The reason that a Temporary Russian Residence Permit is (not) a good option for you

The reason that a Temporary Russian Residence Permit is (not) a good option for you

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What is a Russian Temporary Residence Permit?

It is a well-known phenomenon: people who live in Russia for a long time love the country but want to get rid of the hassle of constantly having to apply for a new visa.

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.

Quota Exemptions

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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
    • Registration
    • 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

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  • You no longer need a visa
  • 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

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  • 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.

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This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Philip Szlyk

    I have 2 questions:
    (1) I have “Temporary Resident” status in Russia (via my wife being from Crimea. She died recently of breast cancer). My “Temporary Resident” status expires on August 29, 2019, so I wish to obtain “Permanent Resident” status as soon as possible. My wife guided me through all the steps to gain “Temporary Residency”, but now that she is deceased, can you help me?
    2.) I own a house in Crimea, as well as an apartment in Odessa, Ukraine. I need to travel to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine within the next few weeks. I read somewhere (I forget where) that, because I have only “Temporary Resident” status that I need to obtain special “Exit” and “Re-Entry” visas BEFORE leaving Russia – otherwise I will forfeit my “Temporary Resident” status. Is this true?

  2. Anup

    Hello, I have got married to a Russian girl in India legally vai special marriage act last november, she is in Russia now, Is it possible to visit her on a tourist visa, instead of applying for temperory resident permit which takes 3 months, I red it online.

    1. Ivo van Rhijn

      Hi, a private visa would be the most correct option for you. But a tourist visa may also be possible to obtain for you. Visa policies differ for different nationalities. I’m not familiar with rules for issuing Russian tourist visas to Indian citizens. I recommend you check this with the Russian Embassy in India or with a visa centre in your country.

      Kind regards,

  3. Adam

    Hey there,

    Thanks a ton for this information. I have one question that I cannot seem to find an answer for no matter where I look.

    My wife is a Russian citizen, I’m a US citizen. We plan on moving to Russia. If we enter Russia on a spousal visa (which is 3 months in duration), upon entering I apply for a residence permit (TRP I assume), am I required to leave at the end of the 3 months or can I stay beyond the 3 months while my application is processed?

    Many thanks!

    1. Ivo van Rhijn

      Hello Adam,

      Applying for a Temporary Residence Permit is not a ground for prolongation of your visa. So if your visa expires you will have to leave and re-enter Russian territory with a new visa.
      Recently new visas to apply for Temporary Residence Permits have been introduced. They are issued for a maximum period of 4 months. So that’s still not enough to remain in Russia during the period of your application for the TRP.

  4. Azan

    Is it possible to apply again for TRP if I get refused first time ?


    1. Ivo van Rhijn

      Hello Azan, you are only allowed to apply again after a year has passed since the refusal (Article 6 paragraph 6 of the Law on the legal position of foreign citizens in Russia).

  5. Alex


    -To get a temporary residence, is it required to have a proof of knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history, and Russian legislation?

    – After getting Russian temporary residence, is it possible to directly apply for my children as family reunion..and does it take same 6 month for approval?

    Thanks Ivo

    1. Ivo van Rhijn

      Hello Alex,

      1) As a general rule, this is required. There are, however, exceptions. Have a look at Article 15.1 of the Federal law on the Legal Position of Foreign Citizens in Russia. For example people under 18 and above the age of 65 are excempted from this rule.

      2) You can either apply for the temporary residence for yourself and for your children at the same time or you can apply first for yourself and once you have it, apply for your children.

      Kind regards,

  6. salamat

    Hey, Do I need to have a visa after I get TRP to enter Russia if I exit after getting TRP? Thanks

    1. Ivo van Rhijn

      Hello Salamat, once you have received a TRP, you no longer need a visa. During the period your TRP is valid.

    2. Telvin Essien

      I have a Russian Temporal residence. Can I travel to visa free countries outside Russia

  7. ehsan

    hello , i have question
    i’m going to moscow to marry russian girl (she sent me invitation for 3 months) , as i searched it takes about 2 months to register in zags , so my question is that after register in zags , can i start to find job and work there or i will face another process to get work permission ?

    1. Ivo van Rhijn


      The mere fact of being married doesn’t give you the right to work in Russia. But on the basis of your marriage you can apply for a temporary residence permit for Russia.

  8. Taylor Brandon


    I am a USA citizen with a three year multi entry visa for Russia. My wife and son are Russian. We own an apartment in Russia. I have left and come back a few times on my multi entry visa and have always been allowed back for another 6 months. I am considering a temporary residence card. Is it true that is granted, I cannot travel out of Russia to USA for business or to Europe without permission from Russia or my residence card would be voided? If that is the case, can I just keep coming back and forth for the 3 years of the visa, 6 months at a time?


    Taylor Brandon

  9. Abidemi

    Hi Ivo.
    I want to ask if a person (who has been in Russia for almost more than a year) on course visa can apply for a temporary residency.

    1. Ivo van Rhijn

      Hello Abidemi,

      This alone and of itself does not apply you for temporary residency without a quota. You could of course try to apply with a quota, but then you don’t have a guarantee.

  10. peace

    I have a question please
    My husband hold ussr passport from latvia and with russia resident permit of 5 years
    I am a foreigner and my document have expired, we got married here in moscow and just had a child too in moscow
    My question is when get out of the country and my husband invite me back is it possible for me to get TRP

    1. Ivo van Rhijn


      I am not sure what document you mean that has expired, so I can’t answer your question here.

  11. SWIM

    Been here a year, married a Russian girl. I have a criminal record in the USA. Can I still get temporary residency?

  12. Ashley Lee

    Can i get temporary resident as a language translator there?im not married to Russian and i dont have any parents there. İs it eligible?

    1. Ivo van Rhijn

      You are not in a quota-free position. You can try to obtain with quota, but there are no guarantees of success there.

  13. IAn Sumter

    How is it possible to organise a language / culture test? Is there some book detailing the information to be learned? Is this test in Russian or English?

    1. Ivo van Rhijn

      Hello Ian,

      Just google in Russian for “тест русского языка рвп”, to get an idea of what is required from you. The test is in Russian. Many language schools offer special courses for these kind of tests.

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