What is the change? Russian immigration authorities will no longer require that applicants for highly qualified specialist (HQS) work permits hold passports valid for three years.

What does the change mean? Beginning Friday, HQS applicants and renewal applicants may submit passports that are valid for one year from the date of application filing.

  • Implementation time frame: Feb. 19.
  • Visas/permits affected: HQS work permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for HQS work permits.
  • Business impact: The relaxed passport validity rule will provide more flexibility for some foreign nationals who had difficulty complying with the rule.

Background: Currently, HQS applicants must have a passport valid for three years or more beyond the date of filing their initial or renewal application. Some foreign nationals had trouble complying with the rule because some countries will not renew a passport before one year of its expiration.

Under the new rule, HQS applicants will only be required to show a passport that is valid for one year beyond the filing date. However, HQS applicants and family members applying for work visa invitation letters must have passports valid for 1 ½ years from the date of filing.

BAL Analysis: The new rule will eliminate the need for many foreign nationals to renew their passports and should make it easier for many of them to timely file their applications and renewals.

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.

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