Additional burden on companies inviting foreign nationals from 2019 onwards
Amendments to Federal Law N 115-FZ dated July 25, 2002 On the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals in the Russian Federation will enter into force on January 16, 2019.
Main points of these changes
From 2019 onwards, companies inviting foreign nationals to Russia will be required to take steps to ensure:
- the purpose of entry stated for the foreign nationals they have invited is in compliance with actual activities, and
- timely departure of the foreign nationals they have invited upon expiration of their term of stay.
Such companies will be held liable for non-fulfillment of the above obligations.
Who will be affected by the changes?
These changes will affect companies and individuals who are recognized as a party inviting foreign nationals, i.е. entities that have applied for visa invitations to allow foreign nationals to travel to Russia.
What steps should be taken?
The Russian government is going to approve a list of specific steps that will need to be taken by entities inviting foreign nationals.
For the time being, a draft government decree has already been prepared. This draft requires companies inviting foreign nationals to notify foreign nationals in writing with signed acknowledgement that they should comply with their purpose of entry and leave Russia in a timely manner. Foreign nationals should also be notified of the liability for violation of these obligations, while companies are required to stay in touch with the foreign nationals they have invited as well as notify the Ministry of Internal Affairs of any violation of the purpose of entry and term of stay.
Penalties for non-fulfillment of the above obligations
For failure to fulfill the above obligations, companies and/or their officers could be subject to administrative liability in the form of a fine:
- from RUB 40,000 to RUB 50,000 for company officers;
- from RUB 400,000 to RUB 500,000 for companies.
In view of the forthcoming changes, we recommend performing the following actions:
- Informing in writing and against signature all foreign nationals arriving in Russia at the invitation of your company that they should comply with the purpose of entry and the term of stay indicated on their visa. They should also be informed about the liability for violation of the purpose of entry and untimely departure from Russia. This also applies to the foreign nationals that have been invited to stay in Russia before the entry into force of the amendments to the law, i.e. before January 16, 2019;
- Monitoring and liaising with foreign nationals that have been invited by your company (keeping details such telephone number, address in Russia, email, etc. up to date);
- Monitoring the adoption of government decree and ensuring that all steps specified in this decree are put in place.
We will monitor the adoption of government decree as well as any clarifications of the upcoming changes that will be issued by state authorities.
We would be pleased to provide more detailed advice on the upcoming changes outlined above and the steps that companies need to take to comply with new legal requirements and avoid liability.
 Federal Law N 216-FZ dated July 19, 2018 amending Article 16 of Federal Law On the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals in the Russian Federation
 Federal Law N 215-FZ dated July 19, 2018 amending Article 18.9 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses