Moving to Russia in 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Russia is a great power known for its national flavor. Many foreigners who come from far and near abroad do not get tired of wondering at the way of life of Russians, their traditions and mentality. What are the pros and cons of living in Russia and how you can move there to live?
The Russian Federation is a country that covers a vast territory and is considered the most populous country in Europe. The population is dominated by Russians, but Tatars, Ukrainians, Kazakhs, and Chechens also live in the country. Of course, the level and way of life in Moscow and St. Petersburg and, for example, in Saratov is much different.
The life of every Russian is weekdays and weekends. The first are busy with household chores – visiting schools, kindergartens, universities, being busy at work, traveling by transport, shopping for groceries, and occasional evening walks. Weekends are attempts to arrange entertaining and interesting leisure, arrange visits to exhibitions, parks, cultural attractions, clubs and restaurants.
The pros of living in Russia
- Work. The country was built on the collapse of the Soviet Union and for many years has been trying, using the heritage of the empire, to build its economy, political system, to achieve development in technology, industry, and culture. Therefore, everyone will find something to do, there are no problems with work in big cities.
- Development. Many foreigners say that life in Russia is interesting because you constantly need to try yourself in different areas, while, for example, in the United States, specialists in one business are highly valued. So, there are lawyers specializing in family law, criminal, administrative and so on. In Russia, being a lawyer means being a broad-based specialist, you can try yourself in all branches of law. If you are an ordinary manager today, then it is possible that tomorrow you will move to work in another industry and study it. There is no single scenario for success, you need to constantly try yourself in something and develop.
- Weak business competition. In order to open a business in Russia, you need a lot of money, but still, due to the fact that there is no particular competition, you can build a good business.
- Russia is a pedestrian country. In every Russian city there is a place to walk – parks, squares, forests. To get from point A to point B, in any case, you have to walk a little, and this is good for your health. In addition, Russia is a country with a lot of attractions. For example, in the USA they walk very little and spend most of their time in transport.
- Free education and medicine. Whatever it was, but in Russia there are free kindergartens, in which parents only pay for food, and free schools, you can use free libraries. The hospital is obliged to provide medical care free of charge, although it is not always possible to get timely and high-quality treatment without money.
The cons of living in Russia
There is something to scold the country for, but this is largely due to bureaucratic arbitrariness and lawlessness. What are the disadvantages of living in Russia?
- Poverty. The contrast remains between the very rich, who can afford to buy housing in Red Square for millions of dollars, and the poor, whose income is barely enough to buy food. There is practically no middle class. Incomes in big cities are large, but in the provinces people have to literally survive, so most often everyone goes to work in the capital.
- Crime. A fairly high crime rate remains in Russian cities. Visitors are especially unlucky – they can even snatch a bag out of their hands at the station. Due to corruption in law enforcement agencies, criminal cases are often closed, which only worsens the security situation in Russian cities.
- Corruption and the shadow economy. The way of life of many citizens of Russia is such that they deeply subconsciously have the idea that everything can be solved by acquaintance or for money. This helps the officials to increase their prosperity and impoverish the people. A high percentage of corruption prevents the country from developing economically.
- Poor environmental situation. Due to the presence of a large number of industrial facilities, there are cities in Russia in which the air is very polluted.
- Russian and Russian-speaking people live in every part of the world. Of course, most of the ethnic Russians live in the territories of the former Soviet republics. Today the situation in the post-Soviet republics has developed in such a way that natural migration is taking place, implying the return home of all titular nationalities.
How to move to Russia: where to start?
There are many who want to move to Russia today. Migration processes have not spared the Russian Federation, which is an integral part of the modern world. International experts admit that Russian immigration laws are quite perfect. At the same time, they often remember that they are at the same time difficult to understand by a person who is not privy to their subtleties and nuances.
Russia today is experiencing an influx of migrants from various countries. The aggravation of the foreign policy situation plays a significant role in increasing the number of foreigners who move to the Russian Federation.
We should not forget about the interests of foreign business, as well as the close family ties that Russians have with residents of most of the CIS republics. All of these factors contribute to an increase in immigration.
Immigration to Russia: the main ways
Immigration to Russia has national, political, economic and family grounds. Depending on the reason that prompted a foreign citizen to leave his homeland and move to Russia, the conditions for obtaining the status of a temporary or permanent resident of the Russian Federation will differ significantly. There are several main reasons why a foreigner can legally settle for a long time on Russian soil:
- moving to close relatives;
- employment and business in Russia;
- training in a Russian educational institution;
- marriage with a Russian citizen;
- immigration for scientists, artists and other artists;
- employment of highly qualified specialists in professions in demand in Russia;
- immigration of persons with refugee status.
