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12 Sep, 2020 08:49

Proposed migration reform means foreigners in Russia could be required to submit fingerprints & sign up for electronic ID cards

Proposed migration reform means foreigners in Russia could be required to submit fingerprints & sign up for electronic ID cards

Foreigners staying in Russia for more than 30 days may be required to submit fingerprints and photos, undergo a medical examination, and receive an ID card, according to a new law being drafted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

According to Valentina Kazakova, the head of the ministry's migration department, the ID card would contain all the foreigner’s personal data.

The proposed changes would apply to a range of migrants, including those from countries with visa-free agreements. It could also allow them to change their purpose of stay without going back to their home country to get a new visa. For instance, it would facilitate those who can’t leave the country due to Covid-19 to remain legally and change their status.

Also on rt.com New e-visas: Russia to liberalize entry for foreigners in 2021, here’s how it will work

The ministry has also suggested replacing paper migration slips, by transitioning the issuance of the document to the government’s online portal. As things stand, all foreigners in Russia must keep their migration card, a small piece of paper, intact for their entire stay in the country. Losing the small scrap of paper can lead to a bureaucratic nightmare. 

The Russian visa and migration process has been notoriously difficult for many years but is currently in a stage of reform. The country’s localized e-visa scheme has been extended countrywide and will be available to citizens of at least 53 countries from 2021. However, citizens of the US, UK and Canada are excluded. 

In April, Russian parliamentarians passed a law to ease the route for foreigners to become Russian citizens, removing the requirement for them to give up existing passports.

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