What is the change? Russia has moved to tighten registration rules for Russian and foreign nationals during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer tournaments.

What does the change mean? During times when the tightened registration rules are in place, foreign nationals arriving in areas hosting soccer matches must notify relevant immigration authorities of where they are staying within one day of their arrival. Russian nationals coming from other parts of Russia must register with the relevant authorities within three calendar days of their arrival. The requirements for both foreign and Russian nationals apply no matter whether the stay is temporary or permanent. Those participating in soccer matches or representing FIFA, FIFA subsidiaries or national soccer organizations are exempt.

  • Implementation time frame: June 1-July 12, 2017 and May 25-July 25, 2018.
  • Who is affected: Foreign and Russian nationals arriving in Kazan, Moscow, St. Petersburg or Sochi between June 1 and July 12, during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup tournament; foreign and Russian nationals arriving in Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-na-Donu, St. Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd or Yekaterinburg between May 25 and July 25, 2018, during the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament.
  • Impact on processing times: The change adds a registration requirement for Russian and foreign nationals traveling to the areas listed above during the Confederations and World Cup soccer tournaments.
  • Business impact: Business travelers should note that the registration requirements apply during the times in question no matter whether they are traveling to attend soccer matches or not. Travelers may be affected, therefore, even if their purpose in Moscow or other cities hosting soccer matches has nothing to do with the matches themselves.

Background: Russia is hosting the Confederations Cup, an eight-country international soccer tournament, this summer, and the World Cup, soccer’s top international tournament, in 2018. Officials will increase security measures, including the registration requirements listed above, during the tournaments.

BAL Analysis: Those planning travel to cities hosting Confederations and World Cup soccer matches are urged to follow the requirements listed above. Failing to do so could lead to administrative penalties, including fines for visitors and hosting entities alike. Foreign nationals who fail to register risk not only fines but expulsion from Russia. Those planning travel to Russia during relevant time periods should consult with BAL to ensure they follow proper procedures.

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

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