On this page:
- What is a Russian Temporary Residence Permit?
- Who can apply for a Russian Temporary Residence permit without a quota?
- Required documents for application for a Russian Temporary Residence Permit
- Advantages of a Russian Temporary Residence Permit
- Disadvantages of the Russian Temporary Residence Permit
What is a Russian Temporary Residence Permit?
The temporary residence permit (Разрешение на Временное Проживание) offers the possibility to a person from a visa country to live without a visa and work without a work permit in Russia. This temporary residence permit is granted for a period of 3 years and is a step towards a residence permit that allows for a more permanent residence, the Вид На Жительство, which is valid for 5 years. I highly recommend you read this article in combination with my article about the permanent residence permit.
A person with a temporary residence permit is referred to as a “temporary resident” (временно проживающий) in Russian law.
Just like the normal work permit, this document can be obtained with and without quotas. These quotas are fixed annually by the Russian Government after having received a proposal on the distribution of quotas from the subjects of the Russian Federation.
Quotas for the coming year will be adopted by the Government of Russia annually no later than November 30 of the previous year.
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Article 6 of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation contains a non-exhaustive list of persons who do not need quotas in order to qualify for a temporary residence permit for Russia:
- Persons born in the Soviet Union who had Soviet citizenship and people born in Russia.
- An incapacitated person with a son or a daughter with Russian nationality
- Someone with an incapacitated parent of Russian nationality
- Someone who is married to a Russian national, provided that the couple lives in Russia
- Someone who is investing in Russia (this possibility has not yet been elaborated upon by the legislator)
- Someone who serves in the Russian army (in this case the temporary residence permit is issued for the period of service of this person).
- Russians living abroad who use a special government program to settle in Russia
- A parent of a child of Russian nationality
- A parent of an incapacitated person of age of Russian nationality
- A minor whose parents are eligible to participate in the procedure without quotas
- A minor whose parent (s) is a citizen (s) of Russia
- A person of age who is incapacitated and whose parent(s) are eligible to participate in the procedure without quotas
- A person of age who is legally incapacitated, whose parent is of Russian nationality
Required Documents for a temporary Russian residence permit
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The following documents must be submitted with the application for a temporary residence permit in Russia:Diploma (translated, unless you have a Russian diploma)
- Migration card
- Doctors declaration that you do not have HIV (this document may also be submitted later
- Passport photograph
- Application form
- Proof of payment fees (amounts to 1600 rubles)
- Declaration of good behavior / document proving the absence of a criminal record (this condition only applies to residents of visa countries).
- Legalized copy passport with Translation
- Proof of knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history, and Russian legislation (unless you fall under one of the exceptions)
Knowledge of Russian Language, Culture, History and Legislation
Article 15.1 stipulates, that unless otherwise is decided in an international treaty, a foreigner who receives a temporary residence permit in Russia has to prove his knowledge of Russian language, culture, history and legislation. This can be done in one of the following ways:
- Obtain a certificate of knowledge of Russian language, culture, history and legislation
- А high school diploma obtained in the Soviet Union before 1 September 1991
- А diploma of а secondary education ор higher education obtained in Russia after 1 September 1991
Who is Exempted from Proving his Knowledge
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Тhe requirement to pass a Russian language test is a stumbling block for many. For certain people this test is, however, not required. These exceptions are contained in Article 15.1 , paragraph 5.
- Fully or partially legally incompetent foreign nationals (point 1)
- Foreign nationals under the age of 18 (point 2)
- Male foreign nationals who have reached the age of 65 (point 3)
- Female foreign nationals who have reached the age of 60 (point 4)
- Foreign nationals who are participants in the State Programme to facilitate the voluntary resettlement in the Russian Federation of compatriots living abroad (point 5)
- Highly Qualified Specialists and members of their families who have applied for a permanent residence permit for Russia (point 6). Highly Qualified also don’t have to take the exam when they’re in Russia on the basis of a work visa (paragraph 6).
- Foreign nationals who have applied for a permanent residence permit in connection with them being acknowledged as native speakers of the Russian language (point 7)
- Foreign nationals who are citizens of a Union State formed by the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus (point 8)
- Foreign nationals applying for a permanent permit residence permit who have a parent (adopter, tutor, guardian) or a child who is a citizens of the Russian Federation and who permanently resides in the Russian Federation. (point 9)
Paragraph 6 contains further exceptions:
- Journalists working in mass media that are published in foreign languages
- Foreign citizens studying in the Russian Federation on a full-time basis in professional educational organizations or higher education organizations with state accreditation of basic professional educational programs and carrying out their labor activity in accordance with Article 13.4 of this Federal Law.
Where to Take the Exam
If one of the above mentioned exceptions does not apply to you, you will have to take the exam. The next question will then logically be, where can I take the exam? Different subjects of the Russian Federation have published lists with institutions authorised to organise these examinations.
The authorised institutions for Saint Petersburg are listed here on the site of the local MVD.
Advantages of the temporary Russian residence permit
- You no longer need a visa
- You can establish yourself as a self-employed entrepreneur in Russia.
- You no longer need a work permit to be allowed to work in Russia (but you will only be allowed to work in that area of Russia where your temporary residence permit was issued).
- You’ll be entitled to free medical care, just like Russians. This mean medical care in public hospitals. A lot of people who can afford it turn to private medical care in Russia.
- After one year, you can apply for a permanent residence permit
Disadvantages of the temporary Russian residence permit
- The main disadvantage of the temporary residence permit is that it only gives the right to work in the territory of the particular region of Russia where the temporary residence permit has been issued (Article 13, paragraph 5). The city of Moscow and the Province of Moscow are 2 different regions. The same applies to the city of St. Petersburg and the surrounding province, the Leningradskaya Oblast.
- Another disadvantage is that the procedure for obtaining a temporary Russian residence permit takes a long time: Art. 6 paragraph 4 of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens gives civil servants a maximum period of 6 months to approve or reject an application.
- If you do not qualify for a quota-free position, the chance of obtaining a temporary residence permit is small because the competition is very large.
- The temporary resident person may not reside in a region of Russia other than where he received his residence permit.
- After receiving a rejection, the applicant may only submit an application for a temporary residence permit again after one year (Article 6 paragraph 6).
- If you have received a temporary residence permit, you must inform the relevant authority within two months of the end of each calendar year about your residence status in Russia, your address, where you work, and the period that you spent outside of Russia in the past year.
- An income statement must also be submitted (Article 6, paragraph 9). All this can also be done electronically.
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Although the temporary residence permit has a huge downside with the territorial limitations attached to it, it does offer people the possibility to quickly apply for permanent residence afterwards. So, if permanent residence is your goal, temporary residence might be seen as a necessary evil.