Registration of Temporary Residents for Migration Purposes


Maria Landau
Associate
Salans


On the face of it, the procedure for registering foreign nationals at their place of residence in the Russian Federation was made simpler from 2007 onwards with the introduction of the notification based migration registration system. In fact, it all looks simple from a quick glance at the legislative requirements, with only a few documents needing to be submitted for registration for migration purposes: a notice of arrival, a copy of the document identifying the foreign national; a copy of the migration card; the respective confirmation documents of the host party (the host party is usually either the apartment owner or an employer/client).

However, in practice, things aren’t usually that simple and the host party generally ends up paying a fee and submitting the additional documents required by the regional office of the Federal Migration Service or the relevant post office department that accepts documents for registration for migration purposes. The problem is that these agencies frequently create their own practice of applying legislation on registration for migration purposes. It is often the case that the list of documents required and the volume of demands imposed may differ depending on the Federal Migration Service’s regional office or the post office department where the documents are to be submitted. We will therefore examine the requirements applicable to the procedure for registration for migration purposes.

It is well known that foreign nationals temporarily residing in the Russian Federation must register at their place of residence within three business days of their arrival. In the event of a change to their place of residence, they must be de-registered. It should be noted that the registration and de-registration procedure must be carried out each time the foreign national changes his place of residence, regardless of whether he leaves the Russian Federation or simply changes his place of residence within the Russian Federation.

Registration is carried out by (i) submitting a notice in the approved form to the regional office of the Federal Migration Service, or (ii) sending the notice by mail via the relevant post office department. It should be borne in mind that post office departments accept notices of arrival only when registering a foreign national for the first time. Registration can be extended only by the regional offices of the Federal Migration Service. The notice is sent/submitted by the host party. This article does not discuss the registration for migration purposes of foreign nationals by the hotel in which they are staying (this option is arguably the easiest, as hotels independently register foreign nationals for migration purposes within 24 hours of their arrival).

In addition to the completed notice on the foreign national’s arrival, the following documents have to be submitted to the Federal Migration Service office or post office department: (i) a copy of the document identifying the foreign national; (ii) a copy of the migration card; (iii) a copy of the documents confirming the legitimate reasons preventing the host party from independently sending the notice of arrival (if applicable); (iv) a copy of the document identifying the Russian Federation national (foreign national or authorized person from the organization) acting as the host party.

In practice, however, the migration authorities and relevant post office departments often demand additional documents, namely copies of accommodation-related documents in cases where the foreign national is registered in an apartment (or other accommodation), medical certificates, employment agreements with the foreign national, copies of the employer/client’s office lease agreement if the registration is being carried out by the employer/client in its own name. However, please note that the list of documents required for the registration for migration purposes of temporarily residing foreign nationals is set forth exclusively by applicable law and is exhaustive. It is not legitimate to request other documents, which are not set out in the current legislation.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the issues arising in the course of registration for migration purposes are more practical than theoretical, as a result of which registration for migration purposes involves cooperation with the respective RF Federal Migration Service department or post office department, which develop their own ways of working and interacting with the foreign nationals who are subject to registration for migration purposes.

An interested party may certainly exercise its right to lodge an appeal with higher authorities or with a court against unlawful actions involving a refusal by representatives of the migration authorities and post office departments to register a foreign national for migration purposes, provided that the host party or foreign national has submitted all the documents required by law. However, this procedure will unquestionably be time consuming and lead to difficulties for the interested party and, more importantly, may not be a very effective means of resolving the problem of the foreign national’s registration for migration purposes. Therefore, it is worth remembering and, where possible, applying a few practical recommendations:

(i) Ask the migration authority or the relevant post office for the list of documents required for registration for migration purposes (in writing, if possible) in advance;

(ii) Ask the migration authority or the relevant post office for a written reasoned refusal to register a foreign national for migration purposes; and

(iii) Contact the RF Federal Migration Service for a written explanation on questions arising in respect to registration for migration purposes, including for confirmation of the list of documents required for registration.