Russia imposes new restrictions on Turkey

14 Jan 16


What is the change? The Russian government has followed through on a ban of visa-free travel with Turkey and a suspension of new work permits for Turkish nationals as of Jan. 1, and announced additional new economic restrictions.

What does the change mean? The restrictions do not require Turkish nationals currently working in Russia to leave the country; however, companies should be aware that Turkish employees and assignees may have difficulties returning to Russia and may be refused entry. Renewal of work permits for Turkish nationals will also be difficult. With suspension of the visa waiver, Turkish nationals who do not hold a residence permit or temporary residence permit are now required to obtain a visa at a Russian consulate.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits, visitor visas.
  • Who is affected: The restrictions affect Russian companies hiring Turkish employees, Turkish business and tourist travelers to Russia, Turkish companies and organizations in designated industries doing business in Russia, and Russian companies under the control of Turkish citizens.
  • Impact on processing times: Turkish citizens who previously relied on visa waivers should allow time to obtain a visa before travel.
  • Business impact: Russian companies cannot hire new Turkish employees under the current restrictions, may not be able to renew work permits for current Turkish nationals, and should consider alternatives.

Background: Relations between the two countries have been strained since late November when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet which it claimed had violated its airspace. Some of the restrictions were announced in December. The following restrictions took effect Jan. 1, including:

  • Russian companies are banned from hiring new Turkish employees.
  • Visa waivers for Turkish citizens are suspended.
  • Turkish companies operating in Russia (or Turkish citizens heading Russian companies) in certain industries are banned. Sectors include engineering, construction, hospitality and others.
  • Chartered air transportation between Russia and Turkey is banned, Russian tourist companies are banned from selling tours to Turkey, and certain agricultural imports are banned except for personal use.

BAL Analysis: Companies should consider contingency planning in the event that Turkish employees are not allowed to re-enter Russia or their work permits are not renewed.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Russian Federation. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact