Ukrainians won't lose right to enter Russia with internal passports


Russian migration service chief Konstantin Romodanovsky has said the new rule requiring Ukrainian citizens to enter Russia using only foreign passports has been put off at the request of Ukrainian citizens.

"We are well aware that the situation in Ukraine is complicated and we have put off the final decision on Ukrainian citizens' entry into Russia by foreign passports. As before they are being cleared into Russia by Ukrainian passports, but they will have to acquire a patent if they want to work in this country," he said in a Saturday news program on Rossiya channel, hosted by journalist Sergei Brilyov.

Starting from 2015 residents of most Commonwealth of Independent States countries will only be able to enter Russia if they use foreign passports, according to previous reports. However citizens of Belarus and Kazakhstan, which are members of the Customs Union, have retained the right to enter Russia with internal passports.

Preferences will be made for refugees from southeastern Ukraine if they apply for jobs in Russia, he said.

"Those who arrive in Russia in a fast and massive manner and who apply for temporary refuge will, of course, be allowed to work without any permits and will be aided throughout their stay in Russia," Romodanovsky said.

Although migration legislation has been tightened, Russia will not experience a shortage of foreign workers, he said.

"I think the figures will settle down to some normal level in a couple of months and there will not be any problems connected with the use of foreign workforce," he added.

On the tests which applicants from visa-free countries will have to take in order to get a work patent, he said, "Generally, it won't be easy for an untrained applicant to pass the test. Fifteen percent of the applicants taking exams in the Moscow region fail, according to figures available to me," he said.

Romodanovsky told Interfax in early January that the flow of migrants to Russia had contracted by almost 70%. The number of citizens from Central Asia has decreased, but that of Ukrainians and Moldovans increased, he said.

A law introducing a differentiated ban on the entry of foreign offender-migrants’ into Russia took effect on January 10.

A 120-day unauthorized stay in Russia without applying for legal status will lead to the loss of right of entry for three years, a stay exceeding the authorized 250 days will incur the loss of entry right for five years and over 360 days ten years," Romodanovsky told Interfax.

More than a million foreign nationals may lose the right to enter Russia for ten years for overstaying the authorized period, he said.

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