• Russia: Foreign Registration Procedures Are Eased, But Delays Persist
  • April 5, 2011
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Effective March 25, 2011, Russia has eased some of its foreign registration procedures, and will now allow employers to complete registration formalities on behalf of their foreign employees, among other changes. But though Russian authorities have introduced more flexibility to the registration process, foreign nationals still encounter delays of several weeks or more in completing registration.

    When the new foreign registration requirement took effect in February, foreign nationals were required to be registered with the Federal Migration Service (FMS) office having jurisdiction over their place of residence within three days after arrival in Russia, and could not use an employer’s address for registration. If a foreign national resided in leased premises, a landlord was required to complete the registration process on the foreign national’s behalf. After employers expressed concern about these burdensome requirements, Russian authorities agreed to consider changes to the registration process.

    Under the amended procedures, the deadline to complete registration has been extended to seven business days after the foreign national’s arrival. Foreign nationals may be registered with the FMS office with jurisdiction over their place of employment, and employers are allowed to complete registration process on behalf of their foreign workers as their host party. Foreign nationals who enter Russia as highly qualified specialists and who own their residence in Russia may now act as the host party for their accompanying dependent family members for purposes of registration. Visa-exempt foreign nationals who enter Russia as highly-qualified specialists are automatically registered for the duration of their initial work permit, but not for any extensions of their immigration status.

    Despite the change in procedure, the registration process still presents considerable burden for the business community because the FMS will only accept registration applications for limited hours three days a week and because there are limits to the number of applications that the FMS will accept per person and per day. Due to these restrictions, registration applications can still take more than two weeks to process. The FMS does allocate one day a week each for representatives of the American Chamber of Trade and Commerce and the Association of European Business, but it remains unclear at this time whether this accommodation will help expedite the registration process.

    Work Authorization for Family Members of Highly Qualified Specialists

    In a separate development, Russian authorities have clarified that dependent family members of highly qualified specialists are exempt from the annual quota on work permits. In addition, they are able to obtain work permits using simplified procedures.

    Fragomen worked closely with VISTA Foreign Business Support (Moscow) to prepare this alert. The content herein is provided for informational purposes only.

    If you have any questions concerning the registration process, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Global Immigration Services, or send an email to [email protected].

    The content herein is provided for informational purposes only. To read more Fragomen Client Alerts please visit: http://www.fragomen.com.