There are several more ways to go to live in the Russian Federation, which are used less often than those indicated above.
Thanks to the policy of today’s Russian authorities, moving to Russia has become possible even for those who never dreamed of becoming a migrant.
There are several options for moving to Russia for permanent residence:
- Taking part in the State Resettlement Program (relevant for foreigners born in the USSR, who left at one time for permanent residence in another Russian state).
- Obtaining temporary asylum (suitable for Ukrainians).
- Obtaining refugee status (for persons subject to personal persecution by the authorities of their country).
- Obtaining citizenship in a simplified form (suitable for relatives of Russian citizens, Russian-speaking foreigners).
- Obtaining a residence permit, which gives almost equal rights and social guarantees with Russians, but at the same time allows you to remain a citizen in your homeland.
- Obtaining general citizenship after 5 years of residence in the country.
State Resettlement Program
Today, the domestic resettlement program is one of the most urgent areas of the migration policy of the Russian Federation. It involves helping those people who express a desire to move on a non-compulsory basis in 2021. This applies to citizens of both near and far abroad.
Who is eligible to participate?
The new program for the resettlement of compatriots to Russia does not provide for a significant restriction of persons wishing to move to the Russian Federation.
At the same time, the authors of the program delicately emphasize that ethnic Russians and compatriots who were raised in classical Russian traditions can become its main participants.
An equally important criterion is excellent command of the Russian language. Great importance is attached to the patriotic education of the hypothetical participant.
According to the authors of the program, a person who wants to move to the Russian Federation must love it and associate all his hopes and aspirations with his historical homeland.
If we talk about the standard requirements for participants, then they are the following:
- Age is at least 18 years old.
- Diploma of education.
- Proof of qualifications.
It is assumed that the decision to participate in the resettlement program is made by a hypothetical participant purely voluntarily.
Temporary asylum in Russia
Anyone who wants to survive a difficult stay in their country will be able to receive temporary asylum. The status was introduced in the early 90s and has nothing to do with modern events in Ukraine.
However, at present, its citizens can apply for refugee status, since the main reason for obtaining it is the existence of a serious threat to the life and health of a foreigner in their homeland.
It is necessary to write an application, undergo fingerprinting, provide a medical certificate and photographs. All documentation is transferred to the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
After approval, the applicant is issued a temporary certificate, which will be his main document in the Russian Federation. At the same time, the national passport remains at the GUFM of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
With a temporary certificate, you can get a job without obtaining a patent. You can get married on it. In addition, the holder of the status can apply for material assistance, which is set individually for each region, use free medical services and receive education.
We can say that foreigners with temporary asylum status have social rights similar to Russians: they can also receive treatment in polyclinics, work without additional documents, and teach children in schools.
Refugee status is granted to foreigners who are personally persecuted by the authorities in their country. Its owner has a number of social guarantees:
- Getting free medical care;
- Getting a place for a child in a kindergarten or school;
- Employment without additional documents.
Naturally, after a foreigner has been granted refugee status, a Russian passport is not automatically issued. The status is retained for migrants for 3 years, then it can be extended. Citizenship will become possible after 4 years of residence in the country.
Russian citizenship in a simplified form
Some categories of foreigners are entitled to obtain citizenship in a simplified form. These are primarily Russian-speaking foreigners and persons who lived in the USSR.
The main relief is the length of residence, which can range from a few months to 4 years. All other requirements regarding the compulsory knowledge of the language, the presence of a permanent source of income, law-abidingness remain the same.
In a simplified form, participants in the State Resettlement Program, spouses, children or parents of citizens of the Russian Federation, also enter into citizenship.
Stages of legalization in Russia
If the applicant is not eligible for a simplified citizenship, is not suitable for participation in the State Resettlement Program, then it is possible to move for permanent residence in the Russian Federation in the general manner. This means that you will have to go through several stages of legalization, receiving successively a temporary residence permit, residence permit, and then citizenship.
Even when entering the country, foreigners fill out a migration card (MK), which will later be needed to obtain a TRP. All foreigners fill out the card, with the exception of Belarusians – when entering the Russian Federation, they simply show their passports and do not fill out the MK.
Within 7 days, a foreigner must apply to the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and register for migration. An exception has been made for citizens of some countries. Ukraine can live in the Russian Federation for 90 days without registration, citizens of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus – 30 days.
