Temporary and permanent


There are 2 types of Russian residency which a foreigner can obtain - temporary and permanent. This article lists their rights and obligations. Permanent residency can only be obtained after holding temporary residency.

Temporary residency

A temporary residence permit (TRP) gives foreign citizens the right to reside in Russia before obtaining a permanent residence permit. This type of permit takes about 6 months to acquire and is valid for 3 years, although it must be renauthenticated every year. A TRP can be issued to a foreign citizen following requirements established by the federal government .

A temporarily residing foreign citizen cannot change the place of residence within the region where he or she obtained the TRP. To work outside your region, you must obtain a work permit.

To exit Russia, you should apply for a single exit/entrance visa each time you leave, and you may not be outside Russia for a duration of 3 months at any one time.

Who is eligible to apply

Since 2015, new immigration laws were passed in Russia which make obtaining a work or residency permit harder for the majority of expats.

Anyone applying for such a permit must demonstrate their competency in Russian language, history and legal framework. This must be ratified by an accredited institution.

There does remain however a variety of potential expats who are exempt from this:

  • Those under 18 or over 60
  • Students at accredited institutions
  • Foreign specialists and family members of Former Soviet residents with education documents dating back to before 1991, when Russian language was compulsory.

Apart from the new legislation, applicants must also meet one of the following requirements if they are not subject to the quota for temporary residence permits:

  • Born in Russia
  • Have a parent or adult child who is a Russian citizen
  • Be married to a Russian citizen
  • Have invested money in Russia (amount determined by Russian law)
  • Have done military service in Russia

Required documents

When applying for temporary residency in Russia, you must include the following documents:

  • The application form
  • Four photographs
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of income
  • Medical documentation proving the applicant is not carrying HIV or any infectious diseases, nor is addicted to any drugs.

Permanent residency

After having had a TRP for at least two years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. This should be done at least 6 months prior to the TRP expiring. It is issued for 5 years and can be extended limitlessly It gives you the right to work in Russia without a work permit and to travel in and out of Russia without a visa.

Just as with the TRP, the permanent residence permit must be reauthenticated annually. You cannot be out of the country for longer than 3 months, however unlike with the TRP you are not required to obtain an exit visa.  

Required documents

In addition to the documentation required for a TRP, an applicant for a permanent residence permit must provide confirmation of their TRP and the following documentation for any children under the age of eighteen:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport or other proof of identity

For children aged fourteen to eighteen, applicants must provide their children’s consent to reside in Russia, notarised by them.

Your application will be accepted or denied within 6 months.

Further reading

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