RUSSIA – New Address Registration Rules [UPDATED]
A number of local migration offices are refusing to accept applications for registration of foreign nationals, especially in cases where housing is provided by employers on the basis of lease or sublease contracts rather than by landlords directly.
In most of these cases, the migration officials’ stance is that a landlord is the only legitimate host party and they ignore the fact that, in accordance with the terms of the lease contract, the landlord has leased the housing into temporary possession and use of the company which in its turn has provided it to a foreign national for residence. Some migration officials admit that such companies are the rightful host parties and yet they refuse to accept the applications. However, the new law clearly states that the host party can be a legal entity that has provided housing to a foreign national for actual dwelling.
The current uncertainty is expected to continue until migration officials receive comprehensive internal instructions.
New rules for the registration of foreign nationals, which take effect on 8 July 2018, mean that employers will no longer be able to register their foreign national employees at the company address, and that employers or landlords, rather than employees, will be responsible for carrying out the registration.
What are the changes?
1. The law redefines the concepts of “place of stay” and “host party”:
Place of stay now denotes a living premise or other accommodation, where a foreign national actually dwells (that is, uses it for sleep and rest on a regular basis). Host party denotes a Russian national, a permanently residing foreign national, a legal entity, a branch or representative office of a legal entity that have provided a foreign national with accommodation where he/she actually dwells. Exception: An organization is considered to be the host party and the place of stay for a foreign employee in case this foreign employee actually dwells at the address of the organization or its premise that has no address.
2. It is established that a foreign national is “subject to registration” at the address of stay (previously – “obliged to register” at the address of stay).
What does this mean in practice?
Foreign nationals must be registered at the place of their actual dwelling (house, apartment or other); Employers no longer enjoy the right to register foreign employees at the company’s address, with the exception of those employees who actually dwell at the company’s address. Depending on the type of the accommodation lease agreement, the employer or the landlord that have provided accommodation directly to a foreign national will be the host party and will be responsible for carrying out registration. If no lease agreement is concluded, the landlord will be the host party.
1. Compliance with the new regulations may be complicated if a landlord (a private individual) is the host party:
According to the existing enforcement practice the landlord must apply for migration registration of foreign nationals in person (representation on the basis of a Power of Attorney is not allowed); Many landlords reside outside Russia and are physically unable to carry out their obligation to register foreign nationals within the provided deadline. Some landlords prefer to ignore this obligation and accept the risk of being penalized as the fines established for individuals are relatively small.
2. Administrative responsibility for violation of the rules of migration registration remains unchanged:
Legal entities – administrative fine from RUB 400,000 to 500,000; Company officials – administrative fine from RUB 40,000 to 50,000; Individuals – administrative fine from RUB 2000 to 4000.
Administrative fine from RUB 2000 to 7000 (with or without administrative expulsion from Russia).
We would like to point out that despite the fact that the foreign national is now subject to registration (that is, the obligation to carry out registration is fully imposed on the host party), he or she is still obliged to provide the host party with the documents required for registration (passport, migration card, previous registration) as well as to collect the registration from the host party once issued.
3. Please note that the new law does not provide for re-registration at the place of actual dwelling of foreign employees who are currently registered at the company’s address.
The state authorities may conclude that after 8 July, the employer company no longer remains the place of stay of such employees. Therefore, these foreign employees would need to re-register at the new place of stay within the deadline provided by applicable legislation (in cities hosting the World Cup – three days, in other locations – within seven business days or, for Highly-Qualified Specialists, within 30 days).
Foreign nationals and their employers in Russia should consult an immigration specialist to ascertain whether their current registration remains valid, and how to register or re-register under the new regulations.