Obtaining a TRP
The first step towards obtaining permanent residence is to obtain a temporary residence permit. A foreigner can apply for it even before leaving his country by contacting the Russian consulate located in his home country. Also, an application for the provision of this document is possible upon arrival in the Russian Federation, for this you need to contact the Main Department of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Let us remind that foreigners can stay in Russia only during the period for which the visa was issued, if the entry into the country was carried out on a visa basis.
For citizens of the CIS, visa-free entry is provided, but in total, the time of residence in the country is limited to 3 months. This means that a foreigner has only 90 days to legalize his residence if he intends to stay in the Russian Federation further.
There are requirements and restrictions for issuing a TRP. For example, a migrant cannot leave the Russian Federation for more than 6 months, since the TRP in this case will be canceled. Work is only permitted in the region where the permit was issued.
What are the benefits of a temporary resident of Russia?
A foreigner can legally live in Russia only three months after crossing the border. At this time, for him the basis for legal stay in the Russian Federation will be a migration card or a corresponding visa. After the expiration of these documents, it is necessary to proceed with the registration of the status of a temporary resident.
An immigrant who has received a temporary residence permit in the Russian Federation receives the following benefits:
- legal residence in Russia for three years without the need to obtain additional permits for legal residence in the country;
- the opportunity to find a job in the Russian Federation on a legal basis. The migrant has the right to work both under a civil law contract and under an employment contract;
- the right to free medical care and visit a medical institution at the place of registration;
- the opportunity to place children in a kindergarten or school for free;
- no obligation to undergo military service in the army;
- the right to do business in Russia: you can create your own companies, open representative offices in the regions of the country, purchase real estate or take out loans from Russian banks;
- the ability to repeatedly leave and return to the country without worrying about visa support.
Obtaining a residence permit
12 months after receiving the TRP, it becomes possible to issue a residence permit (residence permit). It is issued for 5 years and further extended. To receive it, the applicant prepares a package of documents and submits it to the Main Department of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
After the issuance of a residence permit, which is a form of the established form, a foreigner is obliged to annually notify the authorities of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs about his residence in the Russian Federation.
Absence in Russia for more than 6 months leads to automatic cancellation of the document.
Having a Russian residence permit, a foreigner remains a citizen of his country (with the exception of certain categories of persons), but at the same time has rights and social guarantees similar to those of Russians.
General citizenship acquisition
5 years after living in Russia with a residence permit, a foreigner can apply for citizenship. For refugees and migrants who have received political asylum status, this period is reduced to 4 years. Servicemen can obtain citizenship after 3 years of service in the ranks of the RF Armed Forces.
An important point: you need to live in Russia permanently, and not come from time to time. Absence in the Russian Federation is allowed for no more than 3 months a year, otherwise the calendar year will not be counted.
To become the holder of a Russian passport, the applicant must have excellent command of the Russian language, have a permanent source of income and renounce previous citizenship.
Standard package of documents
The basic package today includes the following documents:
- a correctly completed application form, the form of which was approved by the GUFM of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- an application completed in Russian;
- high-quality photocopies of documents confirming the identity of the participant of the special project;
- high-quality photocopies of documents of all family members of the participant of the special project;
- two high-quality photographs;
- high-quality photocopies of documents confirming the education and qualifications of the participant in the special project.
This package is basic. Employees of the authorized body can at any time ask the participant of the special project to present additional documents.
All certificates presented by a potential participant in a state special project must meet certain criteria.
Among the main requirements for documents, one should highlight:
- all documents must be translated into Russian and notarized;
- all documents must be sealed and signed;
- all documents must be completed with pen only (pencil is not allowed).
Also, you should not allow corrections, erasures and additions. It is important to handle documents with care and avoid injury.
From which countries people migrate to Russia?
In recent years, Ukraine has become the main donor of migrants. Also, high traffic is observed from the republics of Central Asia: Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan. If the move from Ukraine is mainly due to the political situation, then migrants from Central Asia are attracted to Russia by the possibility of good earnings and the presence of prospects.
Also, a significant number of people come from the countries of the Caucasus region: Georgia, Abkhazia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Republic of Belarus and Moldova are also traditional suppliers of migrants to Russia.
In different years, the activity of migration processes for individual countries was markedly different. This was due to both the deteriorating economic situation and the emerging armed conflicts, as well as hotbeds of political instability in certain post-Soviet states. If today Ukraine finds itself in such a situation, then in the recent past similar trends were observed in Georgia, Tajikistan and Armenia.
Non-CIS countries are significantly inferior to the post-Soviet republics in terms of the number of migrants who moved to Russia. However, they also provide a considerable number of people who travel to Russia for employment in Russian companies or representative offices of foreign companies in Russia. Some come under the family reunification program or are repatriates from far abroad.