Russia: Immigration Bulletin – Law Changes Approved
A new law signed on December 30th, 2012 and officially published on January 11th, 2013 introduces the possibility for employees or representatives of big foreign companies to apply for multi-entry business visas which will be valid for up to five years. The change will also apply to companies that invest in Russia or take part in government projects such as Skolkovo and International Financial Center. It is not yet clear what will be required for a company to qualify to apply for five year visas on behalf of its employees. It is also not yet clear whether or not there will be a unique application process for the five year visa.
Entry Ban for Three Years to Foreigners Who Overstayed Allowed Period of Stay
A law published January 11th, 2013, will prohibit foreigners who exceeded their allowed stay in Russia for more than 30 days from re-entering Russia for period of three years. The three year ban will be counted from the day of departure from the territory of Russian Federation. The ban will not be applied to foreigners who can document the fact that their late departure from Russia was due to urgent medical issues or other emergency situations.
Responsibility for Immigration Legislation Violations Toughened
January marked not only the arrival of a New Year in Russia, but it also brought a new, tougher approach to the handling of immigration law violations. Recently, changes were introduced to the Administrative Code which holds companies, as well as respective company officials, accountable for the submission of incorrect data regarding the purpose of visits by foreign nationals. Penalties of up to 500,000 RUB (approx. 12,000 USD) will be charged for submitting visa applications and invitation letters with incorrect or misleading information about the purpose of the visit.