According to Decree No. 202 of the President of the Russian Federation dated 9 May 2017* (the “Decree”), all foreigners arriving at certain Russian cities within the periods established by the Decree must be registered at their places of intended stay (residence) within 24 hours of their arrival.

The new rule will apply during the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 and 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia in the following cities:

- Kazan, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi, from 1 June until 12 July 2017;

- Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saint Petersburg, Saransk and Sochi, from 25 May until 25 July 2018.

The entities hosting such foreigners in Russia or the foreigners themselves must provide the documents required for the migration registration formalities to the relevant local office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (the “MIA”). It is not clear from the Decree if registration can be done through post offices. The Decree applies not only to foreign football fans, but to all foreigners, including highly qualified foreign specialists, visiting the abovementioned cities within those time periods. Comments The Decree raises numerous questions in terms of its practical implementation (e.g. what to do when foreigners arrive in Russia during the closing hours of the local MIA offices). It is also unclear whether the existing simplified migration rules for registering highly qualified foreign specialists and members of their families will be suspended during the stipulated timeframes. MIA has yet to comment on these issues. Therefore, and until further developments, we recommend that our clients comply with these requirements and plan the trips of foreigners to the specified cities in a way that will enable their hosts to register them with the appropriate migration authorities within 24 hours of their arrival. We would also like to advise our clients to check the working hours of the relevant local MIA offices beforehand in order to ensure that it is possible to register foreigners there within 24 hours of their arrival in Russia.