March 25, 2021

Russia Makes Changes to Dependent Status for Most Visa Holders

The Russian authorities have recently made legislative changes impacting the status of dependents of most foreign nationals working in the country. With the exception of family members accompanying Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) permit holders, all others are no longer eligible for dependent status, and will be limited to “guest status.”
The changes apply to dependents of such foreign workers as standard work permit holders, professors, and accredited employees of Russia-based branch offices. Dependents of non-HQS permit holders will no longer be able to obtain a visa permitting them to work as an accompanying family member, and they will now only be granted a guest visa, which is restricted to a maximum stay of 90 days in a 180-day period. It will not be possible to convert this guest visa to a long-term multiple entry visa in-country. Those who already hold dependent status in Russia but who are not dependents of HQS holders will not be permitted to renew their documents under this status.

These restrictions on the dependent family members of foreign national workers in Russia could indicate that the authorities are encouraging employers and applicants to follow the HQS route for immigration purposes. The minimum salary requirements under the preferred HQS route are expected to facilitate the financial stability needed to support family members during their stay, as opposed to other permit types with lower salary brackets that could result in difficulty supporting family members on a long-term basis.

For further information on the status of dependent family members of foreign nationals working in Russia, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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