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Obtaining a temporary residence permit in Russia

Any foreign citizen who wants to live in Russia for an extended period of time is required by law to have a Russian residence permit. In this article, we will describe conditions, procedure and documents needed to obtain this permit.

Russian Federal Law «On the legal status of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation» (of 25.07.2002 N 115-FZ) divides foreign citizens into three main groups according to the time of residence allowed to them on the territory of Russia.

These groups are:

1) Temporary staying foreign citizens (Временно пребывающие иностранные граждане);
 2) Temporarily residing foreign citizens (Временно проживающие иностранные граждане);
3) Permanently residing foreign citizens (Постоянно проживающие иностранные граждане).

1) Temporarily staying citizens remain on the territory of Russia on the basis of a visa, or under a visa-free regime.
2) Temporarily residing foreign citizens remain on the territory of Russia on the basis of a temporary residence permit.
3) Permanently residing foreign citizen remains on the territory of Russia on the basis of a residence permit.

How to obtain a temporary residence permit in the Russian Federation?


A temporary residence permit (also called in Russia - RVP - РВП) allows for the time of residence of three years, and in the Russian Federation, as a general rule, is issued to a foreign citizens within the quota approved by the Russian Government. This quota is approved annually by the Government and for 2020 is 60 270 temporary residence permits.

As an exception, the law allows the following categories of foreign citizens to obtain permit (they don't need to fit the quota):

1) any foreign citizen to whom a residence permit can be issued without obtaining a temporary residence permit;
2) any foreign citizen who has not reached the age of 18 (eighteen) and whose parent (adoptive parent, guardian, trustee) is a foreign citizen and temporarily resides in the Russian Federation - for the period of temporary residence of his parent (adoptive parent, guardian, trustee);
3) any foreign citizen under the age of 18 (eighteen), receiving a temporary residence permit with a parent (adoptive parent, guardian, trustee) - a foreign citizen;
4) any foreign citizen married to a citizen of the Russian Federation who has a place of residence in the Russian Federation - in the same state of Russia in which the place of residence of his spouse is located;
5) any foreign citizen who has reached the age of 18 (eighteen) years, in accordance with the legislation of a foreign state recognized as incompetent or limited in legal capacity, receiving a temporary residence permit with a parent (adoptive parent, guardian, trustee) - a foreign citizen;
6) any foreign citizen who has reached the age of 18 (eighteen) eighteen years, in accordance with the legislation of a foreign state, is recognized as incapable or limited in legal capacity, and the parent (adoptive parent, guardian, trustee) of whom is a foreign citizen and temporarily resides in the Russian Federation, for the period of temporary residence of his parent (adoptive parent, guardian, trustee);
7) any foreign citizen who made investments in the Russian Federation in the amount established by the Government of the Russian Federation;
8) any foreign citizen who entered military service in Russian Federation - for the period of his military service;
9) any foreign citizen who is a participant in the State program for assisting the voluntary resettlement to the Russian Federation of compatriots living abroad, and members of his family who move with him to the Russian Federation;
10) any foreign citizen who is a citizen of the state that was part of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and who has received professional education on the territory of the Russian Federation in a state educational organization of higher education, a state professional educational organization or a state scientific organization, according to educational programs with state accreditation;
11) any foreign citizen who is a citizen of Ukraine or a stateless person who permanently resided in the territory of Ukraine, recognized refugees or who received temporary asylum on the territory of the Russian Federation;
12) any foreign citizen migrating to the Russian Federation for permanent residence in accordance with international treaties of the Russian Federation on the regulation of the resettlement process and protection of the rights of migrants.

To obtain a RVP, in general, we recommend following this algorithm:

1. Preparing the required documents:
The list of documents required to obtain RVP is different for different categories of citizens.
Copies of these documents with a notarized translation into Russian or a translator's signature are attached to the application. Original document are returned to the applicant after procedure is completed.

