New Immigration Laws in Russia Make Expatriation Easier

A number of new immigration laws have now been introduced in Russia that mean that relocating to the country is much easier than it previously was.

Investors who wish to relocate to Russia and who are willing to make investments in the local economy will now benefit from a simplified application process, as will employees of overseas companies that have established operations in the region.

The changes were announced by the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS), who disclosed the new Investment Visitor Visa. The visa will be of benefit to business visitors, partners and representatives of overseas firms investing and operating in the country. Although the complete details of the new visa are yet to be released, it is anticipated that the authorities will establish a list of eligible companies will be established and applications can subsequently be filed by representatives of these companies. One of the biggest changes to the new visa is that applicants will be permitted to apply from overseas Russian consulates as opposed to having to wait for an official letter of invitation from the FMS, as is currently the case. Furthermore, it will also be possible to use scanned versions of supporting documentation, whereas in the past only the originals would be accepted.

According to a representative from FMS, the improved visa processes have been introduced in response to Russia’s growing skills shortage, with the new program aiming to meet foreign labor needs through easing migration procedures. He also revealed that further changes will be implemented in the future.

However, the authorities have warned that people who flout the rules will face severe penalties. Any individuals who overstay their visas by longer than 30 days will be banned from rentering the country for three years and any Russian individual or organization who helps arrange illegal entry or employment of a foreign national will face a fine of just under $10,000 USD.