New regulations on visa issuance to foreign nationals in Russia
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has issued new regulations on processing, issuance, extension and restoration of visas to foreign nationals and stateless persons. These regulations became effective on January 28, 2020.
These regulations apply only to foreign nationals who are in the Russian Federation
Main changes introduced by the new regulations
1. Applicant base adjusted
Amendments were made previously to the federal law on migration registration by replacing the host/inviting party with the broader concept of authorized representative, and regulations were amended accordingly. Now, a foreign national or stateless person located in Russia may apply for a visa either in person or through an authorized representative.
2. List of documents necessary for authorized representatives to submit applications
- Passport or other ID;
- Document confirming the representative’s authority and powers to apply for visas.
A power of attorney issued by an organization suffices at the moment, but perhaps soon it might be necessary to submit a notarized power of attorney issued by foreign nationals to submit signed visa applications on behalf of foreign nationals.
3. Forms for organizations to apply for visa extension/restoration
Previously, organizations could apply for visa extension or restoration without any form, but now they need to use the form provided in Annexes No. 1 and No. 2 to the regulations.
The Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast also requests to specify the exact visa expiration date. In this case, it should be borne in mind that this date should be no later than six months before the end of the passport validity.
4. Procedure for correcting typos and errors
A new application form is available now (Annex No. 3) that needs to be completed to correct errors made in issued documents (visa).
5. Procedure for applying in electronic form
The new regulations describe the procedure for obtaining services through bodies offering public services.
6. New grounds and exact deadlines for visa application rejection
A decision not to issue a visa may be made and remain valid:
- For 5 years from the day when foreign nationals are expelled from Russia, deported or transferred to a foreign state under the international agreement of the Russian Federation for readmission. The new regulations have introduced this 5-year period;
- For 10 years from the day when foreign nationals are for the second or more times expelled from Russia, deported or transferred to a foreign state under the international agreement of the Russian Federation for readmission. The new regulations have introduced this 10-year period and the number of times foreign nationals need to be expelled;
- If a foreign national has twice or more times been held liable for an administrative offense such as:
- Encroachment on public order and security;
- Violation of the rules on foreign citizens’ stay in the Russian Federation;
- Violation of the procedure for labor activity in the Russian Federation;
then such foreign national may be declined a visa for 5 years from the date of entry into force of the latest decision for prosecution. The new regulations have introduced this 5-year period.
7. Official form for rejection of application
This form is provided in Annex No. 4 to the regulations.
8. Pre-court decision appeal
- A list of regulations on the procedure for appealing decisions and actions of bodies and officers providing visa services has been compiled;
- The provisions regulating:
- The cases for which a complaint may be filed;
- The subject and content of the complaint;
have been excluded;
3. Although the procedure for filing and considering complaints is excluded, information on the procedure will be posted on the websites of the State Services, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia and the local departments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as on information boards in the places of provision of services.