receive their employment pass. There are several types of visas the Russian Federation can issue:
visas for teachers;
visas for diplomats and representatives of international organizations;
temporary visas, which also apply in the case of employees;
permanent residence permits.
According to the Russian Immigration Law, in order to gain permanent residency, one must first apply for a temporary residence permit. The last type of visa will be issued after the foreign citizen has lived in Russia for two years.
Obligations and rights of a temporary residence permit in Russia
Temporary residence in Russia can be obtained by foreigners who want to relocate to this country. There are both obligations and rights for those who obtain temporary residence in Russia, and among these, we mention the following:
Once citizens received a temporary residence permit in Russia, they must register with local or regional authorities in no more than 7 days.
Citizens undertake to submit a statement with information about the source of income, the amounts received in the last year, and proof of payment of taxes.
Foreign citizens can accept jobs in Russia if they have a temporary residence permit, without the need for a work permit.
It is allowed to travel outside the Russian Federation, but once every 6 months, according to the laws in force.
As long as the temporary residence permit is allowed in Russia, foreign citizens can also receive multiple-entry visas.
Therefore, there are benefits as well as obligations that foreigners residing in Russia must consider. We emphasize that it is important to talk to an experienced lawyer about the documents required to obtain temporary residence in Russia. This way you will have the guarantee that important documents will not be missing, and therefore, the application will not be rejected. Find out all the details from our lawyers in Russia.
Can a temporary residence permit in Russia be denied?
Yes, there are cases in which foreign citizens who intend to relocate to Russia find themselves hit by a refusal from the authorities. The temporary residence permit in Russia will not be obtained if all the required documents and information are not provided. Moreover, if the authorities of the Russian Federation found that the applicants have criminal records or have been involved in immigration issues and non-compliance with the rules, they will not be able to obtain residency in Russia.
The Russian authorities are quite strict about immigration in this country, but there are no problems for those who respect the law and who comply with the formalities imposed on immigration. That is why it is more than advisable to talk to a lawyer with experience in this case and to benefit from support and assistance from the very beginning.
Company relocation in Russia
Residence in Russia is necessary for foreign investors who want to relocate their company to this country. The whole process is quite simple and involves de-registration with the authorities in the country of origin, concluding contracts with suppliers, and preparing documents specifying the relocation of the company, plus the signature of those in management positions.
At the same time, the application process for residence in Russia can begin, including for workers to be relocated to this country. We remind you that all procedures can be carefully analyzed and managed by our lawyers in Russia.
Russia, still in the attention of foreign investors
The stable business climate, the secured economy (11th place in the world), the experienced and multilingual workforce, the ease with which companies can be set up are some of the attributes that Russia offers to foreign investors. Being an endless source of natural deposits such as oil & gas, but also metals, Russia is one of the main exporters in the world, with huge amounts registered in this field every year. And to give you an idea of the economic direction of Russia, we present below some statistics and facts:
More than USD 446 billion was the total FDI in Russia for 2020.
The value of greenfield investments was notable in the same year, with more than USD 8 billion registered.
Mining and quarrying was the sector that absorbed the most foreign investment in 2020, around 24%. This sector is closely followed by the manufacturing industry, with 21% of the total.
The 2020 Doing Business report ranked Russia 28th out of 190 world economies, an improvement of 3 places from the previous year. Business conditions and climate were taken into account.
France, the US, the UK, and Turkey are among Russia's largest investors. To these are added Cyprus, with over 28% of total investments in Russia and Bermuda, with about 9%.
Foreign investors appreciated Russia's workforce due to favorable costs, but also experience in areas of interest.
Obtaining citizenship in Russia
Foreign citizens living for five uninterrupted years in Russia are allowed to apply for citizenship, according to the Immigration Law. Russian citizenship can be acquired in one of the following ways:
4. Can I work in Russia based on a residence permit?
Yes, you are allowed to work in Russia if you are a holder of a temporary or permanent residence visa.
5. Can I obtain citizenship in Russia if I have a residence permit?
You can obtain Russian citizenship based on a permanent residence permit.
Our Russian lawyers can offer information on all the laws mentioned above. Get in touch with us for details about residency in Russia.
Considering Russian residence permits are issued based on an annual quota, you will first want to verify the number of visas issued. For other information about the immigration legislation, you can contact our lawyers in Russia.
Our Lawyer in Russia
Evgeny M. Kuznetsov is the managing partner and founder of Herman & Smith LLC and he is specialized in debt restructuring, debt collection, mediation after pleading in litigation cases related to the Sea Law. After appearing in international arbitration courts, Evgeny has later specialized in offering support to foreign investors interested in operating in Russia. Contact us for details
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