Until the autumn of 2019, foreigners who resided permanently in Russia were obliged to renew their permanent residence permits (PRPs) from time to time. Such documents as permanent residence permits were issued for 5 years and had to be renewed after this term. Certainly, if plans of foreign citizens did not change, and they did not decide to leave the Russian Federation.
However, afterwards the amendments which made permanent residence permits unlimited came into force. After that foreigners who had old documents faced the question: how should they act? Do they have to renew their Russian permanent residence permits or may replace the documents? We will consider all these questions in detail below.
Specific features of permanent residence of foreigners in the Russian Federation
As a general rule, in order to reside permanently in Russia, foreign citizens first apply for temporary residence permits (TRPs), and then for permanent residence permits (PRPs). The latter document enshrines their right to reside and work freely in the territory of the country, as well as to cross the border enjoying advantages of the visa-free regime. After the issue of permanent residence permits, foreigners obtain almost all the advantages used by Russian citizens, except for the opportunity to participate in the elections and referendums.
The permanent residence permit is a document which contains personal data of the person as well as information on the date of receipt and the validity period of the permit. All the documents issued after November 2019 are unlimited. They are replaced only in case of changes in personal data. However, documents issued before this time require such a procedure as the issue of permanent residence permits without a validity period (instead of renewal of Russian permanent residence permits).
There are numerous advantages for foreigners obtaining unlimited permanent residence permits:
- The possibility to change the place of residence within the Russian Federation, to move from one region to another.
- The possibility to work and do business freely.
- No need to obtain a patent or a special work permit.
- The right to health insurance and free medical aid in state polyclinics and hospitals.
- The possibility to issue invitations for entry for relatives, business partners, and friends.
- The possibility to obtain credits from local banks.
- The right to apply for Russian citizenship.
The procedure for issue and renewal of Russian PRPs in 2020
Foreigners who want to reside in Russia for a long time apply for the documents under simplified or standard procedures. According to the standard procedure, foreign citizens first submit documents to obtain TRPs. The government allocates quotas for this purpose, and under certain circumstances it is possible to obtain TRPs on the basis of quotas or out of them.
The simplified procedure allows avoiding the stage of applying for TRPs. However, not so many grounds are stipulated for this by law. The following persons may apply for permanent residence documents without a prior TRP:
- foreigners who were born in the RSFSR and had Soviet citizenship;
- highly qualified specialists and their families invited to work;
- recognized speakers of the Russian language;
- children of foreigners applying for PRPs together with their parents;
- foreigners that have parents/children who are Russian citizens permanently residing in the country, etc.
Regardless of the grounds on which you applied for the permit, the renewal of permanent residence permits was standard before. Now foreigners may just replace their documents with new ones without a validity period, saving themselves the trouble.
Quotas for foreign citizens
The government establishes quotas for adult foreigners who want to obtain temporary residence permits. Quotas are determined every year taking into account the situation in the regions, but usually they are not numerous, consequently, to obtain a permit at the first attempt is almost a fantastic situation, comparable to winning a lottery.
On the other hand, the law does not limit foreign citizens in the number of attempts to obtain a quota. You may file applications as many times as you consider it necessary, there are no limits stipulated. Nevertheless, be careful: the quota shall be used till the end of the year. In addition, you may apply for a PRP only after you obtain a temporary residence permit and stay with it for 8 months in the country.
Individual categories may obtain TRPs out of quotas. What circumstances make it possible to apply under special conditions?
- Birth in the territory of the RSFSR, subject to Soviet citizenship.
- Highly qualified specialists and their family members.
- Parents applying for TRPs out of quotas (the quota is not required for their minor children in this case).
- Marriage with a Russian citizen residing in the country.
- Citizenship of the state that was part of the USSR, and a diploma of a state higher education institution and education according to the state programme in the Russian Federation.
TRPs are valid only in the region of their issue, while permanent residence permits do not impose such restrictions on foreigners.
Unlimited permanent residence permits
Since November 2019, most foreigners have obtained unlimited residence permits. These documents are not subject to renewal, only replacement in the following cases:
- upon the attainment of the age of 14, 20 and 45 years;
- wear or damage of the documents;
- change in the personal data;
- inaccuracies and mistakes found in the documents.
Highly qualified specialists and their family members who are invited to work in Russia are an exception to the rule. PRPs are issued to them strictly for the period which corresponds to the validity period of the work permit.
Renewal of Russian permanent residence permits for highly qualified specialists in 2020
Highly qualified specialists are employees that possess unique knowledge and skills. Officially such employees may not have a salary of less than 167 thousand rubles at Russian companies, this is why only highly paid employees invited by Russian companies may submit documents for PRPs as specialists.
Specialists have a right to obtain PRPs under the simplified procedure: without prior TRPs. However, there is an important detail: permits of this type have a limited validity period. They are valid as long as the work permits are valid. Consequently, if a work permit is issued for 3 years, the documents confirming the right to permanent residence are issued also only for 3 years. If in the future employers decide to extend the employment of foreign workers, their PRPs may be renewed on the basis of new employment contracts and work permits.
If employment contracts are dissolved, permanent residence permits are subject to cancellation. Then foreigners have 30 working days to find a new employer, and other 30 working days to leave Russia.
How to renew Russian permanent residence permits for highly qualified specialists?
To renew PRPs, specialists have to file an application with a territorial subdivision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the place of residence. Foreigners are required to present their identity document, photographs, medical certificates, employment contract, criminal record certificate – all this is submitted along with the application. It is also necessary to pay the duty. If you have doubts about the correctness of your actions, you can get advice from a lawyer.