Russia has made it possible for foreign nationals who are highly qualified specialists to be granted a one-time entry approval.

Key Points:

  • An exemption has been made to the foreign national entry prohibition for highly qualified specialist (HQS) employees who enter Russia one time on the basis of lists approved by Russian authorities.
  • When entering Russia, foreign national HQS employees are required to show a valid labor or services contract from a Russian employer or customer, in addition to both a passport and a valid visa (if applicable).
  • The following conditions do not apply to new HQS employees covered by the separate list who remain abroad:
    • Restrictions on work permits and invitation letters from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
    • Restrictions on visa issuance by Russian consulates in foreign nations.
  • It is required that a list of HQS employees be sent by a federal executive authority that oversees the industry in which the employer operates to the Federal Security Service and Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. The list must include employee date of entry and entry checkpoint information.

Analysis & Comments: The new one-time entry exemption is good news for foreign national highly qualified specialists and their employers. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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