One Week with New rules of foreigners’ registration provoked strong public reaction

21 february 2011

The amendments concerning migration registration of foreign citizens in Russian Federation came into force on 15 February 2011 – henceforth the foreigners can be registered only at the residence address. The Law № 385 which made the amendments seems to define the new rules accurately, but at the moment the territorial offices of the Federal Migration Service are not consistent as to the list of documents required, and that causes much confusion and misunderstanding from the part of both foreign citizens and employers.

How it works: The major inconsistency in the Federal Migration Service (FMS) requirements concerns the notarized power of attorney from the landlord in favor of employer’s representatives which is needed for foreigners’ registration: should it be presented or not?

FMS representatives assure that the power of attorney is not necessary in case of providing a lease agreement signed between the employer (not employee) and the landlord, but in practice some of the territorial offices of the Migration Service refuse to register a foreign national just on the basis of the lease agreement and require the landlord’s original power of attorney. Meanwhile, a significant number of FMS departments register foreigners at the home address on the grounds of a copy of lease agreement.

Together with that, FMS requirement for the notarized power of attorney is strictly observed in the case when a foreign citizen concludes the lease agreement directly with the landlord and when the agreement does not have clauses that rental payment is made by the employer. This incident raises many concerns, since in the absence of a power of attorney a foreigner will have to search for alternative ways to resolve the problem by registering in the hotel or another accommodation where he does not actually live.

Our actions and response: Understanding the needs of international companies to continue full registration compliance of their employees Intermark Relocation has set up the detailed procedures for • Explaining to the landlords the new requirements and the importance of their cooperation. Our lawyers have been extremely successful in negotiating and getting the required powers of attorney quite quickly. • Speaking and working with FMS offices to ensure successful registration

Public Response
An application of the new law provoked strong public response. In particular, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) sent an open letter to the Russian’s President Dmitry Medvedev with a request to cancel the amendments to the law, as well as the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce claimed that will take part in negotiations with federal authorities in order to achieve the cancellation of new rules.

Intermark Relocation is involved in resolving this matter by active cooperation with international associations and business communities. At the moment, we expect the answer to our formal appeal to the Public Chamber of Russian Federation and the Federal Migration Service with a request of creation a unified rules of procedure of the migration registration of foreign citizens with a clear description of the process and the cancellation of the requirement to provide a notarized power of attorney from landlords.