Temporary and permanent residence permits in Russia will become easier to obtain from 1 November 2019, when amendments to key legislation* come into force.

Temporary residence permits

The amendments expand the grounds for obtaining a temporary residence permit (“TRP”), outside the established quota of TRPs that can be issued in a certain region within a calendar year, by adding the following categories to the list of foreign citizens:

  • citizens of countries of the former USSR who received higher education in Russia under state-accredited programmes;
  • foreign citizens migrating to Russia under international treaties; and
  • Ukrainian citizens recognised as refugees or granted provisional asylum in Russia.

The time frame for processing a TRP will be reduced from six to four months.

The amendments also clarify the grounds for cancelling TRPs. Under the current system, TRPs can be cancelled if a foreign citizen remains outside Russia for more than six months in a row. According to the new rules, a TRP can be cancelled if the permit holder stays outside Russia for more than six months in total during a calendar year, except in cases of medical emergencies, the death of a close relative or business demands.

Permanent residence permits

The number of categories of foreign citizens who are able to obtain a permanent resident permit (“PRP”) without first receiving a TRP will significantly increase under the new regime. In addition to highly qualified specialists and foreign citizens recognised as native Russian speakers, the following categories of foreign citizens will be able to obtain PRPs under the simplified procedure:

  • foreign employees who have been working in Russia for at least six months in one of the professions listed as qualified specialists (the list will be approved separately) where the employer pays contributions to the Russian Pension Fund;
  • foreign citizens who were born in the territory of the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic and were citizens of the USSR;
  • children of foreign citizens holding a PRP in Russia that are below the age of 18;
  • children and parents of Russian citizens permanently residing in Russia; and
  • foreign citizens who were illegally deported from the territory of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and have a certificate of rehabilitation issued by Russian state authorities or a court. This ground also applies to foreign citizens whose parents, grandparents, adoptive parents or spouses were illegally deported.

PRPs for all categories of foreign citizens, except for highly qualified specialists, will be issued for an unlimited term. (Currently, PRPs are issued for five years.)

PRPs issued to highly qualified specialists will remain limited to the period of validity of their work permit.

Foreign citizens will be required to renew their PRP upon reaching the age of 14, 20 and 45 years, in cases where the personal data or gender of the holder has changed, or if the PRP document is worn out or damaged.

PRP holders will still be able to submit a yearly notification confirming their residence in Russia by mail, in person or electronically. Before the end of every fifth year, however, this notification of residence will have to be filed in person.

A PRP will be cancelled if its holder does not submit a confirmation of residence for two calendar years in a row.

As is the case for TRPs, a PRP will also be cancelled if a holder remains outside Russia for more than six months in aggregate during a calendar year. (The exceptions are the same as those listed for TRPs).

A foreign citizen who now holds a limited-term PRP will be able to renew it for an unlimited period.