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02/26/2013

News / Russia drops invitation letter requirement for wealthy foreign investors

Getting a Russian visa is about to get much easier for rich foreign investors. In an effort to attract capital to the economy, the Russian government has updated its visa regulations and introduced a new type of visa – the investment visitor visa.

The new visa will be good for five years and, unlike other visas, will not require a letter of invitation from a Russian entity or person. The changes to the visa regulations also spell well for Russian residents. The Russian temporary residency, whose current duration is three years, will now be the first step to a five-year permanent residency.

“The changes are being introduced to help meet Russia’s skilled migration and foreign labor needs,” a spokesperson for Russia’s Federal Migration Service said, as quoted by The Daily Telegraph. “Those businesses which are looking at undertaking assignments in Russia should also prepare for further changes as further new immigration laws will be introduced.”

Rich foreign investors will be able to apply for a visa directly to a Russian consulate or embassy abroad. However, they will be required to register with the Russian tax authorities within three days of their arrival.

Stuart Moir, a former British expat who worked in Russia, welcomed the changes, saying that Russia has a lot to offer to expats, but that it was difficult to go through all the bureaucratic procedures needed to obtain a visa in the past.

In most cases, Russian visa applicants are required to present a letter of invitation from a Russian person or entity. Tourism, business, private, work, education and some other visas generally cannot be issued without such an invitation.

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