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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.

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Flash Alert 2020-154

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.

KPMG NOTE

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.

FOOTNOTES

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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© 2020 KPMG. KPMG refers JSC “KPMG”, “KPMG Tax and Advisory” LLC, companies incorporated under the Laws of the Russian Federation, and KPMG Limited, a company incorporated under The Companies (Guernsey) Law, as amended in 2008.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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