What are the changes? Russia’s Federal Migration Service has banned entry to 700,000 foreign nationals since a little over a year ago when it passed legislation making even minor violations offenses that can put a foreign national on the “banned” list. On top of that, more than 97,000 foreign nationals were subject to administrative deportation in the first six months of 2014 alone for violations of the administrative code. In addition, the Russian Duma is considering lengthening one type of entry ban from five years to 10 years.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals should be extremely careful about any administrative violations, including traffic violations, parking tickets or untimely address registration. Even paying administrative fines does not erase a foreigner’s name from the “banned” list.

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals.
  • Business impact: Major business disruption could result if a foreign employee is banned from entry or deported.
  • Next steps: Employers and foreign individuals should be aware that Russia is enforcing this law and that even seemingly minor infractions may lead to entry bans or deportations.

Background: In July 2013, Russia tightened rules on banning the entry of foreigners for violations of the law. Under Federal Law FL-114, Art. 27, Sect. 11, a foreigner who commits two or more administrative violations in one year will be banned entry for five years. “Administrative violations” include violations of rules governing public order and public security (mostly traffic offenses), stays for foreign citizens and permissible work activities in Russia. The Russian State Duma is weighing a bill that would lengthen this ban’s duration to 10 years.

A foreigner who commits two or more administrative violations in Russia within a three-year period may be banned entry to Russia for three years. A foreigner who commits a deliberate crime will also be banned entry for an unspecified term. Foreigners who commit a crime outside of Russia may also be banned, but only if the crime is deliberate and recognized by Russian law as a crime. Some administrative violations are also deportable offenses.

According to the recent statistics, most of the foreigners who were banned entry violated traffic rules and the vast majority of those who were deported violated their terms of stay or worked illegally.

BAL Analysis: Foreign citizens are on notice that Russia is taking any violation of administrative or criminal laws very seriously.

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