CHANGES TO VISA PROCESS MAY PROVOKE DELAYS
The MFA of Russia has approved a new list of the purposes of entry, which is used by state authorities when issuing letters of invitation and visas to foreign nationals.
The list took effect on 8 February 2021.
Which law introduces the changes?
- Order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation of 21.12.2020 N 23235 "On Approval of the List of Travel Purposes Used for Issuing and Issuing Visas to Foreign Citizens".
What are the changes?
1. The newly approved list of available purposes of entry has some differences from the old list. Please find the most important differences below:
- The “Work for hire” purpose of entry has been renamed to “Work activities”;
- The “Technical services” purpose of entry has been renamed to “Installation works” and the category of the relevant visa has been changed from “Business” to “Work”.
NB! Please note that as per general rule, all work visas are issued as single entry visas for 90 days with possibility of in-country extension (with exception to HQS employees and their family members who are eligible to multiple visas valid for 3 years).
- The “Commercial” and “Aim tourism” purposes of entry are not included in the new list. A regular business visa should be requested for any type of business activities in Russia;
- The “Private” purpose of entry has been renamed to “Guest”;
- Work visas with “accompanying family member” purpose of entry may be issued only to HQS dependents as well as dependents of foreign mass media workers.
NB! The new list does not provide for issue of dependent visas to family members of employees who work based on regular (non-HQS) work permits.
2. According to the information that we have received from the migration authority, filing of work visa invitation applications in the Moscow migration department (Pokrovka Street 42) has been temporarily suspended due to technical reasons and in connection with the above changes.
3. Currently, we are receiving reports that some of the Russian consulates abroad suspend filing of applications for work visas and technical services visas. The officials of the consulates and relevant visa centres refer only to receiving some internal instructions to suspend filing of the relevant applications.
We would like to alert our clients to the possibility of temporary suspension of filing applications and the resulting delays in the processing of work LOIs in the migration departments in Russia and processing of work visas in Russian consulates abroad. In some cases, at the decision of a competent authority, the necessity to re-apply or obtain a new LOI instead of a previously issued one may arise.
We will keep track of further developments.
Who is affected?
Foreign nationals from visa countries and their inviting parties