The guidelines for foreigners during the pandemic: do I need to renew my documents?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the terms of stay of foreign citizens in Russia have been extended until June 15, 2021. The corresponding Presidential Decree No. 791 entered into force on December 15, 2020.

According to the decree, the duration of a temporary stay, temporary or permanent residence of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Russian Federation and the validity of registrations at the place of stay and place of residence are suspended until June 15. Does it mean that the documents will be renewed automatically? Or do foreigners need to take some actions. Let’s figure it out in this memo.

Памятка для иностранцев в пандемию: нужно ли продлевать документы?

Whom does the presidential decree apply to?

To foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Russian Federation, with the exception of citizens of foreign states with that transport links have been resumed. Currently, these are the following countries: Great Britain, Tanzania, Turkey, Switzerland, Egypt, Maldives, UAE, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Korea, Cuba, Serbia, Japan, Seychelles, Ethiopia.

Citizens of these countries must leave Russia within 90 days from the date of entry into force of the decree, that is, until March 15, 2021.

(This also applies to foreigners who have a residence permit in these countries or other document confirming the right of permanent residence)

Citizens of those countries with which air traffic will be resumed during the period of the decree will also have to leave for their homeland within 90 days from the date of the beginning of transport communication.

The validity of what documents will be extended?

The decree applies to the following documents, which expire between March 15, 2020 and June 15, 2021


      temporary residence permit

      residence permit

      migration card with notes indicating the date of expiration

      refugee certificate

      certificate of consideration of the application for recognition as a refugee on the territory of the Russian Federation on the merits

      certificate of temporary asylum on the territory of the Russian Federation

      certificate of the participant of the State Program

Are the documents renewed automatically or do I need to put some kind of mark?

Documents are NOT automatically renewed.

According to the presidential decree, a foreign citizen should apply to the local body of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on migration issues and get a note on the extension of the validity of their document until June 15.

It is impossible to renew the documents of a foreign citizen without up-to-date data on migration registration or current registration. The validity period of registration at the place of residence and place of stay must be extended until June 15 at the police department or MFC (Multifunctional Public Services Centre).

If you have any questions about registration, please use our free telegram bot (@RegistrationToDoBot). This is a personal assistant that will help you understand how, where and when you need to register for it.

Telegram-бот об оформлении регистрации
Telegram bot to help with registration in russia

What happens if a foreigner does not extend the validity of their documents?

For violation of the migration legislation, a foreign citizen can receive a fine, but without additional consequences in the form of expulsion or cancellation of documents. According to the decree, no decisions will be taken against foreign citizens until June 15:

* on the undesirability of their stay or residence in the country;

* on the reduction of the period of temporary stay;

* on administrative expulsion from the Russian Federation;

* on deportation or readmission;

* on the deprivation of refugee status or temporary asylum;

* on cancellation of previously issued visas, work permits, work patents, RVP, residence permit, certificates of the participant of the State Program.

If you have not applied to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the renewal of documents, this should be done immediately.

Can foreign citizens continue to work?

Yes, but in case that the validity of permits is extended. Foreign citizens who arrived in Russia on a visa-free basis can apply for the issuance, extension or reissue of a work patent. This applies even to those foreigners who initially came to the Russian Federation not for the purpose of work. According to the decree, the requirements for the established deadline for filing documents for patent registration, for the stated purpose of the visit and departure from Russia do not apply until June 15.

Employers of foreign citizens who have arrived in Russia with visas also have the right to apply for the issuance or extension of a work permit for their employee. Work permits for foreign citizens are issued with a validity period until June 15, 2021.

What do migrant workers need to know or pay attention to in order not to get into a vulnerable position with respect to their employers? Gulnara Bobojanova, a lawyer of the program “Assistance to Labor Migrants” comments.

Это дискриминация? Давай узнаем
The program “Assistance to Labor Migrants”

Do I need to take any specific actions when leaving the Russian Federation?

Foreign citizens can freely leave Russia for their homeland with identity documents that expired between March 14, 2020 and June 15, 2021. Presidential Decree No. 791 provides such an opportunity.

Do you have any other questions? You can contact our lawyers and ask them by phone +7 495 681 05 27 or email, as well as personally. Come to our office for a free consultation at the address Moscow, Olympic Avenue 22.

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