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Entrance Fees For Foreigners
June 23, 2014 00:51


A draft law on the introduction of entrance fees for foreigners residing in Russia without visas was introduced to the State Duma. The author of the initiative was the deputy of the “Fair Russia” (”Spravedlivaya Rossiya”) Oleg Nilov.

“To transfer the burden from the budget to the violators themselves”
The document imposes a ban on the entry of foreign citizens or stateless persons residing in Russia without visas, if the entrance fee was not pre-paid. The size and payment procedure are set by the Government of the Russian Federation. As Nilov points out, “the introduction of such fee is due to the desire to reduce budget expenditures on the expulsion of foreign citizens or stateless persons from the Russian Federation, whether by deportation or administrative expulsion”.
According to the developer, the provisions introduced by the draft law “are widespread in the world law and ensure that foreign citizens or stateless persons who have committed crimes on the territory of the state, or have other reasons for undesirability of their stay on the territory of the state, will be expelled beyond its borders”. Nilov named Egypt, Barbados, Tunisia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Maldives and other countries as examples.
He also noted that “the insurance fee on entering the territory of the state is in force in many countries, including the territory of the European Union, this fee is analogous to the entrance fee and serves the goals similar to that declared by our draft law”.  The Prosecutor General previously offered to introduce a similar pledge to compensate for the costs of migrants’ deportation. “As a part of the further improvement of the migration legislation it is necessary to consider the issue concerning monetary pledges made by foreign citizens and being sufficient for the purchase of travel documents in case of their deportation from the Russian Federation, at the same time it will transfer the burden from the budget of our country to the violators themselves” - the Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin’ stated.

Since January 1, 2014 the term of stay of migrants coming to Russia without visas has been limited: a period of temporary stay may not exceed a total of 90 days during each period of 180 days. Before this a foreign citizen having the right of visa-free entry to Russia could spend 90 days in Russia, return home and enter Russia again in a few days. According to the FMS, about 10% of foreign citizens staying in the country left Russia every 90 days in order to go back and thus legalize their status.

The responsibility of employers
Another similar draft law was previously introduced to the State Duma by the deputy Aleksandr Starovoitov. The deputy proposed to oblige the employers hiring illegal immigrants to pay the costs of deportation of the violators of immigration legislation from the country. According to the draft law, the Federal Migration Service of Russia should possess the fixed right “to judicially recover the money spent from the federal budget on the forced expulsion of illegal migrants from Russia, from the host side which has not performed its duties in connection with the implementation of migration registration”.  The host side, according to the legislation of the Russian Federation, may be presented by a citizen or a foreign citizen, a legal person, a government authority, Russian or foreign organizations actually hosting the foreigner or employing him. The failure of the employer to perform his duties on migration registration entails an administrative fine ranging from 2 to 4 thousand roubles for citizens, from 40 to 50 thousand roubles for officials and from 400 to 500 thousand roubles for legal entities.

A complete cancellation of deportation
The Presidential Human Rights Council (HRC) offers to even cancel the deportation of illegal immigrants from Russia because of the high cost of the procedure. This was told in an interview with the newspaper “Izvestia” by the Co-Chair of the Board, the Head of the Permanent Commission on Migration Policy and Human Rights Evgenii Bobrov. The human rights activist also pointed at the difficulty with registration procedure when commenting on the initiative of the Council. According to Bobrov, the FMS sometimes refuses to issue the registration, if a migrant has a patent on professional activity, as the patent confirms the lawfulness of his stay. “According to the law on migration registration, everyone must be registered. And if there is no registration, the migrant gets fined and expelled” - he explained.

The cost of deportation
The deportation of one foreigner costs about $ 1 thousand for Russia. This was previously stated by the head of the FMS Konstantin Romodanovskiy. According to the data of the Migration Service, there are more than 3 million illegal migrants in Russia, and the automatic system counts about 3 thousand of such foreigners every day. According to the Ministry of Labour, the total number of migrants in Russia has increased fourfold over the last 10 years. As the Deputy Head of the Agency Lubov’ El’tsova reported, “the issues of migration policy in modern conditions are getting particularly relevant for several reasons.
The first is the demography situation, especially the ageing of the population and the decrease of the share of people of working age. The second reason is economic growth and modernization of the economy. Economic development and elevation of living standards over the last 10 years have led to the fact that the annual number of migrants arriving in Russia has increased fourfold over these years: from 119 thousand in 2004 to 482 thousand in 2013”.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: visa to Russia     

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