Russia – Travel and Immigration Restrictions Due to COVID-19
Russia – COVID-19 Travel and Immigration Restrictions
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia has taken measures to suspend travel into the country by foreign nationals and has ceased issuing work permits and visas to them.
In March 2020, Russian officials introduced various packages of regulations, measures and recommendations in order to stop the spreading of COVID-19 in Russia. The measures include restricting entry for all foreign citizens, with limited exceptions, and issuance of work permits and visas for all foreign citizens.1
WHY THIS MATTERS
Recently introduced restrictions significantly impact all foreign citizens in Russia and those who had planned to move to or work in Russia. They are currently not allowed to enter into Russia. Russian citizens are also affected by those regulations as they are not allowed to travel abroad. This could have implications for companies with employees who are Russia inbound or outbound for an international assignment or with plans to send employees to/from Russia.
Employees and their families who may have received offers for an international assignment to Russia may need to postpone the commencement of the assignment or may indeed already be there but on limited term visas. This could cause some anxiety, stress, and inconvenience, especially where plans for relocation were already underway or where the assignees are already in Russia on temporary visas.
Current Restrictions Affecting Foreign and Local Citizens in Russia
- Starting from 18 March 2020 and until 1 May 2020, Russia has restricted entry for all foreign citizens except for certain categories of individuals which include:
- employees of diplomatic missions and consular offices in the Russian Federation;
- drivers of international road transport vehicles;
- crews of air, sea and river vessels, train and locomotive crews of international railway transport;
- members of official delegations and persons holding diplomatic, official, or ordinary private visas issued in connection with the death of a close relative;
- persons permanently residing in the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as persons in transit through air checkpoints.
- Starting from 18 March 2020 and until further notice, Russia has restricted issuance of work permits and visas for all foreign citizens;
- Starting from 27 March 2020 and until further notice, Russia has stopped all regular and charter flights into and out of Russia2;
- The week from 30 March 2020 until 5 April 2020, is declared to be non-working in Russia in order to stop the spreading of COVID-193;
- Starting from 30 March 2020, home self-isolation4 is required for all citizens in Moscow and the Moscow region. Citizens are allowed to leave their homes only for:
- emergency medical care and direct threats to life and health;
- travelling to work for those required to go to work;
- making purchases at the nearest grocery or pharmacy stores;
- walking pets at a distance not exceeding 100 meters from the home;
- taking out household garbage.
The KPMG International member firm in Russia continues to monitor these matters closely. For advice on this changing situation, please contact your global mobility adviser or qualified immigration counsel, or a member of our team with KPMG in Russia.
1 For restrictions on travelling and issuance of work permits and visas (in Russian), please see: http://government.ru/docs/39179/.
2 For restrictions on flights (in Russian), please see: http://government.ru/news/39277/.
3 For the declaration of the non-working week (in Russian), please see: http://publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202003250021.
4 For self-isolation in Moscow (in Russian), please see: https://www.mos.ru/authority/documents/doc/43620220/.
Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Russia.
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