Russia: Prosecutions on the rise for misuse of business and technical support visas

Russia is prosecuting a growing number of cases against foreign nationals for misusing business visas and technical support visas.

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What does the change mean? Companies are reminded that foreigners are not permitted to conduct work activities on business or technical support visas and such conduct may count as an administrative violation that can lead to a ban on re-entry.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Business visas, technical support visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals conducting business, technical support or work activities in Russia.
  • Business impact: Foreign nationals and their employers are subject to fines and administrative penalties for violating the conditions of their visas.
  • Next steps: Employers should be prepared for possible inspection by immigration authorities and make sure that foreign nationals are conducting only activities permitted by the terms of their visas. The prosecutor’s office posts information on its website about companies that are undergoing inspections.

Background: Russia has recently been clamping down on foreigners who commit even minor infractions that violate administrative laws, such as traffic violations and untimely address registration. Under a two-strikes law, foreigners who incur two administrative violations in a 12-month period are barred from re-entering Russia.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals should limit their activities in Russia to the stated purpose of their visit and keep track of administrative violations that could subject them to re-entry bans.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Russian Federation. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from seven offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

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