Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP advises that on 19 July 2018 the Russian President signed two federal laws requiring inviting parties to exercise control over certain actions taken by their foreign invitees during their stay in Russia. The laws also introduce new sanctions for non-compliance with these requirements1. The amendments will take effect on 16 January 2019.
The new obligations will be imposed on the inviting party at whose request and on whose behalf foreign citizens are issued with invitations to Russia.
For instance, Russian organisations often act as inviting parties for foreigners coming to Russia to work or to attend business events.
Once the new requirements are in force, organisations acting as inviting parties will be obliged to exercise additional controls in relation to the foreign employees or colleagues they invite, namely:
to ensure that their actual activities (occupation) in Russia are consistent with the purpose of entry;
to ensure that the foreign individuals leave the country by the official expiry date of their stay in Russia.
Under the new rules, an administrative fine, for failure to exercise such controls, may be imposed on the inviting party as follows:
(i) for officials: RUB 45,000 to RUB 50,000;
(ii) for legal entities: from RUB 400,000 to RUB 500,000.
A list of specific measures required to achieve these goals will be issued by the Russian Government.
What measures are expected?
So far, no list of required measures is available. The document outlining the list – a Russian Government Resolution – is being drafted and publicly discussed2.
The draft proposes the following measures to be taken by the inviting party with respect to its foreign invitees:
1. Measures to ensure that the purpose of entry is observed:
to give written notice to the foreign individuals requiring them to observe their purpose of entry;
to actually enable them to do so (e.g., sign an employment contract with them and admit them to work, if the purpose of entry is work);
to keep in regular contact with them.
2. Measures to ensure a timely exit:
to give written notice to the foreign individuals requiring them to observe their term of stay;
to send them a reminder about leaving the country on expiry of their visas;
to assist them in removing any impediments preventing their timely exit (if any).
If the inviting party finds that its foreign invitee does not observe the purpose of coming to Russia or infringes the deadlines for leaving the country, it would be required to report this in writing to the immigration authorities.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP will continue monitoring the drafting and adoption of the final list of these measures and keep you informed of all important aspects of their implementation and other essential developments.
1The amendments are introduced by Federal Law No. 215-FZ, dated 19 July 2018, “On Amending Article 18.9 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation” and Federal Law No. 216-FZ, dated 19 July 2018, “On Amending Article 16 of the Federal Law ‘On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens’”.
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