For a foreign citizen who has reached the age of 18 the following documents are needed:

1) application for the issuance of a RVP in duplicate;
2) two black and white or color photographs measuring 35 x 45 mm with a clear image of the face from the front without any headgear. For citizens who constantly wear glasses, it is obligatory to take pictures with glasses without tinted glasses;
3) an identity document;
4) a document issued by the authorized body of the state of permanent residence, confirming that the applicant has no criminal record. The document must be issued no earlier than three months before the date of application;
5) a residence permit or other document issued by an authorized body of a foreign state, which confirms the residence of a foreign citizen outside the state of his citizenship;
6) a document confirming the absence of drug addiction and infectious diseases that pose a danger to others, as well as a certificate of the applicant's absence of HIV infection;
7) a document confirming knowledge of the Russian language, knowledge of the history of Russia and the basics of the legislation of the Russian Federation. Certain categories of persons are exempted from the submission of this document, in particular, men who have reached the age of 65 and women who have reached the age of 60, as well as participants in the State Program for Assisting the Voluntary Resettlement of Compatriots Living Abroad to the Russian Federation and their family members.

If a RVP can be issued to a foreign citizen without the need to fit the quota approved by the Government, then a foreign citizen, depending on the grounds for issuing RVP, additionally may be required to submit:

1) a birth certificate on the territory of the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) or a passport of a citizen of the USSR (with a date of issue of 1974), with a corresponding birth record;
2) a marriage certificate and a passport of a spouse - a citizen of the Russian Federation, who has a place of residence in the territory of the Russian Federation (in this case, the RVP is issued in the state of the Russian Federation where the place of residence of the citizen of the Russia who is his spouse is located);
3) a letter from the head of the organization attracting foreign investments on investments implemented by this foreign citizen;
4) a contract for military service.
For a foreign citizen who arrived in the Russia in a manner that does not require a visa the following documents are needed:
1) an application for the issuance of a RVP in duplicate;
2) photographs in accordance with the requirements listed above;
3) an identity document;
4) a document confirming the absence of drug addiction and infectious diseases, a certificate of the absence of HIV infection (as listed above);
5) a document confirming knowledge of the Russian language, knowledge of the history of Russia and the basics of the legislation of the Russian Federation. Certain categories of persons are exempted from the submission of this document, in particular, men who have reached the age of 65 years, and women - 60 years old (as listed above).

To obtain a temporary residence permit for a minor (foreign citizen under 18 years of age), a separate application is submitted in two copies, together with which the following documents are additionally submitted:

1) photographs (as listed above);
2) a document proving the identity of the for whom the application is submitted;
3) birth certificate;
4) a document confirming the absence of drug addiction and infectious diseases that pose a danger to others, as well as a certificate of the applicant's absence of HIV infection (as listed above);
5) a document issued by the authorized body of the state of permanent residence, confirming the absence of a criminal record of a foreign citizen who has reached the age of 14;
6) a residence permit or other document issued by an authorized body of a foreign state, which confirms the residence of a foreign citizen outside the state of his citizenship.

2. Submitting the documents.

Temporary residence permits are issued by the territorial divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (MVD RF- МВД РФ) at the regional and district levels.

A foreign citizen who has reached the age of 18 and is staying legally on the territory of Russia submits an application to the migration department of the MVD division at his place of temporary residence, including in relation to a minor foreign citizen receiving RVP together with him (or separate from him).

If a foreign citizen is outside of Russia, the application must be submitted to the diplomatic mission or consular office of the Russian Federation in the state of his residence.

A citizen of the Russian Federation or a foreign citizen residing in the Russian Federation on the basis of a permit or residence permit submits an application in relation to a minor foreign citizen, of which he is a legal representative, to the authorized body at the place of his residence (stay) (clauses 2, 73, 74, 75 of the Administrative Regulations).

All of the required documents can be submitted during a personal visit or by electronic form using the Unified Portal of State and Municipal Services (https://www.gosuslugi.ru/).

For the issuing RVP to a foreign citizen, a small tax fine of 1 600 rubles must be paid (1 600 rubles equals about 22, 34 USD as of July 2020 when the exchange rate for 1 USD = 71,61 RUB).

After submitting the documents foreign citizen will receive a certificate as confirmation of acceptance of his application.

3. Wait for a response on your application.

The decision to issue or refuse to issue a permit is made within a period of time not exceeding 4 (four) months from the date of submission of the application by a foreign citizen (and 60 days if the application is submitted by a foreign citizen who arrived in the Russian Federation in a manner that does not require a visa).

A notice with the result of the application is sent by mail to the applicant. It contains either the place or time of obtaining a permit or a notice of refusal to issue it.

Should you have any questions or you are in need of legal aid in Russia, do not hesitate to contact us:
Tel: +7 909 961-19-09
Email: legalsolutions@inbox.ru
Visit us: Moscow, Zubovskiy bulvar, building 4, room 308
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