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RUSSIA: Recent Law to Come into Force

Some recent laws have been signed by the President of Russia and are due to come into force shortly.

One of the Federal laws (#3030-FZ "On amendment to articles 25 and 26 of the Federal law and on rules of departure from the territory of the Russian Federation and entrance to the Russian Federation") provides for long-term visas (for up to five years) for representatives and employees of multinational companies investing in Russia. The criteria for such companies will be stipulated by the Government of the Russian Federation. Such visas will be issued without any official invitation letter processed by Federal Migration Service (FMS), while the basis for a visa issuance will be the application of a particular authority stipulated by the Government of the Russian Federation and sent to a consular post of the Russian Federation.

Another amendment to this law (#321-FZ) suggests establishment of a ban on entry into the territory of the Russian Federation within three years for foreign citizens and persons without citizenship, who during their previous visit to Russia without a good reason overstayed for longer than 30 days beyond the end of the allowed term of stay.

The Criminal Code has also been amended to strengthen the responsibility for organizing the illegal entry into Russia of foreign citizens and persons without citizenship and their illegal stay and illegal transit, as well as for crossing the Russian border by those individuals whose entry into the Russian Federation is not authorized. The law provides for an increase in the fine amount of up to three hundred thousand rubles and increased terms of punishment for organizing illegal migration.

Employers can now file an electronic application via the Internet for employment and work permits (as well as amendments, renewals, and duplicate documents) to the FMS. However, paper documents still must be provided to the FMS while the application is pending.

In addition, the law allows employers to use foreign workers with temporary residence permits in the Russian Federation without any additional documents, such as employment or work permits.

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