What is the change? The government has suspended the issuance of visas to Chinese nationals residing outside of Russia.

What does the change mean? Russian consulates are not accepting visa applications or issuing visas to Chinese nationals, and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has likewise suspended e-visa issuance to Chinese nationals wishing to visit Russian cities.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The change took effect Jan. 31.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tourist, business, work visas and work permits.
  • Who is affected: Chinese nationals and their employers.
  • Business impact: Employers of Chinese nationals currently outside Russia may experience delays affecting employee mobility.
  • Next steps: Employers should anticipate further restrictions regarding Chinese nationals and travel from China.

Background: The coronavirus causes flu-like symptoms and double pneumonia, and thousands of people in China have been infected. The World Health Organization designated the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern, and many countries have recently implemented travel restrictions and issued warnings in response to the spread of the coronavirus.

Analysis & Comments: Russia has implemented comprehensive entrance restrictions on nationals of China, a country with which it shares an extensive border, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The following services are currently suspended for Chinese nationals staying outside of Russia: Acceptance of work visa applications, issuance of work visa invitation letters, corporate employment permits and work permits. The government has also temporarily suspended visa-free entry for tourist groups from China, as well as e-visas for Chinese nationals wishing to visit certain cities in both the Asian and European regions of Russia. Employers and their Chinese national employees should anticipate stricter implementation of the restrictions on the part of migration and border control authorities, which may include refusal to extend work permits for Chinese nationals currently residing and working in Russia. Deloitte will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed.

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